Pad Thai (ผัดไทย)
adapted from Pailin Chongchitnant, “Hot Thai Kitchen”
I love Pad Thai and it has taken me many years to find the best recipe! The sauce looks simple, but it is tricky to master.
Thai Intermediate servings2 addedJune 2020
Pad Thai Sauce
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 4 tablespoons tamarind paste (or concentrate)
- 2 tablespoons good fish sauce
- Place the tamarind paste in the boiling water and set aside while preparing the other ingredients.
- Combine the fish sauce, palm sugar in a small bowl.
- If you purchased tamarind paste, then strain it through a fine mesh strainer and add to the sauce. Stir to combine.
- The original recipe recommended that you melt the palm sugar in a pan over medium heat to get a richer flavor. I find that the sugar burns easily, so I follow other recipes that skip that step.
- 4 ounces dry rice noodles, medium size, soaked in room temp water for 1 hour
- (optional) 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, medium size, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup shallots, roughly chopped
- 3 tablespoons sweet preserved daikon radish, finely chopped
- (optional) dried chili flakes, to taste
- 3 tablespoons peanut oil
- Protein of your choice (chicken, shrimp, tofu)
- 2 eggs
- 2½ cups bean sprouts, loosely packed
- 10 stems garlic chives, cut into 2” pieces
- ¼ cup peanuts, roasted, roughly chopped
- 1 lime
- Cut drained noodles once with scissors so they are half as long. This makes them easier to toss and separate in the wok.
- In a bowl, combine garlic, shallots, preserved radish, dried shrimp, and chili flakes.
- Heat a wok or a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add just enough oil to coat the bottom. Sear protein, cook until done and remove from pan.
- In the same wok over medium heat, add a little more oil if needed, then add everything in the garlic/shallots bowl and sauté for a few minutes until garlic starts to turn golden and shallots are wilted. If the wok looks dry, add a little more oil. (Don’t skimp on oil otherwise the noodles will clump up together.)
- Turn heat up to high then add noodles and sauce. Keep tossing until all the sauce is absorbed.
- Once sauce is absorbed, you can turn off the heat and taste the noodles for doneness. If they’re still undercooked, add a little more water and continue cooking, being careful not to add too much water!
- Once noodles are done, push them to one side of the pan. Add a little extra oil to the empty space and add eggs. Break yolks, then put noodles on top of eggs and cook for about 30 seconds. Flip and toss to mix eggs into noodles.
- Toss the cooked protein back in (unless you’re using shrimp and want to place them on top when plating). Then add bean sprouts, garlic chives and half the peanuts. Turn off the heat and toss until well mixed.
- Serve immediately with a lime wedge and extra peanuts on top. For a classic presentation you can add a little extra side of bean sprouts and some garlic chives garnish.
- Be sure to squeeze a bit of lime on top before eating!
- Do not use the black, sticky “tamarind concentrate” that is a product of India as it is a much more concentrated version and cannot be used in the same way in this recipe. Make sure you either make it from pulp as shown here, or buy the brown paste that is a product of Thailand or Vietnam.
- You can soak noodles in advance, drain, and keep them well sealed in the fridge for a few days.
- If using chicken, pork or beef, slice into bite-sized pieces and marinate them with just a bit of fish sauce or soy sauce so the meat isn’t bland.
- You can make a big batch of sauce in advance and store indefinitely in the fridge. When ready to use, you will need 5 oz of sauce for this recipe.