When anyone asks about the best Thai dishes that have been exported around the world, Pad Thai is certainly among the most sought after. My visit to the country’s capital in search of the best Pad Thai in Bangkok revealed how easy it actually is to cook this dish. It has a wonderful combination of sweet, sour and salty flavours with a good crunch of peanuts. Forget about ready-made sauce in a jar, you can make your own by combining tamarind, palm sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce – it’s as simple as that.
200g/7oz flat rice noodles
½ tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for the egg
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
10 raw king prawns, shelled and deveined, but tails left on
125g/4½oz bean sprouts
50g/1¾oz garlic chives (kow choi)
FOR THE SEASONING
1½ tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp light soy sauce
FOR THE GARNISH
1 spring onion, cut into thin strips and soaked in cold water until curled, then drained
10 sprigs of fresh coriander, leaves picked
2 tsp dried chilli flakes
½ lime, cut into 2 wedges
2 tbsp salted peanuts, lightly crushed
Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions; drain and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the seasoning ingredients with 2 tablespoons of water and stir well.
Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan over a high heat. Fry the garlic for 30 seconds, then add the prawns and cook for 1 minute. Push the prawns to one side of the wok or frying pan and drizzle in a little more oil. Crack in the egg, scramble it, cook until dry and then add the noodles and seasoning mixture. Cook for 2 minutes, then stir in the bean sprouts and chives, continue to cook for 1 more minute and then turn off the heat.
Transfer to two serving bowls and garnish with the spring onion, coriander, chilli flakes, lime wedges and peanuts. Serve at once.
Image: Luke J Albert
Cook more from this book:
Vegetarian Biryani with Chickpeas by Norman Musa
Read our review
Buy this book: Bowlful: Fresh and vibrant dishes from Southeast Asia by Norman Musa (Pavilion Books).