Pad Thai…my, oh my! This Thai noodle dish is a classic, and loved by all who have had the experience of tasting a really well prepared version. There are many variations, but I’m including chicken and shrimp in this one, because they happen to be my personal favorites. Feel free to substitute pork, for the chicken and shrimp, or tofu, if you prefer a vegetarian version. Give it a go…your tastebuds will be eternally grateful! .
3/4 pound rice stick noodles
3 chicken breasts, cut into 2 inch strips
1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled, deveined, and chopped in half
1/2 cup fish sauce (nam pla)
1/3 cup sugar, plus 3 Tbs.
!/2 cup white vinegar
2 Tbs. tamarind paste
1/4 cup ketchup
1 teaspoon paprika
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups mung bean sprouts
2 serranos, finely minced
8 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, finely chopped
2 limes, juiced
4 limes, cut into wedges for garnish
1/4 cup finely minced cilantro( optional, but recommended)
Place the noodles in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over them and let soak about 12 minutes. Do not over soak them. You want slightly firm noodles. Drain in a colander.
Combine the sugar, fish sauce, ketchup, paprika, tamarind paste,vinegar and soy sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over medium heat, until the sugar has dissolved..
In a large wok, or saucepan, heat the 1/4 cup oil over high heat. When hot, add the garlic and chicken. When the chicken looks almost done, add the shrimp and continue cooking, stirring often, just until the shrimp turn pink. Add the noodles and toss very, very gently.
In a separate, large saucepan, heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil. Add the beaten eggs, and cook over medium heat just until the eggs are set. Do not stir…simply swirl them until set. Remove and slice into strips. Add to the noodles, along with the scallions and bean sprouts.
Bring the sauce to a boil, and add the minced serranos and lime juice to it.Remove from heat and pour over the noodle mixture. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring very gently, so as not to break up the noodles. Remove from heat and place on a large serving platter. Sprinkle peanuts over all, and garnish with lime wedges and cilantro.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings