Last night I made my second foray into the world of thai cuisine, seeking to duplicate the recipe I had so meticulously followed the night before that. This time round however I winged it, gathered what ingredients I could recall, followed the method with rough corners and without measuring the amounts. Result = success! So here’s my rough and ready method to making a decent pad thai.
First, you need to do a little prep. Groan! It’s easy though, so shut up. You julienne a little firm tofu (that means cut it into french fries), you chop up a fat piece of garlic, you boil a little pasta till its soft, and get your bean sprouts, egg, deveined and peeled shrimp ready to rock and roll.
Then you prepare the sauce in a little side pot, adding the official Fish Sauce (salty reduction of boiled little fish, it’s a Thai thing), paprika and a dash of sugar (you should also add tamarind paste, but I don’t have any and have left it out). Leave that simmering.
Get your wok or big ol’ pan and heat it till it’s smoking hot. Then add a slurp of peanut oil (not olive, it can’t take the heat), and throw in that tofu. Prepare for spitting and sizzling! If the oil is hot enough it should immediately make the tofu golden, and be handy with the flipping so that it doesn’t burn. Throw in the garlic, allow that to yellow, and then dump in all the softened pasta. Mix in the sauce and then toss that around for a bit. You’re almost there.
Clear a space to one side of the pan and break in the egg. Allow it to fry for about ten seconds till it starts to go white, and then scramble it in with the rest.
Then, when the moment is right, throw in the bean sprouts, toss that some more, add the crushed peanuts (I forgot to mention those), and a little water probably so that the whole shebang doesn’t dry out. Add the shrimp last, cook those fast for about fifteen seconds till they turn roseate, and you’re done!
Bung the whole mess onto a large plate, squirt liberal amounts of lime juice over it all, and munch away.
Ta – da!