Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Pad Thai

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 20 mins Total: 60 mins Servings: 6 Yield:6 servings


  • 1 (12 ounce) package rice noodles

For the Sauce (Savory, Sweet, Salty, Tangy, Spicy)

  • 2/3 cup tamarind pulp (~200 g) (see note)
  • 1/3 cup fish sauce
  • 3 Tbsp white sugar
  • ½ tsp crushed red pepper
  • 3 Tbsp lime juice or rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sweet chili sauce
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil

For the rest

  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice flour
  • 500g/1 pound boneless, skinless protein like pork, chicken, or prawns, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 3/4 cup sesame oil, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, sliced finely
  • 1 red bell pepper/capsicum (125 g)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 chili pepper, minced
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • ¼ cup crushed peanuts
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Step 1

Soak your rice noodles in room temperature water for around 30 minutes before cooking. Hot water will turn your noodles into a solid mass, so be sure the water is cool. Drain noodles. 

Step 2

Stir the tamarind paste, sugar, and fish sauce in a small pot over medium heat until the sugars dissolve. Add the rest of the sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Taste for savory, sweet, sour, and salty notes in the sauce. Fish sauce will add umami, sugar is sweet, and the tamarind is sour. Adjust to taste. 

Step 3

Toss protein first in 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce, then in the flour, coating pieces evenly. Heat some sesame oil in wok over medium high heat. Place protein in the skillet, cook and stir protein until browned but not cooked through, about 5 minutes. Remove and keep warm. 

Step 4

Add some more sesame oil and heat, then add onions and capsicum, after a few minutes add the garlic, stir until fragrant.

Step 5

Add noodles slowly. Keep the noodles spread out in the pan as much as possible and slowly add sauce a little at a time until the noodles are soft and have soaked it up. If the noodles still don’t seem cooked, add a little water until they are softened. 

Step 6

When the noodles are softer, add the rest of the spices and vegetables (not the bean sprouts) and cooked protein along with sesame oil to keep everything moving. When the vegetables begin to soften, make a well in the center of the noodles. Add the last of the sesame oil to the bottom of the well, let heat, pour in the beaten eggs and scramble. Mix in with the noodles.

Step 7

Turn off heat, add bean sprouts and mix. Serve topped with crushed peanuts, chopped cilantro and wedges of lime

Have crushed peanuts, lime, dried Thai red pepper flakes, and fish sauce on the table. 

NOTE: You can get a ball of tamarind pulp at most markets in Fiji. In a small bowl add boiling water to the pulp and let sit until the water cools. Using your hand, mix the now cooled water with the softened pulp and remove the seeds, seed cases, and pod strings. A nice thick paste is desirable, so use the least amount of water necessary. If you can’t get tamarind paste then a commercial tamarind sauce will work, but decrease or eliminate the sugar in the recipe.  

Adapted from multiple recipes including: 



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