Pad Thai – Thailand

October 7, 2011 at 2:31 PM | Posted in Food, noodle | 4 Comments
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Pad Thai or Phat Thai is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, plus

Pad Thai in Bangkok

any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts, coriander and lime, the juice of which can be added along with

Thai condiments. It is usually served with spring onions and pieces of raw banana flower.

The dish had been known in ancient Siam in various forms for centuries. The variant of noodle is thought to have been brought to the ancient Thai capital of Ayuthaya by Vietnamese traders. However, it was first made popular as a national dish by Luang Phibunsongkhram when he was prime minister during the 1930s and 1940s, partly as an element of his campaign for Thai nationalism and centralization, and partly for a campaign to reduce rice consumption in Thailand. The Thai economy at this time was heavily dependent on rice exports; Phibunsongkhram hoped to increase the amount available for export by launching a campaign to educate the poor in the production of rice noodles, as well as in the preparation of these noodles with other ingredients to sell in small cafes and from street carts. Nowadays Pad Thai has become a widespread staple food and is one of Thailand’s national dishes.

Pad Thai Noodles with Shrimp

Ingredients:

8 oz. Thai rice noodles (linguini width), or enough for 2 people
1-2 cups raw or cooked shrimp, shells removed
1 shallot (OR 1/4 cup purple onion), finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 fresh red chilies (or as much as you like!), finely sliced
1 egg
2 cups bean sprouts
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper (OR substitute black pepper)
3 green onions, sliced finely
1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, ground or chopped
2-3 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying (coconut, peanut, corn, sunflower, or canola are all good)
3 Tbsp. chicken stock
wedges of lime for serving
PAD THAI SAUCE:
3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste (available at Asian/Indian food stores)
1/4 cup hot water
2+1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian food stores)
1-3 tsp. chili sauce (to taste), OR 1/2 to 1 tsp. dried crushed chili
3 Tbsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar

Preparation:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, then remove from heat. Dunk in the rice noodles. Soak the noodles until soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little “crunchy”. Drain and rinse the noodles thoroughly with cold water. Set aside. Tip:Avoid over-softening the noodles at this point, as they will be fried later, and you want them to turn out chewy, not soggy.
In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the tamarind paste in the hot water. Then add the other Pad Thai Sauce ingredients (fish sauce, chili, and brown sugar). Stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add as much or as little chili sauce as you prefer, but don’t skimp on the sugar – it is needed to balance out the sourness of the tamarind. Set aside.
Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the shallots, garlic, and chili. Stir-fry 1 minute.
Add the shrimp plus 2-3 Tbsp. chicken stock. Stir-fry 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and plump. (If using cooked shrimp, only stir-fry 1 minute.)
Push ingredients aside, making room in the center of your wok/pan. Add another 1 Tbsp. oil, then crack in the egg. Stir-fry to scramble (30 seconds to 1 minute).
Add the drained noodles and drizzle over the pad thai sauce. Use 2 utensils and a gentle “tossing” motion to combine everything together (like tossing a salad). Keep the heat between medium and medium-high – you want your pan hot enough to cook the noodles, but not so hot that the noodles burns. Stir-fry 4-5 minutes.
Add the bean sprouts and continue stir-frying 1 more minute, or until noodles are chewy-delicious and a little bit sticky.
Remove from heat and taste-test, adding more fish sauce until desired taste is achieved (I usually add another 1-2 Tbsp).
Sprinkle over the white pepper, onion, coriander, and peanuts, and garnish with lime wedges (these should be squeezed over before eating). Toss one more time and serve. Thai chili sauce can also be served on the side if desired. ENJOY!
http://thaifood.about.com/od/oodlesofnoodles/r/padthaishrimp2.htm

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