Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Ultimate Pad Thai Recipe

I was pretty excited when I saw that Lorraine had posted this wonderful recipe for Pad Thai on her blog. The photos simply said it all. The almost deep and rich orange hue of the noodles was the sign of a winner and it's as authentic as it gets. None of the dry, pale-looking noodles with dry chunks of chicken meat and scattering of chives, egg and tofu that I usually get in Sydney. For the record, I never order pad thai though Mr TFWL likes to always give it a chance. My preference is still to order pad kee mao (my favourite pad kee mao is from Pom's Thai in Burwood, now Strathfield).

Anyway, this is how I like my pad thai - saucy and moist noodles with the right balance of sweet and sour from the tamarind and palm sugar, with saucy bits of egg crumble tossed through the noodles. Notice the key word is saucy. Loving this pad thai sauce and if you make a big batch of it, the rest of the preparation and cooking is a breeze (well, almost!). Thanks Lorraine for the recipe!

Pad Thai Recipe
Adapted from Not Quite Nigella

Ingredients (for 2 servings):
125g/4.41ozs. rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes until almost softened
Oil for frying
150g shelled prawns (or subsitute with pork or chicken)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 carrot, julienned finely (optional)
2 tablespoons sweet preserved turnip* washed with some warm water and then squeezed and drained (optional - I didn't have any)
2 eggs
1/4 cup garlic chives cut into inch long pieces
2 cups bean sprouts
1/3 cup chopped, roasted peanuts
Sauce 1 (stir fry sauce)

Stir-fry sauce (combine in a bowl):
1/3 cup chicken stock (or use 1/3 cup water mixed with 1/3 tsp chicken stock powder)
1.5 tablespoons Thai sweet chilli sauce
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime/lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3 teaspoons palm sugar
Sauce 2 (pad thai sauce)

Pad Thai sauce (makes a large batch for enough for 16-20 servings):
3 coriander roots, well washed and finely chopped
150g/5ozs. garlic, peeled and chopped
150g/5ozs. shallots, peeled and chopped
50g/1.7ozs. dried large chillies (not small, they're too hot)
2 tablespoons salt
4 cups water
240g/8.5ozs. palm sugar, sliced
220g/7.7ozs. tamarind puree


  1. Prepare the pad thai sauce first. You can make a small batch if you like. I reduced the quantities by one fifth (enough for 3-4 servings). Place the coriander roots, garlic, shallots, chillies, salt and water in a medium sized pot and boil for 30 minutes uncovered. Much of the water will evaporate. Blend this mix in a food processor. Add the sugar and tamarind puree and process until smooth. Place back on low to medium heat to cook for another 30 minutes making sure that it doesn't boil rapidly - we don't want the sugar to caramelise as we want this to retain its sourness.
  2. Heat the wok or a large frypan. Drain the noodles and have all of the other ingredients ready to add to the wok as it is quick once you start cooking it. Heat the wok and add oil and fry the prawns until about 90% cooked through. Remove and set aside. Add the garlic and cook for a minute, then add the carrot and preserved turnip.
  3. Push to one side of the pan and then break the eggs into the pan and scrambled and mix with the rest of the pan items. Add the noodles and add half of the stir fry sauce and gently mix to combine. Add the bean sprouts, garlic chives and then the prawns back into the pan. Add the pad thai sauce 1/4 cup at a time until it coats the noodles and keep adding until it has that magical taste of sour and sweet and the noodles turn a rich amber colour. If the noodles are too dry, drizzle a few tablespoons of water around the side of the pan and toss the noodles.
  4. Remove from the pan and serve with extra bean sprouts, lime/lemon and topped with the peanuts. Serve immediately.