Bangkok-style pad thai is easier than you think to stir fry at home. Naturally sweet and salty, with a bit of fish sauce umami going on, you’ll want to start keeping rice noodles on hand at all times!
Thanks go to Natty and her treasure trove of Thai cooking tips over at Thai Table. I’m still trying to locate tamarind here in the woods, but substituting vinegar and interesting sweetness (I use coconut sugar and coconut aminos), works well.
Amy’s Kitchen Coach Tips:
- Thanks to Linda of Hummingbird’s Kitchen for this simple, drizzly peanut sauce: in food processor combine ½ cup roasted peanuts, 2 Tablespoons sunflower butter, ½ cup water, and a couple pinches of salt (hold this if your peanuts are salted). Process until smooth. This should produce a drizzle-able sauce, if too thick, just add more water by the tablespoon.
- Fish sauce, best brands: Tiparos and Red Boat. (Red Boat is the best – check out their video!)
- Sambal oelek, look for the plastic jars with the rooster by Huy Fong, a company based in L.A.’s Chinatown
- Save any leftovers! Husband says they heat up just great!
- ½ package rice noodles (packages are usually 14 - 16 oz., so you want 7-8 oz.; noodles are long and about 1/8 -inch wide; try to find from Thailand)
- 2 Tablespoons coconut oil or other high-heat cooking oil
- 1 bunch green onions (about 8); white part split lengthwise and chopped crossways (cut green tops into 3-inch pieces and reserve)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced and mashed
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 Tablespoons coconut sugar (or regular sugar)
- 2 Tablespoons tamarind (OR 2 Tbsp. rice vinegar OR 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar + 1 Tbsp. coconut aminos)
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce (best brands: Tiparos, Red Boat)
- ½ teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
- 1 egg
- 8 oz. package mung bean sprouts, rinsed
- 8 oz. extra firm tofu
- optional: 8 oz. shrimp (peeled, deveined and cooked until pink)
- 2 Tablespoons roasted peanuts, chopped
- lime wedges
- peanut sauce
- chili paste or sriracha
- Bring a large pot of water to boil and remove from heat. Add the rice noodles and soak until flexible, but not mushy. You want them a bit underdone rather than overdone as you are going to cook them more during the stir fry. (My 1/8-inch noodles were just right at 8 minutes. May take 8 - 20 minutes depending on thickness of the noodles.) When done, transfer noodles from the hot water into a bowl; set aside.
- In a small bowl, mix together the coconut sugar, tamarind (or vinegar concoction), fish sauce, and chili paste; set aside.
- In another small bowl, whisk egg with a fork; set aside.
- Heat wok or other large pan over medium-high heat. Add the cooking oil and heat. Things go quickly from here on out: add aromatics (white part of green onions, shallot, and garlic) and stir-fry a couple minutes. Add drained noodles and sauce (from Step 2) to wok and stir fry. Push noodles over to one side of the wok and add the egg to the bottom. Scramble the egg then stir fry into the other ingredients in the wok.
- Add the bean sprouts, green tops of the green onions, tofu and/or cooked shrimp, and peanuts. Done!
- Serve with lime wedges, peanut sauce, and additional chili paste or sriracha.