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PAD THAI

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Recipe (click to expand)

Ingredients
2pounddried rice noodles (1/8 inch wide)
2poundshrimp, chicken, or pork. *
1/4cupfish sauce
6tablespoonsugar 6 tb white vinegar
1tablespoontomato paste
4eachscallions
1/2cupvegetable oil, (approx.)
2eachcloves garlic, chopped fine
2eacheggs
4poundbean sprouts
2tablespoonground roasted chilies
1/4cuproasted peanuts, ground
1lime wedges

Directions:

* The meat used may be either fresh shrimps, chicken, pork, or
combinations. The traditional uses dried shrimps and hard tofu pieces
rather than fresh meat.

Soak the noodles for 20 to 25 minutes in enough warm water to cover. They
should be soft, but not so soft that they can be mashed easily with the
fingers. Later cooking will soften them more. Drain the noodles
thoroughly
in a colander while preparing the other ingredients. Traditionally, they
are
left in full length strands, but you may cut them into shorter lengths
(about
8-9 inches, say) to facilitate easier stir frying.

Peel and devein the shrimps, leaving the tails intact, OR slice the
chicken/pork across the grain into strips not more than 1/8 inch thick and
1-2 inches long.

Mix the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and tomato paste in a bowl. Stir until
the sugar is dissolved. Set the mixture aside. Slice the scallions, both
white and green parts, diagonally into pieces 1-1/2 inches long. Set
aside.

Heat a wok, and add the vegetable oil to the hot wok. Swirl the oil to
coat
the surface of the wok. Add garlic and fry till golden. Add shrimp and
fry
till they turn pink, or if chicken/pork is used, fry till the pink color
disappears completely. Add the noodles and toss lightly to coat them with
oil and to distribute the garlic and meat.
Add the liquid mixed earlier and bring to a boil rapidly, gently folding
the
noodle, being careful not to break them. Reduce the heat to medium and
boil
the mixture, folding frequently, until the noodles have absorbed the
liquid.
Using a wok scoop, or a stiff spatula, lift the noodles gently from one
side
of the wok. Pour a little oil along the side of the wok, then break one
egg
and slip it into the oil. Break the yolk, and cover the egg with the
noodles
immediately. Repeat this on the opposite side of the wok with the
remaining
egg. Allow the eggs to cook undisturbed, over moderate heat, until they
are
set and almost dry. Additional oil may be added if the eggs or the noodles
begin to stick to the wok.
When the eggs are set and almost dry, fold them gently but rapidly into the
noodles. Try not to break the noodles, which will be soft and fragile at
this point. An effective way is to insert the scoop under the eggs, lift
it
through, and fold the mixture over.

Continue the lifting and folding
motion
until the eggs are broken up and well distributed.
Add the bean sprouts and sliced scallions, and toss the mixture quickly and
gently, still avoiding breaking the noodles. Cook for about 2 minutes, or
until the bean sprouts and scallions are crisp-tender.
Place the mixture on a large, warm serving platter. Sprinkle ground
chilies
and peanuts over the top, and squeeze lime juice over that. Alternately,
these garnishes may be served on the side for each diner to add according
to
tastes.

NOTES:

Pad Thai is traditionally served accompanied with fresh
vegetables,
in particular whole scallion, a small pile of fresh raw bean sprouts (to be
mixed into the noodles), and if available, a wedge of banana blossom.

For the traditional recipe, omit the shrimps, pork/chicken, and all
references to them. Substitute 1/2 pound very firm tofu and 1/4 pound
dried
shrimps. Put the tofu on a triple layers of paper towels, cover it with
another triple layer, put a plate on top of that, and put a two pound
weight
(cans of vegetables for an example) on top of the plate. Let stand for 20
to
30 minutes to press out the excess water. Put the dried shrimp in a sieve,
rinse them quickly under hot running water, and set aside to drain. After
the tofu has been pressed, slice it into strips about 1/4 inch thick, 1/2
inch wide and 1 inch long.


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