Pad Thai

Submitted by: admin on April 2, 2020

Serves 4


2 tablespoons tamarind paste
3⁄4 cup boiling water
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1⁄4 cup vegetable oil
8 ounces dried rice stick noodles, about 1⁄8 inch wide
2 large eggs
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
12 ounces medium shrimp (41 to 50 per pound), peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, chopped fine (optional)
2 tablespoons Thai salted preserved radish (optional)
6 tablespoons dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
6 ounces bean sprouts (3 cups)
5 scallions, green parts only, sliced thin on bias
1⁄4 cup fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
Lime wedges


Although pad thai cooks very quickly, the ingredient list is long, and everything must be prepared and within easy reach at the stovetop when you begin cooking. For maximum efficiency, use the time during which the tamarind and noodles soak to prepare the other ingredients. If tamarind paste is unavailable, substitute 1⁄3 cup lime juice and 1⁄3 cup water and use light brown sugar instead of granulated. To accurately measure boiling water, bring the water to a boil, then measure it. Look for rice stick noodles that are about the width of linguine. Tofu is a good and common addition to pad thai; if you like, add 4 ounces of extra-firm tofu or pressed tofu (available in Asian markets), cut into 1⁄2-inch cubes, to the noodles along with the bean sprouts.

  1. Soak tamarind paste in boiling water for about 10 minutes, then push it through mesh strainer to remove seeds and fibers and extract as much pulp as possible. Stir fish sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons oil into tamarind liquid and set aside.
  2. Cover rice sticks with hot tap water in large bowl; soak until softened, pliable, and limp but not fully tender, about 10 minutes. Drain noodles and set aside. Beat eggs and 1⁄8 teaspoon salt in small bowl; set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add shrimp, sprinkle with remaining 1⁄8 teaspoon salt, and cook, tossing occasionally, until shrimp are opaque and browned around the edges, about 3 minutes. Transfer shrimp to plate and set aside.
  4. Off heat, add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. Add garlic and shallot, return to medium heat, and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden brown, about 1-1⁄2 minutes. Add eggs and stir vigorously until scrambled and barely moist, about 20 seconds.
  5. Add noodles, along with dried shrimp and salted radish, if using, to skillet and toss to combine. Pour fish sauce mixture over noodles, increase heat to high, and cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are evenly coated.
  6. Scatter 1⁄4 cup peanuts, bean sprouts, all but 1⁄4 cup scallions, and cooked shrimp over noodles. Continue to cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are tender, about 2-1⁄2 minutes (if not yet tender, add 2 tablespoons water to skillet and continue to cook until tender). Transfer noodles to serving platter, sprinkle with remaining scallions, remaining 2 tablespoons peanuts, and cilantro. Serve immediately, passing lime wedges separately.


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