Sunday, February 03, 2008

Pad Thai



225g wide dried rice noodles
450g raw prawns (I used tofu instead)
2tbsp ground nut oil
3tbsp coarsely chopped garlic
3tbsp finely sliced shallots
2 large fresh red or green Thai chilies, seeded and chopped
175g fresh beansprouts
2 eggs, beaten
1tbsp light soy sauce
1tbsp lime juice
2tbsp fish sauce
1tsp sugar
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Garnish:
1 lime, cut into wedges
3tbsp coarsely chopped fresh coriander
3 spring onions, sliced on the diagonal
3tbsp coarsely chopped roasted peanuts
1tsp dried chili flakes

Soak the rice noodles in a bowl of warm water for 20 min. Drain them in a colander or sieve.
Peel the prawns and discard the shells. Using a small sharp knife, remove the fine digestive cord. Wash the prawns in cold water with 1tbsp of salt, then rinse well and pat dry with kitchen paper.
Heat a wok or large frying pan over high heat until it is hot. Add the oil, and when it is very hot and slightly smoking, add the prawns and stir fry for about 2 min. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon and set aside. Reheat the wok, add the garlic, shallots, and chillies, and stir fry for 1 min, then add the noodles, and stir fry for another minute. Finally, add the bean sprouts, eggs, soy sauce, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and pepper, and continue to stir fry for 3 min. Return the prawns to the wok, mix well and stir fry for 2 min.
Turn the mixture onto a warm platter. Garnish and serve at once.

This was from Ken Hom Cooks Thai. Ken Hom is a Thai cooking god. You should buy this book. I have made a ton of recipes from it, and the worst of them have been good, the best of them have been all time favorites that will blow your mind they are so good.

This one was fabulous. It was as good or better then what you would get at a Thai restaurant. I love this recipe.

I made a couple of changes. For one thing, I used the precooked noodles that are meant to go right into the wok. The only reason was because it was all I could find on short notice that had the right shape to it. You really do want flat noodles for this dish. I used more then the recipe said, because dried ones would have expanded, whereas mine were already cooked. I think I used almost twice the weight, and it made just enough to serve four.

The other change I made, was using Tofu instead of prawns. Partly because prawns are so expensive, partly because I was looking for a tofu recipe, and figured this one would convert well. It did.

I pressed the tofu first, which worked out really well. You just wrap it in a clean towel and put a baking sheet on top of it, and then weigh it down. I used four heavy cookbooks, and left it for a couple of hours (in the fridge). It gets rid of excess moisture, and gives the tofu a much nicer, more firm texture.

Because of the substitutions, I skipped the first couple of steps. I didn’t need to soak the noodles, or to precook the tofu, I just added it at the end, when you would have been adding the prawns back in.

I have to stress that this dish is all about the garnishes:



That is what makes it so super, crazy, unbelievable, over the top good. Also, it took about 10 min of chopping and measuring, and about 10 min of cooking. So if you make it this way, then in only 20 minutes time, you have a fabulous dinner, that is a little something different.

1 comment:

MrsPresley said...

i love pad thai! the only thai noodle dish that i love more is pad khee mao (or drunken noodles). i have yet to make a good pad thai; yours looks great!

i just joined the DB this month too, just checking out everyone else's blogs, wanted to say hello :)