Foodies all know how amazing and delicious Thai cuisine is. Among all the Oriental recipes, Thai food has one of the richest and most savory flavors. The popular recipes are available with lots of variations these days, and are sometimes crossed with other cultures’ cooking styles as well.
Nevertheless, the classic flavors for these Thai dishes remain intact. One authentic dish that retains its distinct Thai identity is Thai noodles.
Pad Thai is the most popular Thai noodle dish. It has a unique set of flavors that sets it apart from your typical pasta and noodle favorites. Despite its rather complex presentation, it’s very easy to make and it takes about 20 minutes to put the meal together.
What you need
- 120g 2-3mm wide flat rice sticks
- 60ml fish sauce
- 60ml tamarind water (you can use tamarind concentrate, thinned with a little water)
- 60g palm sugar
- Pinch of chili powder, to taste
- 80ml groundnut or vegetable oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 100g extra-firm tofu, chopped into small cubes
- 8 large prawns
- 2 large eggs, ready cracked
- 25g preserved salted radish, chopped
- 1 tbsp small dried shrimp
- 100g beansprouts
- 4 stalks Chinese chives, chopped
- 50g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Lime wedges, chili flakes, fish sauce and sugar, to garnish
How to Cook Classic Pad Thai
- Prepare the rice sticks by soaking them in cold water for 30 minutes. Afterwards, set the tenderized rice sticks aside.
- Put the fish sauce, palm sugar, and tamarind in a small pan or wok. Mix it thoroughly under gentle heat to dissolve the sugar. Taste the mixture and add more ingredients according to your preferred flavor.
- Heat a wok and pour in half the oil. Stir fry the garlic for a few seconds. Add the noodles and about a cup of water. Stir fry until the noodles are almost dried out. Add the sauce and fry until it becomes soft enough with a slightly chewy texture. Set the noodles aside.
- Cook the tofu by frying it until it begins to color. Add the eggs and pierce the yolks slowly. Scramble the egg just when it starts to set on the bottom.
- Add the radish, bean sprouts, peanuts, chives, and dried shrimp to the noodles and stir. Fry the noodles and other ingredients until it is thoroughly mixed.
- Serve with garnish.
And there you have it – your delicious pad Thai made in just less than half an hour. If you keep practicing cooking this dish, you might have your own techniques in making the flavor richer. You can also tweak it by adding your favorite ingredients like mushroom and other toppings.
For people who are into spicy stuff, there’s also a spicy, much simpler version of Thai noodles that you may find suitable to your taste.
Spicy Thai Noodles
What you need
- 1 pound linguine
- 1-2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup toasted or regular sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice or rice vinegar
- 6 tablespoons honey
- 6 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- Chopped green onions, shredded carrots, chopped peanuts, chopped cilantro for topping
How to Cook Spicy Pad Thai
- Heat the sesame oil in a small saucepan and add the red pepper flakes. Keep the heat on low for about 10-15 minutes. Filter the oil into a liquid measuring cup using a strainer and discard the pepper flakes. Whisk the rice vinegar or lime juice, honey and soy sauce into the warm oil. Set aside.
- Cook the linguine in a large pot of boiling water with salt. Drain the noodles afterwards and place it in a large bowl.
- Pour the oil mixture into the noodles. Serve it warm.