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Pad Thai

Pad Thai

Chef Pengyew Chin

Pengyew Catering, www.pycatering.com, Amherst, MA

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup fish sauce (Golden Boy brand is best)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup rice vinegar (Roland is a good brand)
  • 2 tbsp chili sauce (Tuong Ot Toi Vietna) OR 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 tsp garlic, minced
  • 4 tbsp preserved radish (unsweetened), chopped
  • 1 lb shrimp, peeled and de-veined
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 lb rice noodles (Banh Pho)
  • 1 cup Pad Thai sauce
  • water if needed
  • lb Mung bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
  • ¾ cup unsalted peanuts
  • ½ cup scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped

Method:

Soak the rice noodles in a container with enough hot, not boiling, water to just cover. Noodles should be soft enough to eat, but still retain their shape. After about 1/2 hour, drain, cover and set aside.
Heat the sauce ingredients in a saucepan until the sugar dissolves. The extra sauce keeps well if refrigerated.
Chop the garlic, preserved radish, roasted peanuts, cilantro and scallion. Prepare the shrimp. Divide all of these into four equal portions, as you must cook them all separately to ensure that the Pad Thai is cooked quickly and slightly scorched.
Heat a wok or frying pan on high until it begins to smoke. Add 2 tbsp oil to coat the surface and add 1 tsp garlic and 1 tbsp radish, stirring rapidly until the they start to turn golden brown.
Add 1/4 of the shrimp and stir fry. Crack an egg over the shrimp and scramble.
Before the egg is completely cooked, add 1/4 of the rice noodles and 4 tbsp of the Pad Thai sauce. Mix well and continue to fry for about 5 minutes. If noodles are still too chewy, add 2 tbsp water and continue cooking. Cook, adding more water if necessary, until the noodles are softer than al dente, dry, shiny with oil, and slightly scorched.
Remove from heat, add 1/4 of the mung bean sprouts and chopped peanuts. If you prefer a saucier dish of noodles, add some more Pad Thai sauce at this stage. Toss and mix well.
Place the Pad Thai on a plate or noodle bowl and garnish with 1/4 of the chopped cilantro and scallion.
NOTE: For a vegetarian version, use soy sauce (Kikkoman) for the fish sauce, cubes of firm fried tofu for the shrimp and omit the egg (if you choose). For those with peanut allergies, simply omit the nuts.