Pad Thai (Thai Fried Noodles)
Saveur Jan/Feb 2002
Dried flat rice stick noodles
3 tbsp. Tamarind pulp
3 tbsp. palm sugar or light brown sugar
2 tbsp. nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
1 tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. Thai chili powder
7 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 small shallots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
6 oz. medium shrimp, peeled, with tail intact, and deveined
2 oz. smoked or fresh firm tofu, diced
2 tbsp. tiny dried shrimp
Half bunch Chinese chives or 4 scallions, green part only, Cut into 2" pieces
1/4 cup chopped pickled turnips
1 1/2 Cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 lime, quartered
1. Soak noodles in a large bowl of hot water until pliable, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. Dissolve tamarind pulp in 1 cup water in a small bowl, then strain through a sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on pulp with the back of a spoon to push most of it through. Discard seeds. Stir sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and chili powder into tamarind liquid and set sauce aside.
2. Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs and swirl around skillet to form an even layer. Cook until set on one side, about 1 minute, then turn and cook on other side until set, about 20 seconds more. Transfer omelette to a cutting board, thinly slice, and set aside.
3. Heat the remaining 6 tbsp. oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add shallots and garlic and stir-fry until soft, about 10 seconds. Add medium shrimp and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add tofu, dried shrimp, chives, turnips, half the bean sprouts, half the peanuts, the noodles, the sliced omelette, and the reserved sauce and stir-fry, tossing constantly, until noodles absorb most of sauce and sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Garnish each serving with the remaining bean sprouts and peanuts and serve with limes.
Serves 4 - 6