I had shrimp in the freezer and bean sprouts in the fridge, plus had just scored some tamarind paste at Ranch 99. What to do? Pad Thai!
I started with the recipe from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook: 101 Asian Recipes Simple Enough for Tonight’s Dinner but didn’t have any pad Thai paste so went online. Saw some variations that appealed, including cooking some bean sprouts and serving others raw at the table to mix in so went with that. Used 1 egg instead of 2 and just 1 cup of shrimp. Added some chopped cilantro as well as shallot. Also, I’m lazy. She had you cooking the egg and removing it, cooking the shrimp and then adding the garlic and green onions, then the noodles and sauce, then adding the eggs back in. I did everything in the wok without removing anything.
For the Pad Thai Sauce:
- 3/4 Tbs tamarind paste
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 2 Tbs fish sauce
- 2 tsp or more or less to taste Sriracha chili sauce (or other Asian chili paste)
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 8 ounces rice noodles soaked and drained
- 3 Tbs oil peanut, corn, canola, something suitable for high heat
- 1-2 cups raw shrimp shells removed
- 1 shallot minced
- 1 Tbs garlic minced
- 1-2 eggs
- 2 cups bean sprouts divided
- 3 green onions sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts chopped
- lime wedges at the table
- A good half hour before starting the rest of dinner, mix the hot water and tamarind paste together. If your paste is like mine, it will include skins and seeds! I didn't know that when I started. 😉 Stir it together and let it sit, stirring now and then to get all the flavor you can. Put it through a strainer to get the seeds and skins out. Then mix in the other ingredients. While you're waiting for the tamarind paste to soften, you can do all the prep for the Pad Thai vegetables.
- Soak the noodles in hot water from the tap for 10-15 minutes, then rinse and drain them. Set aside.
- Heat 2 Tbs of the oil in a wok or frying pan and cook the garlic and shallots for a few minutes, stirring the whole time.
- Add the shrimp and cook a couple of minutes until pink.
- Stir the shrimp and veggies to the sides of the wok and add another tablespoon of the oil. Crack the egg and add it to the center, stirring until scrambled.
- Add the drained rice noodles and the pad thai sauce and cook 3-4 minutes over medium high heat, tossing and stirring all the time.
- Add 1 cup of the bean sprouts and cook, tossing all the while, another minute, then remove from the heat.
- Add the green onions, cilantro and peanuts and toss.
- Serve with lime wedges at the table, plus the rest of the bean sprouts and more fish sauce and chili sauce for those that like it spicier.
I saw many variations on soaking the rice noodles.
- Soak in boiling water just 5 minutes then drain. (That’s what my package of rice noodles says.)
- Soak in hot water from the tap for 10-15 minutes according to Steamy Kitchen.
- Soak in cold water for 45 minutes according to some forgotten web site.