Friday, 26 September 2014

Pad Thai

The bf & I both love pad thai but in all honesty I’m really not sure that I love cooking it. Rice sticks (and rice noodles generally) are a beast to work with. No matter how hard I try I always seem to get an unwieldy tangled lump that doesn’t want to incorporate the other ingredients. Which of course results in a beast to photograph too. As you can see.

Luckily it tasted pretty good so we at least have that.

I went with prawns and tofu here but you can have a chicken version too - or a combination of whatever you fancy. Or the mother of all pad thais with everything chucked in. Or really pare it back and go veggie.

What you are looking for is a little bit spicy, a little sweet and a little sour so do adjust your flavourings carefully to get a perfect (for you) balance.

Pad Thai
serves 2

120g 2-3mm wide flat rice sticks
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
100g extra-firm tofu, chopped into small cubes
8-10 large prawns
1 large egg, cracked into a small bowl
25g preserved salted radish, chopped
1 tbsp small dried shrimp
100g beansprouts
½ small bunch chives, chopped
50g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
For the sauce
2 tbsp pad thai paste
1.5 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp tamarind paste or concentrate
1.5 tsp palm sugar
1-2 tsp Sriracha or pinch of chilli powder, to taste
⅓ cup water
For garnish
Lime wedges, chilli flakes, chopped peanuts, chopped coriander, fish sauce

Soak the rice sticks in warm water for 15-30 minutes until softened but al dente. Drain and set aside.

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.

Put a wok on a high heat and add half the oil before adding the garlic, stir fry for a few seconds then add prawns into the wok and stir until half cooked. Take them out and set aside.

Add the noodles and a splash of water. Stir fry until they're drying out, then add the sauce. Fry until they are almost soft enough to eat (they should be slightly chewy).

Push the noodles to the side of the wok and add the rest of the oil. Add the tofu and prawns back into the pan and stir continuously.

Push to the side and add the egg. Pierce the yolk and when it starts to set, quickly scramble.

Stir through the noodles, and add the radish, dried shrimp, beansprouts, chives and peanuts.

Stir fry until well combined, then serve with the garnishes on the table so that they can be added according to taste.


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