Growing up (well I’m still growing up, but you get the point) my dad cooked me all sorts of food from around the world, especially Asian food. Basically the only classic dish that was never cooked for me was Pad Thai, and as a result I would stuff my face with it almost every time I went out to a Thai restaurant.
But after finding this post by Chez Pim, I will never buy Pad Thai from a restaurant again. It changed everything
This is the best Pad Thai recipe I’ve ever tried, no competition. I tried it out for the first time while cooking for a good friend of mine – who, by way of her enthusiasm, unwittingly put the heat on me.
“Ohh yus I can’t wait!”
“No don’t get your hopes up, I’ve never made it before!”
“… I’m still so excited”
It is my pleasure however to report that it was a success! The brilliant tutorial on how to make Pad Thai from chezpim.com was my saviour. Because it’s quite long (though definitely worth the read), I’ve summarised the main tips for you (you’re welcome).
Tips for a top Pad Thai
- Make sure your wok is nice and hot
- Pre-make the sauce: mix it beforehand so you can taste it to check you have the balance right, and it also means that you don’t have to fluff around with different sauces while the pad thai overcooks and burns
- 2 cups of sauce will serve about 6 portions
- When pre-boiling the noodles, do not overcook them: cook them till only just done, as they will finish cooking in the wok. If they are overcooked they will break up and turn to mush
- Never have too much in the wok at once: if there is too much in there it won’t cook as well and will become gluggy
Scroll down for the recipe. Good luck!
Grinding the dried shrimp with a mortar and pestle makes them nice and fluffy and able to be dispersed throughout the meal without forming chunks. Trust me you do not want chunks of these smelly babies.
As you can see, I didn’t really follow the “never have too much in the wok at once” tip. I went a bit overboard with the noodles, but it still tasted delicious! And there’s always next time to get it right.
It’s not a proper recipe as such, it just gives a list of the basic ingredients and cooking techniques, then the cook can decide what to make of it. As Pim says on her post, everyone’s ingredients are different, so there is no one correct recipe. Here is how I did it:
Chicken, cut into thin strips
Homemade Pad Thai sauce (made from tamarind paste, fish sauce, palm sugar, paprika, cayenne)
Garlic, finely chopped
Pad thai noodles, boiled until almost cooked and then drained
Roasted, unsalted peanuts, roughly ground
Dried shrimp, ground till fluffy
Spring onions, sliced thinly lengthways
Lime wedges, to serve with
- Heat oil in a wok until hot, then fry the chicken until about halfway done (1-2 min)
- Add a tablespoon or 2 of sauce to flavour the chicken, along with the garlic. Cook for another min
- Add noodles (about 2 loosely packed cups per portion), prawns, and more sauce if you wish. Stir rigorously in the wok and cook till soft. If the noodles stick together, add more oil.
- When the noodles are ready, move the noodles to one side of the wok and crack an egg into the middle. Let the egg sit and cook for about 15-20 seconds, then quickly toss everything together
- Add peanuts, dried shrimp, beansprouts. Add more sauce if it looks pale or doesn’t have enough flavour
- Cook till prawns are done, then add spring onions and turn off heat. Toss around once more to mix in the spring onions, and serve immediately.
- Hot wok
- Pre-make the sauce
- 2 cups sauce = about 6 portions
- Don’t overcook noodles when pre-boiling them
- Keep amount in wok to a minimum
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