Phat Thai or Pad Thai is a popular Thai style stir-fried, rice noodles dish. Pad thai literally means ‘Thai style frying’. Thai style fried noodles are combined with chicken, fish sauce, eggs, tamarind juice and spiked with flakes of red chili to make a delicious and classic pad thai.
A typical pad thai can be made with chicken, pork, shrimp or tofu. To enhance the taste of Pad Thai a host of traditional Thai condiments are used.
History of Pad Thai
Pad thai is a popular Thai street food dish that has been around for quite some time. Initially a variant of this dish was brought into Thailand by Vietnamese traders. However pad thai as we know it today, was popularized around the time of the Second World War (late 1930’s and early 1940’s) by the then prime minister Luang Phibunsongkram.
In Thailand, pad thai is served with raw banana flower and slices of spring onion or cucumber. Some Thai restaurants serve pad thai surrounded by tiny bowls of condiments like fish sauce, white sugar, green chilies and ground red chili paste.
For The Sauce
Block of tamarind – 100g
Warm water – 300ml
Palm sugar – 200g
Caster sugar- 50g
Thai seasoning sauce – 150ml
For The Main Dish
Large prawns cleaned and de-veined – 10 nos
Dried shrimp – 10g
Red onion sliced finely – ¼ of a whole
Hard tofu sliced – 40g
Preserved turnip – 40 g
Eggs (whole) – 2
Rice noodles soaked In warm water for half an hour – 200g
Garlic – A few pods
Bean sprouts – 3 Cups
Fried shallots- A Few
Roasted peanuts chopped – 3 Tbsp
Dried chili flakes – 1tsp
1. Take a glass bowl and fill it with warm water. Next, immerse the tamarind block into the bowl of warm water. Knead the tamarind block well to remove the tamarind pulp from the seeds.
2. Continue kneading till all the pulp is removed from the tamarind seeds. Now squeeze out the tamarind pulp to extract the tamarind juices. After the last drop of tamarind juice has been extracted, discard the tamarind pulp and the seeds. Pour the tamarind juice extract through a fine sieve into a smaller bowl.
3. Place a medium sized wok over a medium flame. Pour the freshly squeezed tamarind juice into the wok. Stir the tamarind juice lightly and add caster sugar, palm sugar and seasoning sauce of your choice. Allow the liquid to bubble gently. Continue boiling the tamarind juice concoction till it has reduced and taken on a slightly syrupy consistency.
4. Now place a large sized wok over a medium flame. Toss the cleaned prawns into the wok and fry them till they take on a light pink color. Once the prawns are cooked, add the red onion slices, dried shrimp, sliced tofu and the preserved turnip. Saute the ingredients for a couple of minutes.
5. Next push the ingredients in the wok to one side and fry the two eggs. You can gently divide the eggs as they cook.
6. Once the eggs are done combine them with the rest of the ingredients in the wok.
7. Toss the soaked and drained rice noodles into the wok. Add two tablespoons of water, garlic pods, three cups of bean sprouts, three tablespoons of chopped peanuts, fried shallots, chili flakes and the tamarind sauce (which was prepared earlier). Sauté the noodles for a couple of minutes
8. Serve pad thai with a sprinkling of crushed peanuts and wedges of lime.
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