1/2 cup tamarind
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar (or white)
Melt together over low heat. Add:
1 tsp (at a time) chili powder or paprika
…tasting with each new tsp.
Let sauce rest while preparing other ingredients.
2 oz chicken breast, cubed (or 7 peeled shrimp) per serving
16 oz rice noodles, soaked in cold water just until al dente
one egg per serving (this amount of sauce and noodles should serve 6-8)
1-2 T ground peanuts per serving
1 c bean sprouts per serving (optional)
garlic chives for garnish (optional)
sliced lime for serving
Follow these steps carefully and the best Pad Thai you've ever had will be the one you've just made! Keep the sauce pot warm on another burner next to your wok. Keep a bowl of water handy too, if things get to hot in the wok you can sprinkle the water on it to slow it down.
- Heat a large wok over high heat until very hot, to the point of smoky.
- Add a splash of oil, about 3-4 tablespoons.
- If you are making chicken Pad Thai, add the chicken first, cook, stirring vigorously, until it's half way done, about 1-2 minutes, then add a tablespoon or two of the sauce to flavor the chicken, and a pinch of garlic if you're using it.
- Add the noodle, about 2 loosely packed cups for one portion is my standard, and then a ladle (about ¼ cup) of warm sauce. Stir rigorously, keep everything moving in the wok, and cook the noodle until soft. Remember to break up the noodle and don't let it lump together. If the sauce evaporates too quickly and your noodle isn't quite ready, sprinkle a bit of water and keep stirring. Add a bit of oil if the noodle still stubbornly sticks together.
- When the noodle is ready (taste it to be sure), push it up to one side of the wok and crack an egg into the middle. Let it set for 10-15 seconds and toss everything all together.
- Add the shrimp meat (if using), ground peanuts, bean sprouts. Keep things moving. Add more sauce if it looks a little pale.
- When the shrimps are done, shouldn't take more than a minute, add a handful of Garlic Chives. Turn the heat off, and quickly give the wok a good stirring to mix everything together.
- Add the finished Pad Thai to a plate and serve to your first lucky dinner guest. Give the used wok a quick rinse with warm water, wipe off any excess bits of food with a warm towel, then put the wok back on to the fire.