Friday, November 26, 2010

Pad Thai

Let's just say no one can say they've had Thai food without ever trying Pad Thai. The dish differs slightly here and there, but ultimately some of the key ingredients/garnishings show up inevitably in every version out there, namely bean sprouts, garlic chives (韮菜, nira, hẹ), shrimps, tofu, eggs, lime, crushed peanuts, and the Pad Thai sauce itself!

Pad Thai from Thai Avenue, Boulder, Colorado.

There are 2 ways to make Pad Thai:
1. The traditional way, making the sauce from scratch, then using the sauce to make the dish. This traditional way is a bit tough, of course, because there will be hard to find ingredients. I found the recipe for this Pad Thai sauce from
2. The quick way, using a ready-made Pad Thai sauce. Super duper easy and fast since you don't have to bother with the sauce at all!

Here's the recipe to make Pad Thai sauce from scratch.

Seasonings: per 2 servings of Pad Thai
- Palm sugar (đường thốc nốc), 2 heaping Tablespoons
- Thai fish sauce (preferably Squid brand), 4 Tablespoons
- Tamarind concentrate, 2 Tablespoons
- Thai Sriracha sauce (preferably Shark brand, mild or strong if you want your Pad Thai spicy),
***Picture from

***Picture from Thai Food & Travel.

- Simmer palm sugar, fish sauce, Srichara sauce, and tamarind concentrate together until sugar are all melted and sauce thickens. Set aside to use or refrigerate up to 1 week.

Ready made Pad Thai sauce. So far I've only tried Mae Ploy brand and it wasn't too bad.
***Picture from

Here are what I used to make Pad Thai. Again I am not claiming this to be my recipe, because it's not.

Ingredients: per 2 servings of Pad Thai
- Rice noodles sticks, or rice sticks, or better known as dry Pho noodles, any brand will work but note the noodles must be flat and not rounded, 1/3 pack, medium width.
- Eggs, 2 medium (1 per serving)
- Shrimps, small or medium, peeled and deveined, as many as desired, dunk in boiling water but do not cook
- Fried tofu, sliced into strips, a small handful per serving
- Bean sprouts, rinsed well, a handful per serving
- Garlic chives, washed and cut into 2-inch lengths, as much as desired
- Fresh shallots, sliced. If fresh is not available, fried shallots is a good substitute.
- Optional: salted/pickled radish, rinse and squeeze to drain water.
- Lime, 1 wedge per serving, for garnish
- Crushed peanuts, as much as desired, for garnish

Dry Pho noodles, or rice sticks
***Picture from

The jar says fried red onion, but it's actually shallots. This is the brand I always use, but any brand should work.
***Picture from

- 1 Hour before cooking, soak the dry Pho noodles in hot (not boiling) water
- Heat oil in wok, crack in 1 egg and scramble briefly and transfer to plate
- Throw in the shrimps, cook quickly and transfer to plate along with eggs
- Cook shallots, salted/pickled radish, and tofu until fragrant
- Grab half of the noodles from the its soaking water and throw into wok, stir fry until soften
- Add bean sprouts, garlic chives, pour on Pad Thai sauce and stir fry until noodles are well coated
- Add the scrambled eggs and shrimps back into the wok, mix well and transfer to plate
- Serve hot with a wedge of lime and crushed peanuts.

Pad Thai made at home in the states with sauce made from scratch using the recipe above.

Pad Thai made here in Japan with Mae Ploy ready-made Pad Thai sauce.

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