Is there anything more quintessentially Thai than Pad Thai? Obviously not. It's a best seller at any Thai restaurant and for good reason. It's delicious and beautifully balanced. The next time you need that noodle fix, turn to your pantry and whip this up in a flash!
The trick is to get everything ready before you start cooking. Cut the spring onion, crush the garlic, dice the tofu, crush the peanuts and most importantly, re-hydrate the noodles with care. Don't boil them and don't soak in boiling water. They will overcook and clump together. Simply soak in hot water and keep an eye on it. This will make all the difference.
This dish can be served two ways, vegetarian with just the tofu and eggs. Or with the addition of prawns or your choice of protein. I like to cook the prawns separately so I have more control over the cooking time. Cooking them in the same pan that the noodles were in helps flavour the prawns. I simply place them over the top of the Pad Thai mound in the centre of a platter.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup chopped spring onion or garlic chives
2 garlic cloves, crushed
450 g firm tofu, diced
2 eggs, beaten
125 g Pad Thai rice noodle sticks
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar
1/4 cup water if needed
1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
1/4 cup peanuts, toasted and crushed
Salt, pepper and lime wedges for serving.
Start by rehydrating the noodles in hot water. The water shouldn't be boiling and you should be able to touch the water comfortably. They should take around 5 minutes to soften. Rinse under a cold water and set aside momentarily.
In a small bowl mix all the sauces and the palm sugar together until incorporated. Set aside.
In a very hot pan, drop a couple tablespoons of oil and stir fry the spring onion or garlic chives. Add the garlic and stir through but don't let the garlic brown. Add in the tofu and stir fry for a few minutes.
Move the tofu to the side and pour in the beaten eggs in the empty side of the pan. Scramble the eggs and then mix through the tofu. Next, mix in the noodles and all the sauces. Ensure all the noodles are coated in the sauce. Add a splash of water if too dry.
Top with more spring onions or garlic chives, bean sprouts and the crushed peanuts.
Pour the noodles onto a serving platter. If serving with prawns, simply pan fry the prawns in the same pan that the noodles were cooked in. The remaining flavour on the pan will give the prawns the Pad Thai aroma.
Serve with wedges of limes and enjoy immediately.