13 Jul 2011

Pad Thai

I bought some tamarind paste on a whim from a delicatessen the other day because I know, having made some Thai food before, that it is quite hard to come by.  Pad Thai is a dish that I really like and have eaten a few times before but I have only ever made it using a bought sauce before.  This time I thought I would be adventurous and make it from scratch.  It requires quite a lot of ingredients and is not the cheapest meal to make, which may be slightly off-putting, but it is definitely worth it.  I don't want to blow my own trumpet but this is the best Pad Thai I have ever tasted, it is really very tasty.

Ingredients in order of use:
1 Tablespoon tamarind paste
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 Tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 Cup of hot water
2 Tablespoons oil
1 Shallot
4 Garlic cloves
1 Red chili
1 Small punnet of ready cooked prawns
2 Portions of straight-to-wok Thai ribbon noodles
1 Egg
A large handful of beansprouts
1/4 Cup of dry roasted peanuts, ground
A small bunch fresh coriander, chopped
2 Spring onions, sliced
1/4 Teaspoon of white pepper


  • Make the sauce by mixing together the tamarind paste, sugar, water and fish sauce
  • Heat the oil in a wok and fry the finely chopped shallot, garlic and chili
  • Add the prawns and fry for a minute
  • Add the noodles and crack the egg on top then stir in
  • Pour over the sauce which you made previously
  • Add the beansprouts and cook for a minute or two
  • Add the coriander, spring onions, peanuts and white pepper and stir in then take off the heat
This recipe, despite having a lot of ingredients, is actually quite simple to make, it is mostly like a normal stir fry, the only off-putting part is making the sauce because the tamarind paste is very lumpy, I just mashed it in as much as possible and didn't pour the lumps into the pan.  I was also concerned by the fish sauce because I had never used it before and when I poured it out it smelled very strongly of bad feet but if you can put up with that then it is definitely worth it for the flavour.
This is a fairly mild recipe because I like my food quite mild, if you want to add a bit of spice, put half a teaspoon of chili flakes in the sauce at the beginning.

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