|Pad Thai Sauce (see below)|
|Chicken, Shrimp, and/or Tofu|
|Garlic Chives or Green Onions|
- Heat a large wok over high heat until very hot, to the point of smoky.
- Add a splash of oil, about 3-4 tablespoons. Don’t be shy, this ain’t no diet food.
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 the tofu, a tablespoon or two of the sauce to flavor the chicken, and a pinch of garlic if you’re using it. If you are making tofu or shrimp and tofu Pad Thai, then only add the tofu (and garlic) for now. Cook for another minute until the tofu is crisp and slightly brown at the edges.
Add the noodle, about 2 loosely packed cups for one portion is my standard, and then a ladle (about 1/4 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. As I said, this ain’t no diet food.
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, pickled turnips, ground peanuts, ground dried shrimp, beansprouts. 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.
PAD THAI SAUCE RECIPE
- Tamarind pulp
- Fish Sauce
- Palm Sugar
- Paprika or chili powder
Two cups of sauce will make about 6-8 portions of Pad Thai.
To make about two cups of sauce, you should begin with about 1/2 cup each of Tamarind, Fish Sauce, and Palm Sugar.
If you substitute white and/or brown sugar for the Palm Sugar, you should use only about 1/3 cup.
Melt all these together in a small pot over a low flame. Taste and adjust the flavor balance until it suits you. Then add the chili powder, begin with a teaspoon or two, depending on your taste, and keep adding until it tastes the way you like it. By the time you’re done flavoring the pot should be simmering happily. Turn off the heat and let the sauce rest while you get to the other ingredients.