Pad Thai

all details

This is such a simple classic, but when it's good, it's just so delicious. Making a good tamarind sauce first is the real key to creating a great base flavour. This recipe evolved out of a brief holiday in Thailand. We had a brilliant local chef cook for us a number of times and I picked his brains as often as I could. This is my version of the pad Thai he made.

Secret's in the sauce: Karen Martini's pad Thai.
Secret's in the sauce: Karen Martini's pad Thai. Photo: Marcel Aucar

Ingredients

120ml vegetable oil

3 eggs, whisked

200g firm tofu, diced

3 tbsp whole dried shrimp

4 tbsp chopped, salted pickled radish (also called turnip)

12 green prawn cutlets, deveined and cut in half lengthways

500g fresh rice noodles

3 large handfuls beansprouts

4 tbsp ground roasted salted peanuts

1/2 bunch garlic chives, cut into 4cm batons

1 handful coriander leaves, to serve

sliced red chilli steeped in rice vinegar, to serve (optional)

For tamarind sauce

3 long red chillies

5 large red shallots

3 tbsp tamarind concentrate

150g palm sugar

2 tbsp fish sauce

 

Method

1. For the tamarind sauce, blend the chillies and eschalots with 2 tablespoons of water until you have a smooth paste.

2. Add the chilli paste to a small saucepan over medium heat and cook for a minute or two until it mostly dries out. Add the tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, fish sauce and 150 millilitres of water and cook for four to five minutes, or until it has a thick and saucy consistency. Remove from the heat.

3. Heat a wok until it is very hot, add half the oil and heat until starting to shimmer. Add the egg and stir through as it fries. Remove from the wok and drain on a paper towel.

4. Add the remaining oil to the wok and heat through. Add the tofu and stir-fry until it starts to brown. Add the dried shrimp and radish and quickly stir through. Add the prawns and stir-fry for two minutes.

5. Loosen the noodles with your fingers and add to the wok with about 150 millilitres of water. Stir through gently so as not to break up the noodles. Cook for two minutes.

6. Add half the tamarind sauce, the beansprouts, egg and half of the peanuts and stir through. Cook for another 30 seconds and then stir in the garlic chives.

7. Serve immediately, garnished with coriander and the remaining peanuts, with the chilli in rice vinegar on the side (if using). The leftover tamarind sauce will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.

 

Tips

1. Salted, pickled radish is a bit of a secret ingredient in Thai cooking. It adds a flavour that's pretty hard to put your finger on, but really enhances the complexity of a dish. Ask for it at your Asian grocer.

2. Tamarind concentrate is generally available from Asian grocers and is a lot easier to use than making a puree from scratch.

3. Try to find thin, fresh rice noodles for stir-frying, rather than broader noodles, as they tend to not break up as much in the wok.

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  • Main Ingredients - Noodles, Shellfish, Nuts
  • Cuisine - Thai
  • Course - Main-course, Side Dish
  • Occasion - Midweek dinner

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11 comments so far

  • No mention of much chilli paste in the list of ingredients

    Commenter
    Pete
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    August 07, 2014, 9:33AM
    • Hi Pete. See step 1 for the chilli paste component. The ingredients are listed under the tamarind sauce section. Happy cooking!

      Commenter
      goodfood.com.au team
      Location
      Date and time
      August 07, 2014, 12:55PM
  • salted radish a secret ingredient? To whom? It is a stock standard part of the repertoire.

    Commenter
    RUmsey
    Location
    CAmpbell Street
    Date and time
    August 07, 2014, 10:15AM
  • And definitely lime slices and sugar to sprinkle on. I tasted the best ever Pad Thai at a bus stop street vendor in the middle of Southern Thailand about 20 years ago, and that included peanuts, lime, chilli flakes, and sugar as garnish. I've never come close to that since, much as I've tried.

    And no egg? No garlic?

    Commenter
    bleebs
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    August 07, 2014, 12:40PM
    • not every street vendor is the same.. its hard to take some serious when they don't know how to read. recipe does state egg. as for garlic, don't you think garlic chives will suffice?

      Commenter
      roti
      Location
      Date and time
      August 23, 2014, 12:32PM
  • how about asking a thai person how to cook pad thai.. and when it's normally eaten... you know.. learn the basics. Also proper broad rice noodles don't break. But when you buy supermarket dried stuff, thats what happens. They do make fresh noodles here in Australia...

    Commenter
    reality is a dream
    Location
    Date and time
    August 07, 2014, 1:00PM
    • 'This is such a simple classic, but when it's good, it's just so delicious. Making a good tamarind sauce first is the real key to creating a great base flavour. This recipe evolved out of a brief holiday in Thailand. We had a brilliant local chef cook for us a number of times and I picked his brains as often as I could. This is my version of the pad Thai he made.' i guess you didnt read it.... fresh noodles to break up, i know im a thai cook.

      Commenter
      roti
      Location
      Date and time
      August 23, 2014, 12:36PM
    • Roti and thai cook? Sounds legit. Not.

      Commenter
      reality is a dream
      Location
      Date and time
      August 26, 2014, 6:13PM
  • The leftover asuce may well keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge but why not just make the amount required for the recipe instead of twice as much?

    Commenter
    Mister Dalliard
    Location
    Date and time
    August 07, 2014, 1:30PM
    • i dont want to sound like a troll but you cant mke up you own mind about it?

      Commenter
      roti
      Location
      Date and time
      August 23, 2014, 12:33PM

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