Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:09 pm Post subject: Pad Thai
This recipe is from "The Young Thailand Cookbook" by Wandee Young & Byron Ayanoglu.
8 oz./250 gms Thai Rice Noodles
1/4 cup/50 mL tamarind paste
1/4 cup/50 mL warm water
4 oz./125 gms skinless, boneless chicken breast
4oz./125 gms fried tofu
6 Tbsp./75 mL roasted unsalted peanuts
3 Tbsp./45 mL fish sauce
2 Tbsp./25 mL sugar
2 Tbsp./25 mL lime juice
1 tsp./5 mL chopped garlic
1/2 cup/125 mL vegetable oil
8 large shrimps, shelled and deveined
1 cup/250 mL bean sprouts
2 stems of green onions in 1 inch/2.5 cm pieces
1/2 tsp/2 mL roasted chilies
strips of red pepper
fresh coriander leaves
wedges of lime
1. Soak noodles in plenty of cold water for at least one hour.
2. Combine tamarind paste with the warm water and let sit at least 15 minutes.
3. Slice the chicken in 1/4 in/5 mm strips.
4. Slice the fried tofu into 3/4 inch/1.5 cm. cubes (as aside here, we don't do tofu in our house.
5. Blend or process peanuts into coarse meal. Reserve.
6. Return to your reserved tamarind paste in its water. Mash it and transfer the mud-like mixture to a strainer set into a bowl. Mash and push with a spoon, forcing liquid to strain into the bowl. Scrape off the juice that clings to the underside of the strainer. You will have about 5 tbsp/70 mL of tamarind juice. Add to it the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Beat to mix thoroughly and reserve. Discard the solids left in the strainer.
7. Heat oil in a wok (or large frying pan) until it is just about to smoke. Add garlic and stir, letting it cook for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add tofu and shrimp and stir fry for 1 more minute. Break eggs into wok and let them fry without breaking for 1-2 minutes.
8. While eggs cook, quickly drain the noodles and then add to wok, giving them a quick fold, stir-frying for 1 minute from the bottom up. Add reserved tamarind juice, etc. from step 6) and continue stir-frying, mixing everything together for 1-2 minutes. Your noodles will have subsided to half their original volume and softened up to al dente.
9. Add about 2/3 of the reserved ground peanuts and stir. Add about 2/3 of the bean sprouts and all the green onion pieces. Stir fry for 30 seconds and take off heat.
10. Transfer noodles to a serving dish and sprinkle roasted chilies on top. Top with the rest of the ground peanuts, the rest of the sprouts, some strips of red pepper and fresh coriander leaves. Stick a couple of lime wedges on the side and serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a noodle course or 2 as a main course. _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
1. Heat oil in a wok (or frying pan) on high heat until it is just about to smoke. Lower heat to medium and add chilies. Stir fry for not more than 1 minute, until the chilies are shiny and started to darken, but before they have turned black. (if they have, they are buned, and you should disgard them and start again)
2. Immediately transfer the chilies to a bowl to cool them down. Once cool, grind them to a coarse meal. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate, tightly covered.
They will last up to four months.
hmmm, I'm thinking chipotles (which I've only just recently tried and which came in a tin) might be tooo smoky but I could be wrong. _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Joined: 29 Sep 2004 Posts: 2498 Location: Los Angeles, California, USA
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 8:16 pm Post subject:
Not to be toooooo difficult but I'm thinking these would be the tiny slender red Asian chilis that are so incendiary?
Saying "chili" to someone in LA is like saying "spice". We have so many varieties available that I wouldn't want to be using cinnamon where ceyenne is called for.
I'm looking forward to trying this. It's a favorite for Rachel and Galen as well as for me. _________________ God writes a lot of comedy... the trouble is, he's stuck with so many bad actors who don't know how to play funny. -- Garrison Keillor
This is a favorite dish which I confess I tend to order rather than make myself. The Vietnamese fish sauce I bought was so strong with the first recipe I tried after purchasing the bottle, I've shied away from trying to make adjustments. (I don't recall either the Vietnamese name or brand off-hand.)
Any recommendations on favorite types and/or brands of fish sauce or what to look for?
It's great to eat right before or after going to the movies.
A beautiful Laotian woman served pad thai at a party recently. I didn't get to taste it but I did have her green papaya salad. Anyone ever try this? The papaya was thinly shredded and had a crisp texture like jicama, mixed with shredded carrots and red chili in a sweet/sour dressing. The chili was so intensely spicey but the sensation didn't linger at all.
David, I too would like advice about the chilies. I've located some fish sauce, "Golden Boy" brand, and dried tamarind (not tamarind paste--you advised against tamarind paste in the "Comfort Food Redux" thread, yes?)
I can't tell you how thrilled I am about the fish sauce, now that I've read how it's "manufactured".
If you have any specific brands/types of ingredients in mind, etc. that you think are crucial--
Joined: 17 Aug 2005 Posts: 307 Location: Far, far away
Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2006 11:20 pm Post subject:
I do not personally recommend Three Crabs Brand, which several Asian cookbook authors recommend, mainly because it does not appear to be a naturally fermented fish sauce but is, rather, a flavor-enhanced, processed food product. ...[Label suggests] a catalyst (sometimes from chemical sources) is added to hasten fermentation, allowing the company to produce large quantities of the product in shorter periods of time than would be required in natural fermentation....the additives in Three Crabs Brand, to the discerning palate, gives this fish sauce a somewhat metallic, artificial after-taste.
Gingerpale: Thanks for such a useful article!!! Sounds like I was a naive, ill-informed consumer with discriminating taste .
Yes i think the red skinny Asian chilies would be the most authentic!
And sweetbabyjames---I make a variation on the green papaya salad using thinly sliced green papaya, red onions, and red peppers with a simple dressing of sugar, rice vinegar and crushed dried chilies. It is truly refreshing---and no oil!! _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
I made the Pad Thai from your recipe above--complete success! Thank you so much--Rich LOVED it too. I liquified the tamarind by soaking, then using my little immersion blender. Used all shrimp instead of shrimp AND chicken. I was So wary of that fish sauce--but the whole thing worked beautifully, and it's so much fun to make. (I'd never used fish sauce or tamarind or tofu or flat rice noodles, my stir frying technique is a riot--much shrieking about the need for haste and perfection!)
Dessert was warm chocolate pudding spooned over fresh pineapple, it did your dinner proud.
The bowlful of Pad Thai I just had for breafast proves it's arguably even better the next day.. so thank you, sir!
Last edited by gingerpale on Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
Well I am just thrilled it worked so well! Do you think it was the tamarind and the fish sauce that made it work? how different was this recipe from the one you had tried that was less successful? _________________ Vivant Linguae Mortuae!!
Well, the last recipe had NO tamarind, and that book says you can substitute "light soy sauce" for fish sauce, so I did. It also included ketchup! It was okkaayy, but not something you'd do again.
The sourness of the tamarind is very important--actually I wish I had used a tiny bit more, for a more pronounced sweet and sour taste. (See tamarind story below*.)
I have a LOT of tamarind and fish sauce left--I could bottle my own Worcestershire! I suppose they both keep well, and I've found a few promising recipes in "All Recipes", with chicken. Just biding time 'til more Pad Thai, of course.
*from "A Primate's Memoir" by Robert M. Sapolsky
"...I planned for a desert trip. I went to one of the spanking new supermarkets in Nairobi, got my salt tablets and crackers and fluids. I wanted dried fruit; dried fruit is perfect in the desert, I'd decided. ... It was damn expensive. The dried pineapples or dried coconuts or dried bananas were going to bankrupt me. ... Suddenly I spotted a block of dried tamarind. Had no idea what tamarind was, but it was phenomenally cheap. Bought two bricks--two kilos of the stuff.
First evening...set up my tent...settled down to eat, unwrapped my block of tamarind, and bit off a hunk. A stupefying gustatory sensation screamed through my head at that instant. Imagine opening up an entire salt shaker into your mouth. Quick, before swallowing, pour a bottle of mustard in. Then, just a second, toss in a hunk of Marmite, some fetid French cheese, and an old fish. Multiply by a hundred thousand. That begins to approximate how strong the taste was. "Taste" almost stopped making sense as a term. It transcended taste. ... It turned out I had brought enough dried tamarind along to give gustatory hallucinations to every man woman and child south of Cairo. ... I lay up all night, trying to spit the taste out."
They must have a very different method to preserve it there...
Last edited by gingerpale on Thu Aug 31, 2006 6:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
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