Shrimp Pad ThaiPosted: September 3, 2011
Another delicious Thai dish coming at you. Pad Thai is a noodle stir fry that takes around 5 minutes to cook. If you go to Thailand, you’ll see tons of street vendors preparing Pad Thai in a matter of seconds.
Most people (including myself) shy away from preparing international recipes like this out fear of finding the ingredients. Before you run, let me put your mind at rest. Almost all of the ingredients required for this dish can be purchased on-line and have a very long shelf life. Each ingredient has an e-commerce hyperlink and I provide advise in the “tips” section below. The only ‘fresh’ ingredients you’ll really need to worry about are the sprouts and chives. Everything else can sit in your apt for weeks without going bad.
With this recipe, you’ll begin with the Pad Thai sauce a and follow with the stir fry. The sauce recipe makes multiple servings which is great for more attempts later in the week. The sauce is the most time consuming (20 mins) part of this recipe.
I adapted this recipes from the one listed at importfood.com. I scoured the internet for hours and have found this to be the most accurate representation of authentic / restaurant style Pad Thai. If you’re in Hoboken, this is a very close replica of the version at Sri Thai on 3rd and Bloomfield.
Serving Size (2 people)
Estimated time: 45 minutes (15 minutes prep, 25 minutes cooking sauce, 5 minutes cooking pad thai)
Sauce (makes 3-4 servings)
- 1/4 cup palm sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate mixed with 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup sriracha sauce
- 7 oz of rice stick noodles
- 1/4 cup pad thai sauce (above)
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup uncooked shrimp (fresh or frozen/thawed, peeled and deveined)
- 1 tablespoon shallot, diced
- 1/4 cup noodle tofu, blotted dry (optional, found in the refrigerated of a supermarket)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts (found in the produce section)
- 1/4 cup fresh chives or green onions, sliced into 1/4″ pieces
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons roasted (unsalted) peanuts, chopped
- oil for stir frying (I use canola)
What You’ll Need:
- small pan
- wok or big frying pan
- Start by making the Pad Thai sauce. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small pan and heat on low until palm sugar is dissolved.
- In the meantime, you can begin to prepare ingredients (chop whatever needs to be chopped).
- Once the sugar is dissolved in the sauce pan (should take 20-25 minutes), increase heat to a quick boil (a few seconds) and then remove from heat. The sauce is done.
- Soak the rice stick noodles in water for about 5-10 minutes. You want to soak them enough to the point where their softened but still somewhat hard. They’ll get softer once in the wok.
- Now it’s time to stir fry. Stir fry calls for high heat and quick action, so make sure all of your ingredients are read to roll before you turn the heat on. You’ll need 2 utensils to stir-fry the pad thai.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok and cook the shrimp until done. This takes about 3-5 minutes…shrimp cook quick and are ready when they’re pink. Make sure to flip them often.
- Remove shrimp and place in a bowl.
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil in the same wok and stir fry shallots and tofu for a 10-15 seconds.
- Take the noodles out of the water and toss into the wok. Add 1/4 cup of water and stir.
- Add 1/4 cup of the prepared Pad Thai sauce and mix into the noodles.
- Make sure to constantly separate the noodles (using 2 utensils) to prevent them from sticking to one another. If noodles are too sticky, add a little oil.
- Once noodles are cooked (1-2 minutes) and sauce is incorporated, it’s time to add the egg. Move noodles to one side of the wok and toss the beaten egg into the wok. Scramble and stir the egg until cooked (about a minute).
- Turn off the heat, toss in the rest of the ingredients (sugar, shrimp, sprouts, and chives) and stir until combined thoroughly.
- That’s it…turn off the heat and serve.
- Vegetarian option: replace fish sauce with light soy sauce.
- If making a big batch of Pad Thai (more than what this recipes calls for), separate into multiple batches so you don’t overcrowd the wok.
- Thai specific ingredients (unlikely to be found in a conventional supermarket) include: palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind concentrate, sriracha sauce and rice stick noodles.
- You have 2 options: 1)if you live in our around Manhattan, you can buy them at an Asian market. One that I recommend is Kalustyan’s on 28th and Lex. They also have an e-commerce site. The other option is 2) buy the ingredients on import food.com (the hyperlinks above).
- The shelf life on these Thai specific products is VERY long. Palm sugar, fish sauce and the noodles are good in a cabinet while sriracha sauce and tamarind should be refrigerated once opened.
- My suggestion is to go out and buy these ingredients now if you think you’ll want to make this dish at some point. They will be there in your pantry/fridge and good to go when you’re ready. The rest of the stuff (shallots, shrimp, peanuts, tofu, sprints, chives) you can get at a grocery store a day or 2 ahead of time.
- I typically go with frozen shrimp…one less thing to worry about spoiling.
- If you’re in Hoboken, you can get all of the ‘fresh’ stuff at an Asian owned bodega….almost all of them carry tofu, chives and shallots.