It’s no secret that at LFW we love, love, Thai food and Pad Thai is the ultimate ‘street food’ in Bangkok. My main complaint with Aussie Pad Thai was that it didn’t seem to have much taste—just a bit sweet and fragrant and that was it. But, after a visit to the Silom Thai Cooking School in Bangkok, I now know that it’s because a number of places in Australia omit Tamarind paste (and possibly chilli) from the recipe—perhaps for Australian taste—who knows? Anyway, here’s our fabulous Silom Pad Thai direct from Thailand and under the tutelage of Mr Awesome Jay.
Tip! Ready-made Tamarind paste can be bought from good Asian delis or supermarkets. At the school we had to grind and mix our own but the paste is much easier.
Real Thai Pad Thai (serves 2 – 3)
What you need: ½ packet Thai rice noodles, 2 tablespoons cooking oil, 2 tablespoons Tamarind paste, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 shallot (spring onion) sliced on the diagonal, wedge of fresh lime, 1 small Bird’s Eye chilli (this is HOT!), 3 cloves crushed garlic, 4 teaspoons fish sauce, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon ground peanuts (optional), ground pepper to taste, and some protein—either fish or tiger prawns, chicken, or tofu.
What you do:
Soak the noodles in warm water while preparing the other ingredients, making sure the noodles are fully covered with the water. By the time you put the noodles in the wok they should be soft but not mushy.
Pour the oil in the wok and heat on a high heat. Drain the noodles and add to the wok and stir, then add tamarind paste, sugar, fish sauce, and chilli. Stir well. If there is too much sauce in the wok, turn up the heat.
Push the noodles to one side and crack the egg into the wok and scramble until almost cooked, then fold into the noodles which should now be soft and chewy, then add the protein and toss gently until cooked.
Pour onto a serving plate and sprinkle with the chopped shallot, bean sprouts, and ground pepper, and serve with the peanuts and a wedge of lime on the side.