Pad Thai is a symbol of Thai nationalism. After World War 2, one of the prime-ministers put all of Thailand’s resources into creating a non-wheat based noodle since the latter were proof of dependence on China. God damn Western spies. Pad Thai can be made with either shrimp, chicken, beef, or a combination of all three. But not pork since pork was also proof of dependence on China. I decided to go with shrimp, which I later regretted. So it turns out that these things are like 20 dollars a pound at the store. Lie down, try not to cry, cry a lot. You can make this dish with a prepared Pad Thai sauce or you can make one right at home using palm sugar, tarmarind paste, radish preserve, fish oil, water, and chili paste. I prefer buying it from the store because it is cheaper than buying all the separate ingredients. Lets begin!
12 ounce dry rice noodles, 0.75 cm thick
1 kg shrimp, 30 count/lbs (or 0.5 kg shrimp and 0.5 kg chicken)
3 tbsp oil
3 squares fried tofu
3 shallots, finely chopped
2 cup Pad Thai sauce
1 tsp roasted Thai red chili paste
150 grams Chinese chives, chopped into 2 inch long pieces, plus more for garnish
2 tbsp chopped peanuts, plus more for garnish
300 grams bean sprouts, plus more for garnish
Lime wedges for garnish
Soak the dry rice noodles in hot water for 10-12 minutes and then shock with cold water. Basically we want them to be soft but still uncooked from the inside. In large wok, heat the oil on high heat and cook the shrimp for 1 minutes or until they turn pink.
Remove from heat and set aside.
In the same oil, fry the chopped tofu until it becomes a bit crispy on all sides. Add the chopped shallots and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
At this time I realized my pan was too small so I had to move everything to a bigger one. Add the noodles and Pad Thai sauce and chili paste and mix gently until all the noodles are evenly coated.
Now move everything to one side and add the eggs. Let the eggs cook half way before scrambling them and mixing with the noodle.
Add the cooked shrimp, bean sprouts, chives, and chopped peanuts and give it a quick toss. Turn on the heat.
Serve the Pad Thai with extra bean sprouts, chives, lime wedges, and crushed chili powder on the side. Sprinkle a little bit of chopped peanuts on top. This dish pairs well with a semi-dry white like a Riesling or a Pinot Gris.