Tamarind puree is extracted from tamarind pods and is sold ready to use. It has a sour, fruity taste. Tamarind puree is an important element in pad thai and, along with the palm sugar and shrimp paste, gives this dish an authentic Thai flavour. All of these ingredients can be found at Asian supermarkets.
85g medium rice stick noodles
80ml fish sauce
2 tbsp white sugar
2 tbsp grated palm sugar
2 tbsp tamarind puree or oyster sauce
1 tbsp tomato sauce
1½ tbsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
½ tsp shrimp paste
½ red onion, cut into thin wedges
300g skinless chicken breast fillets, thinly sliced
¼ tsp chilli powder
4 spring onions, cut into batons
½ cup bean sprouts, trimmed, to serve
coriander sprigs, to serve
2 tbsp chopped roasted peanuts, to serve
1 tsp white sugar, extra
¼ tsp chilli powder, extra
lime wedges, to serve
1. Soak the noodles in hot water for 10-15 minutes, until just tender. Drain well.
2. Put the fish sauce, sugar, palm sugar, tamarind and tomato sauce in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until the palm sugar dissolves. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. Heat a wok over high heat and add 2 teaspoons of the oil, swirling it around the wok to coat the side. Add the egg and tilt the wok to create a thin layer of egg (it will cook almost immediately). Remove from the wok, roll up and coarsely chop. Set aside.
4. Return the wok to high heat and add the remaining oil, swirling it around the wok to coat the side. Add the shrimp paste, red onion and chicken and stir-fry for 2 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked. Add the noodles, fish sauce mixture, chilli powder and spring onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the noodles have absorbed the sauce. Stir in the egg and then transfer to a serving plate.
5. Serve topped with the bean sprouts, coriander sprigs and chopped peanuts. Place the extra sugar and chilli powder at the edge of the dish for seasoning and serve with lime wedges.