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Monday, August 23, 2010

Phad Thai

Sometimes I mess up....

Had some very dear friends over at our place a few days back and I made them this gloppy, mushy, too sweet and really bad looking pad Thai that everybody claimed tasted just like baingan ka bharta (roasted eggplant curry).
hmmm I wonder how the eggplant I make tastes like ??? :-) LOL

lot of things went wrong.
  • I let the rice noodles soak in the water too long (40 mins), they turned waaaay softer than necessary and broke very easily.
  • I added the eggs after adding the noodles. That just made a big giant blob of everything.
  • The sauce had too much palm sugar.
  • I couldn't get raw shrimp so had to get pre cooked shrimp. I suppose they are OK for cocktails and stuff but for this they got too tough and couldn't absorb any of the flavors from the sauce.
  • Chopped the tofu too small!
Tried making it again and I think It came out much much better. Looks better too :-)
I made this vegetarian without any shrimp however the recipe below includes shrimp.

(serves 2-3)
(prep time 40 mins)

Oil 1/4 cup
Garlic 1 1/2 Tbs (minced fine)
Shallots 2 Tbs (minced fine)
Red Thai chilies 4 Tbs (sliced thin)
Shrimp 6-8 med size (deveined)
Egg 1 large
Tofu 1 cup (cut into 1" cube)
Dried shrimp 2 Tbs (optional)
Pad Thai sauce 1/2 cup
(2/3 cup tamarind pulp + 1/4 cup soy sauce + 2 Tbs fish sauce + 1 Tbs palm sugar cooked over med low heat for 30 mins)
*Rice noodles 3 cups (**soaked in hot water for 10 mins only!)
Garlic chives 2/3 cup (cut into 4" strips)
Bean sprouts 2/3 cup
Spring onions 1/2 cup (cut into 2" strips)
Roasted peanuts 1/4 cup (crushed)
Juice of 1 large lime
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Chili flakes 1/2 tsp

It's important to follow this order

I listed the ingredients in the order they go into the wok.
Please make sure you have everything ready.
Heat up some oil in a wok.
Add the garlic cook for 30 seconds
Add the shallots and chilies cook for a minute.
Add shrimp and cook for 3 minutes.
Crack in the egg and let it set for a bit and then scramble it.
Add tofu and stir for another minute.
Add dried shrimp and cook for a few seconds.
Add the pad thai sauce.
Dump the noodles in and mix well.
Add garlic chives, bean sprouts, spring onions, crushed peanuts and stir for no longer than a minute.
Sprinkle some lime juice, coarse pepper and chili flakes.
Combine well.

* Rice noodles come in different thicknesses, I used 3mm. They are also called rice sticks and I am pretty sure I saw some fresh ones at Uwajimaya that don't need to be soaked in water.

**Bring a pot full of water to a gentle simmer and turn the heat off. The pot should be wide enough for the noodles to swim around. Soak the noodles for 10 mins only, when you take them out they should be el-dente. Drain well and allow to cool before adding it to the wok.


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