Pad Thai, a Thai street food classic, is a delectable stir-fried noodle dish. Featuring flat rice noodles, tofu or protein of choice, bean sprouts, peanuts, and lime. It’s distinguished by a tamarind-based sauce that offers a perfect blend of sweet and sour flavors. This iconic dish delivers a delightful harmony of textures and tastes, making it a globally adored and satisfying culinary choice.
Type of noodles to make pad Thai
The type of noodles traditionally used to make Pad Thai are flat rice noodles, often referred to as “rice sticks” or “rice noodles.” These noodles are wide, flat, and thin, providing a chewy and slightly slippery texture when cooked. The width of the rice noodles is well-suited for absorbing the flavorful sauces in Pad Thai, creating a satisfying balance with the other ingredients in the dish. I only boil the noodles for 3-5 minutes to ensure they do not overcook.
Type of tofu
In Pad Thai, the type of tofu commonly used is firm or extra-firm tofu. These varieties of tofu hold their shape well during cooking and have a denser texture, making them suitable for stir-frying. To take it to another level, I buy fried firm tofu. This adds another layer of texture and flavor to the tofu. I cut them into little cubes so that they can be easily stir fried.
What is tamarind paste?
Tamarind paste, derived from the tamarind fruit’s pulp, is a versatile ingredient known for its tangy and slightly sweet flavor. Widely used in Southeast Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern cuisines, it adds depth to savory and sweet dishes alike, from curries and sauces to chutneys and marinades. Beyond its culinary appeal, tamarind paste is recognized for potential health benefits, including antioxidants and digestive properties. Whether enhancing the complexity of Pad Thai or brightening up sauces and desserts, tamarind paste stands out as a key contributor to diverse and flavorful culinary creations. You can find it at many grocery stores but mainly at Asian grocery stores in the preserved sauce section.
- 300 g rice noodles
- 1 lbs shrimp
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 shallot (diced)
- 4 cloves garlic (diced)
- 1 tbsp shrimp paste
- ½ lbs firm fried tofu (cubed)
- ½ cup tamarind paste
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp oyster sauce
- ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- 2 large eggs
- 1 handful bean sprouts
- 1 handful Chinese chivess
- Start by prepping all your vegetables (dice shallots, dice garlic, cut chives into 4 inch segments, wash beansprouts)
- Into a hot wok add 1 tbsp of oil and cook your shrimp for 2 minutes. Remove and set aside.1 lbs shrimp, 1 tsp salt
- In a pot of boiling water, start cooking your rice noodles. They only need 3-5 minutes and should still be slightly firm. Strain and set aside.300 g rice noodles
- Add 1 tbsp oil into your wok on high heat and add your diced shallots and garlic, and shrimp paste. Stir 30 seconds.1 shallot, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tbsp shrimp paste
- Add brown sugar, tamarind paste, and fried tofu. Sitr 30 seconds.½ cup tamarind paste, ¼ cup brown sugar, ½ lbs firm fried tofu
- Add your strained rice noodles back into the wok along with some water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce. Mix for 30 seconds. To combine the sauce.300 g rice noodles, 2 tbsp water, 1 tsp fish sauce, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
- Push noodles to the side and using the other half of the wok, scramble two eggs. Alternatively, you can also just scramble the eggs separately and add them in so that your wok is less chaotic. This will also prevent undercooked eggs which is caused by a wok that isn't hot enough.2 large eggs
- Add bean sprouts, chives, and add back the cooked shrimp. Mix another 1-2 minutes until everything is fully combined.1 handful bean sprouts, 1 handful Chinese chivess
- Garnish with crushed peanuts, lime wedge, and some more bean sprouts.lime, peanuts, 1 handful bean sprouts