Our third dish (and possibly best/worst pun ever!) for our series In With The Old, Out With The Noodle. See the first editions here and here.Pad Thai. Just as much a staple of the take away Thai menu as spring rolls and red curry. For our antipodean tastes, chicken is the most common offering but I have it on good authority that tofu and prawns is way more legit.
Or just tofu. Or whatever you have at hand really.
Pad Thai – Ingredients. Serves 4
2 long red chillies de-seeded and sliced,
5 garlic cloves – crushed
1 small red onion – sliced fine
150g snow peas,
100g beans sprouts,
50g preserved radish – sliced (totally optional)
100g fried tofu – sliced,
4 eggs – beaten,
100gm dry roasted peanuts,
1 bunch spring onions – sliced
200g dried flat rice noodles
2 tbsp tamarind puree,
1 tbsp rice cooking wine,
80g palm sugar,
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
Lime wedges and fried shallots for garnish
The Sauce – simmer the rice wine, tamarind and palm sugar gently in a wee saucepan until dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the fresh lime juice.
The Noodles – soak the noodles in not-quite-boiling water for 15 minutes. Drain well and re-fresh with cold water. Drain well again and rub gently with 1 tsp of sesame oil.
Stir-fry – In a hot wok or pan ( we’re in our trusty bench-top electric) add a little oil and cook the onions, garlic and chili until fragrant. Next the tofu and vegetable strips and stir until just tender. Now it is egg time. Stirring the pan rapidly, drizzle the whisked egg into the pan and stir into the vegetables until cooked. Next the bean sprouts and spring onions for 20 seconds or so and then the noodles last. When the noodles are hot it’s time to turn off the heat and fold in the sauce.
Wizz. Bang! That stir frying part should be all over in about 10 minutes. Keep the heat up the whole way.
Serve immediately with loads of toasted peanuts, fried onions and a wedge of fresh lime. A little extra chilli if that’s your thing of course.What Kid
Heaps for our girl to get into today. Grinding roasted peanuts in the mortar, whisking eggs, vegetable prep et al..
Kid did most of the stir-frying today too. This is where those big electric bench top pans are handy. I find them really quite kid-friendly for learning to cook. They are stable, have loads of room to move food around in and are easy to clean.
So, why so popular Pad Thai?
Is it the tang of your tamarind? The crunch of your roasted and crushed peanuts? A little spice from your chili? Those natty fried onion bits on top, hmm?
What I love about Pad Thai are the noodles. Flat rice noodles given just enough time in the wok/pan to grab all the flavours and juices together in one fell, well-balanced mouthful.
Whatever your preference, it is a dish that is more than the sum of its parts.
*disclaimer* – No native Australian animals were harmed in the making of this dish, but I did bite my own lip quite fiercely whilst eating leftovers. Ouch!
Happy Cooking 🙂