taken from WORLD KITCHEN THAILAND by Murdoch Books
This is one of the most famous dishes in Thailand. Everyone who visits should try it, otherwise they have not really been there at all. To make it, you need to use small white noodles of the dried sen lek variety (Kimba's Tip: Or you can just use Pad Thai Rice Noodles from Coles). You can substitute meat for prawns.
150g dried noodles (sen lek) or Pad Thai Rice Noodles from Coles
300g raw large prawns
3 tablespoons tamarind puree
2 tablespoons palm sugar (Kimba's Tip: If you cannot find palm sugar, brown sugar works fine!)
2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
85g Chinese chives (1 bunch)
1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, depending on taste
2 tablespoons dried shrimp, ground or pounded
2 tablespoons preserved turnip, finely chopped
2 1/2 - 3 tablespoons roasted peanuts
180g bean sprouts
3 spring onions, chopped
1 long red chilli, seeded and shredded, for garnish
a few coriander leaves, for garnish
lime wedges, to serve
Soak the noodles in hot water for 1-2 minutes, or until soft, then drain.
Peel and devein the prawns and cut each prawn along the back so it opens like a butterfly (leave each prawn joined along the base and at the tail, leaving the tail attached).
Combine the tamarind puree with the fish sauce and palm sugar in a bowl.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a wok or frying pan and stirfry the garlic over medium heat until it is light brown. Add the peeled prawns and cook for 2 minutes.
Using a spatula, move the prawns out from the middle of the work. Add another 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil to the wok. Add the eggs and stir to scramble for 1 minute. Add the noodles and chives and stirfry for a few seconds. Add the fish sauce mixture, chilli powder, dried shrimp, preserved turnip and half of the peanuts. Add half of the bean sprouts and spring onions. Test the noodles for tenderness and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
Spoon onto the serving plate and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts. Garnish with shredded chillies and coriander leaves. Place the lime wedges and remaining bean sprouts and spring onions at the side of the dish.
This dish was absolutely AMAZING. The only thing I didn't have were the preserved turnips but I thought it was fine to do without. Be careful not to oversoak the rice noodles in the beginning, cos it does end up all crumbly and less firm when you stirfry it later on... that's MY lesson to learn.. I would've loved my rice noodles to remain as longer "strings" and not all crumbly! Overall, I would rate this dish 9 out of 10. I'm bias, cause I love Thai food and especially Pad Thai :)