On Wikipedia I read that CNN conducted a reader poll and Pad Thai listed at number 5 on World’s 50 most delicious foods. So when Jess asked if she could do a guest post featuring Pad Thai, I said “Of course!”
Guest Post by Jess Collins
Pad Thai is easily made vegetarian by not adding meat and swapping fish sauce with soy sauce. This dish is great for people on the go as it is quick and easy to make. It takes just under 30 minutes to prepare. The main mistake people make is to over-cook the noodles but with this step-by-step recipe, hopefully you can make a tasty dish with noodles that have that perfect chewy texture.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Thin Thai style rice noodles, around 200 grams (to feed 2 people)
4 crushed cloves of garlic
3 cups bean sprouts
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup coriander
1/3 cup peanuts (or cashews), crushed
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
1-2 minced red chilies (optional)
2 Lime wedges
2 tablespoons of warm water with 3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in it
3 tablespoons of brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (increase depending on your taste)
1-3 teaspoons of Chilli sauce (increase depending on level of spiciness)
Begin by putting the noodles in a large pot of pre-boiled water. Leave them to soak until they are soft enough to be eaten. Drain away the water and rinse with fresh cold water.
The Pad Thai sauce is made by mixing all the ingredients together in a cup. The brown sugar and the tamarind paste needs to be dissolved well so ensure to mix the sauce well.
Turn on the heat to medium-high and heat up a large frying pan or a wok if you have one. Add the garlic along with 1-2 Tablespoon of oil. Add the minced chilli at this stage if you are using it. For 30 seconds stir-fry it all together.
Mix in the sauce and noodles. Using 2 spatulas gently lift and mix the noodles around. Stir frying the noodles this way helps stop the noodles from breaking. Continue doing this for 1-2 minutes. If the wok gets dry, add a little vegetable oil to the pan.
Add in the bean sprouts and sprinkle with pepper. Continue cooking the noodles, by lifting and mixing them around, until they are cooked. The aim is to get the noodles to be chewy and sticky. Depending on your desired taste, add more soy sauce and mix it in well.
Remove the noodles and place them in a bowl or on a plate. The crushed nuts, spring onions and coriander are now added on top of the finished dish. Put a wedge of lime on the side of the dish, which is to be squeezed over the dish before eaten.
Jess Collins is a regular contributor to Spicy Buddha, a Thai food and travel site. Currently based in Koh Samui, the ladies responsible for Spicy Buddha are always up for a chat on Twitter @TheSpicyBuddha about cooking and getting the most out of a visit to Thailand.