A Pad Thai that takes you back to your first trip to Thailand!
Pad Thai is a popular Thai street food dish that has gained international popularity. It typically consists of stir-fried rice noodles, eggs, tofu or shrimp, and a flavorful sauce. It is often garnished with crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, green onions, and lime wedges.
Here are some additional details about Pad Thai:
- Rice Noodles: Pad Thai traditionally uses flat rice noodles, which are soft and chewy. You can find them in the Asian section of most grocery stores or at Asian markets. They should be soaked in hot water until softened before stir-frying.
- Tamarind Paste: Tamarind paste is made from the pulp of the tamarind fruit and adds a tangy and slightly sweet flavor to the dish. It is an essential ingredient in Pad Thai sauce and can be found in the Asian or international aisle of the supermarket.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce is a staple in Thai cuisine and provides a savory and salty flavor to the dish. It is made from fermented fish and is available in most grocery stores or Asian markets.
- Bean Sprouts: Bean sprouts add a crunchy texture to Pad Thai. They are commonly used in Asian cuisine and can be found in the produce section of the supermarket.
- Peanuts: Crushed peanuts are a classic garnish for Pad Thai. They add a nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch. You can use roasted peanuts and crush them using a mortar and pestle or place them in a sealed plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin.
- Lime Wedges: Serving Pad Thai with lime wedges is traditional and allows you to squeeze fresh lime juice over the dish before eating. The acidity of the lime juice enhances the flavors of the dish.
- Optional Ingredients: Pad Thai is versatile, and you can customize it to your preferences. You can add other ingredients such as chicken, pork, beef, or tofu instead of shrimp. You can also include additional vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli to add more color and nutrition.
Pad Thai is a flavorful and satisfying dish that combines sweet, sour, salty, and umami flavors. It’s a great choice for a quick and delicious Asian-inspired meal at home.
Homemade Pad Thai Recipe
Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll need:
- 8 ounces (225g) rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 ounces (225g) shrimp, peeled and deveined (optional)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
Now, here’s how to prepare Pad Thai:
- Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and set aside.
- In a large wok or skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the minced garlic and chopped shallot to the pan and stir-fry for about 1 minute until fragrant.
- If using shrimp, add them to the pan and cook until they turn pink and opaque, usually around 2-3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan and set aside.
- Push the garlic, shallot, and shrimp (if using) to one side of the pan. Pour the beaten eggs into the other side of the pan and scramble them until they’re just cooked.
- Add the cooked rice noodles to the pan, followed by fish sauce, tamarind paste, and sugar. Toss everything together to combine the flavors and evenly coat the noodles.
- Stir in the bean sprouts and sliced green onions, reserving a few for garnish.
- Continue cooking and stirring for another 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
- Remove from heat and garnish with crushed peanuts, reserved bean sprouts, and green onions.
- Serve hot with lime wedges on the side. Optionally, you can garnish with fresh cilantro.
Homemade Pad Thai sauce:
- 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili sauce (optional, for heat)
In a small bowl, combine the tamarind paste, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, and chili sauce (if using).
Stir the mixture until the sugar is dissolved and all the ingredients are well combined.
Taste the sauce and adjust the flavors to your liking. You can add more lime juice for tanginess, more sugar for sweetness, or more fish sauce for saltiness.
If the sauce is too thick, you can add a tablespoon or two of water to thin it out.
Once the sauce is ready, you can use it immediately in your Pad Thai recipe or store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
This homemade Pad Thai sauce is a delicious combination of sweet, sour, and savory flavors that will enhance the taste of your Pad Thai dish. Feel free to adjust the ingredients according to your personal preferences to achieve the desired balance of flavors.
Enjoy your homemade Pad Thai!