Ever since our latest excursion to Chinatown in lower Manhattan, where we filled our car trunk full of Asian provisions, all I’ve been cooking is Chinese, Thai, and Japanese – and loving it! Here is one dish I made recently; an easy Pad Thai without the tamarind. According to some sources, the original pad Thai did not contain tamarind. So here is what I did, based on a great recipe I found online at About.com Thai Food. Any extra sauce will freeze or refrigerate for next time (I used mine to marinade and stir fry some vegetables the next day). Serves 4, or 2 adults and 1 hungry teenager.
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 4 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 3 Tbsp sugar
- 3 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp white pepper
- 1 Tbsp Sriracha sauce
- 16 oz packaged rice noodles or mung bean noodles (a.k.a. cellophane or glass noodles)
- 2 dozen large/jumbo raw, shelled shrimp
- 2 boneless chicken breast, cut into 2″ strips
- 2 eggs
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 4 dried red chilies, chopped or crumbled (or green and red chilies)
- 1 Tbsp grated or finely minced ginger
- 6 green onions, sliced (keep white separate from green)
- 3-4 cups bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup roasted, lightly salted peanuts, chopped
- 4 Tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
- 4 Tbsp coarsely chopped cilantro
- lime wedges
- Thai basil leaves
- Place chicken strips in a bowl and toss with the 3 Tbsp soy sauce to marinade.
- Combine Pad Thai Sauce ingredients together in a small bowl, stirring well, and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add noodles and turn off heat. Once noodles have soaked for about 5 minutes, but are still under-cooked, drain, rinse with cold water several times, and set aside in colander. (note package cooking instructions and simply undercook noodles as they will finish cooking in the stir-fry)
- Heat the peanut oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan, over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chopped chilies, ginger, and the white parts of the green onion (reserve the green for serving). Stir-fry about a minute, careful not to burn the ingredients. (Remove wok from heat temporarily if it needs to cool down some.)
- Add the marinated chicken strips and stir-fry 3 minutes. Add the shrimp and continue to stir-fry until they turn pink and chicken is opaque (3-4 minutes). If pan becomes dry, add 1-2 Tbsp. of the pad Thai sauce as needed to keep ingredients frying.
- Push ingredients to the side of the wok with your spatula, adding more oil if necessary. Crack open the eggs into the center and scramble quickly. Then add the noodles plus more pad Thai sauce. Using two utensils, or rubber-tipped grippers, lift and turn noodles to mix and stir-fry with other ingredients. Continue adding more sauce as needed (about 8 minutes), careful not to overcook the noodles or they will fall apart.
- Fold in the bean sprouts and remove from heat; taste and add more fish sauce if necessary, mixing well.
- Divide into 4 large bowls (I warm mine in the microwave for a minute first). Place the Thai basil and lime wedges on the side of the plates; garnish with the sliced green onion and a handful of the chopped peanuts. Serve immediately and เพลิดเพลิน!!