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Pad Thai

 
Ingredients

Ingredients for Pad Thai Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup Tamarind sauce or paste, or rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup dark soy sauce
  • 1-2 tsp. fish sauce (if you are strictly Kosher, mix a tsp. of anchovy paste together with a tsp. of soy sauce)
  • 1/3 cup white or brown sugar
  • Chili paste, chili powder or hot sauce, to taste
  • Optional: 1/4 cup chicken broth or water

Rest of ingredients:

  • 3-4 tbsp. oil
  • Rice or wheat noodles, thin vermicelli type (1 pkg. of 7-8 oz. or 200-250g)
  • 8 oz. chicken or lean beef, thinly sliced or firm block of tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1-2 tsp. garlic, chopped or minced
  • 1-2 eggs, optional
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts (1/2 to be reserved as garnish)
  • 3-4 green onions, sliced on bias into 1" pieces
  • 2 cups Mung beansprouts, optional*
  • 1/4 cup of water or chicken stock, to cool down Pad Thai as it cooks or to loosen up noodles once they are added to the wok
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to be served with cooked Pad Thai
  • Sesame seeds, toasted, as garnish
Preparation


For Sauce
Combine all ingredients in a small pot on the stove. Heat on low and bring to a light simmer. Keep warm on low heat. Taste the sauce - add more sugar, sauce or chili as desired - note: Pad Thai is usually served with at least moderate 'heat' or chili. If the sauce is too strong for you, add chicken broth to tone it down. Keep sauce warm at low temperature while you prepare rest of ingredients.

For the Dish:
Prepare rice or wheat noodles according to directions on package and set aside.

Once ingredients are prepared and assembled, heat large wok or skillet to medium high and once hot, add 3 tbsp. oil to wok (experts recommend that you heat wok to high heat, until it is smoking hot - I find this too hot). Add meat to wok in a single layer plus garlic, stir-frying for a minute or so. If using tofu alone, stir fry for a minute until browned and if using tofu in addition to meat, add it now and brown it together with meat. Turn pieces of meat over to brown on other side, for another minute or so.

Add noodles to wok and move them around with a spatula, tongs or large spoon. Add 1/4 cup of the warmed sauce from the pot on the stove over top of noodles. Move noodles around in wok to coat them with the sauce. Add more oil if mixture is sticky and more sauce, if necessary to enhance flavor. If the sauce seems to be drying out, add water or chicken broth to loosen things up.

At this point, you can scrape noodle mixture to one side or make a well in centre of pan and crack an egg - allow it to set for a few seconds and scramble it into the noodle meat mixture.

Add peanuts, green onions and bean sprouts to pan and stir into mixture for another 30-60 seconds. Add more sauce, oil or water/broth, as needed and serve immediately.

Garnish plate with fresh lime wedges, sesame seeds and extra peanuts.