How to Make Pad Thai with Shrimp. Pad Thai Kung Recipe
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Pad Thai with shrimp, one of Thailand's most famous culinary exports, is a dish that when made well is sublime. Unfortunately, too often, it's not made well at all, and when reproduced in America, too often it bears little resemblance to an authentic Pad Thai – THERE IS NO PEANUT BUTTER IN PAD THAI!!!!
OK, with that out of my system, here are some easy to follow
instructions for making an authentic pad Thai at home, There are a number of ingredients,
but there is nothing particularly tricky about the process. You do not need to buy anything labeled pad Thai sauce to make this dish!
Pad Thai with Shrimp
- 200 grams of dried white rice noodles, the ones that are about 1/6 of an inch thick – think linguini sized noodles.
- 1/2 cup of firm tofu, cut into small dice, and fried until golden and chewy, a couple of minutes
- 10-15 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup of bean sprouts
- 2 Tbls of dried shrimp (I actually don't like dried shrimp and so I omit them, but every authentic Pad Thai should include these shrimpy dried bites. They should be available in any Asian grocery store)
- 2 Tbls of toasted peanuts, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 2 Tbls of fish sauce
- 2 Tbls of rice vinegar (or use plain white vinegar as a
substitute), or even better, use 2-3 Tbls of tamarind water!
- 2 tsps of sugar
- 2 tsps of dried chili pepper flakes
- Oil for stir frying
- 2 cups of water
- Heat about 2-3 Tbls of vegetable oil over medium in a wok (You need a good amount of oil for this).
- Toss in your garlic clove. Do not use minced garlic, as you would in western style cooking, for Thai meals, you just flatten a clove of garlic with the side of your knife, but leave it whole. Stir fry the garlic until golden, about 20 seconds and then discard.
- Add the shrimp to the hot oil and cook for about 2 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Remove from the oil and reserve.
- Toss your dried noodles into the oil and then add in the 2 cups of water, bringing the heat up to high to boil the noodles quickly. Noodles take about 3 to 5 minutes, on average, to soften, but the time can vary greatly, sometimes taking as long as 10 minutes. The only way to do it until you get used to a certain brand of noodles, is to boil and taste test as you go. Once the noodles have softened, drain off any excess water (if there is any left). As an alternative, you can pre-boil the noodles, and then skip the wok-boiling step, adding them in straight with the fish sauce and other ingredients as listed below. This is easier, and the way most restaurants do it here in Thailand.
- Add in the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, dried chili and dried shrimp.
- Move the noodles to the side of the wok, and then crack the eggs into the wok bottom, stirring them a little after you crack them in, to break up the yolk/white a bit.
- Let the egg set for about 30 seconds, or until it looks about halfway done, and then stir the egg into the noodles. What you are trying to accomplish is a pad Thai that has strands of cooked egg mixed throughout, and that is why you must wait until the egg has partially set before mixing it into the noodles.
- Add in the tofu, reserved shrimp and bean sprouts, and stir it all together.
- Taste for seasoning, and serve garnished with the peanuts.
Voila! Serve with lime wedges, extra bean sprouts, and extra fish sauce, chili powder and sugar, so that diners may adjust the seasoning further, to their exact liking.
There is nothing all that difficult about making Pad Thai, and once you have all the ingredients at the ready, it can be assembled pretty quickly.