Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Pad Thai!

Last night we made the long awaited Pad Thai. It was delicious despite the facet that (predictably) it didn't quite taste like the real thing.

Phee and I spent Sunday pretentiously swishing about Brighton shopping in 'authentic' markets in the hope of recreating a realistic Pad Thai. The saddest thing is we found almost everything we needed in that bastion of middle class virtue- Waitrose...
For a meal that is supposed to be quick to make, not to mention made at lightening speed, quite a lot of preparation is needed.

Thought I'd share the recipe with you guys. Enjoy!

1. First off (cooking for veggies) meant replacing meat with tofu, which had to be pressed then heated to draw out all the moisture. this took fucking ages! If you're a vegetarian, or cooking for one, here are some decent instructions on how to prepare it before Pad Thaiing. (I advise doing it otherwise it all falls apart when you get down to business).
Warm on low heat, turning tofu every 8 mins. or so. ours took about 45mins.
marinade ingredients: Salt, Garlic, Soy Sauce.
I made a marinade for our tofu and left it soaking over night. A Thai women we met on our ingredients buying excursion told us to add salt to soy sauce to replace fish sauce. I often use coarse salt to pulp garlic if I'm adding it to a marinade or dressing- in this instance I just added a little more.
You will need: coarse salt, 1 clove garlic and enough soy sauce to cover your tofu. finely chop garlic then smosh it over the salt with the flat of your knife until pulped.

I used a recipe for Pad Thai that I found on this brilliant Blog. its the best I have found so far, check it out.
3. Soak the noodles: for Pad Thai use luke-warm water and soak until they are pliable but not fully cooked. Ours took about 25 mins. drain and add oil to prevent them from sticking to each other.

4. For the Sauce: the marvelous Chez Pim has this to say on Pad Thai sauce: "lead with a salty flavor, follow by a mild sourness, then just a gentle sweetness and a soft caress from the chilli at the back of my throat at the very end." so this is what I went for. Mine didn't turn out quite like this (too sour) but was tasty non the less.
You will need: 1/2 cup Tamarind Paste, 1/2 Soy Sauce (I added the left over marinade to the concoction), 1/3 Brown sugar (melted over a low heat in water) and a good pinch of chilli powder and chilli flakes. Heat the Sugar first then add the others and simmer gently.

5. As I mentioned earlier, you have to be super speedy once you actually start cooking so its best to have all your ingredients ready to go.
Soaked Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Tofu, Spring Onions, Pickled Beetroot, Lime, Chinese Cabbage, Chillies. We had grated carrot too but it doesn't seem to have made an appearance here.
You can add pretty much what ever you like to Pad Thai but we used- Bean Sprouts, marinated Tofu, Spring Onions (we couldn't find Chinese Chives), Pickled Beetroot (we couldn't find pickled turnip- and beetroot made it all pink which was fun), Lime, Chinese Cabbage, Chilli (de-seeded and chopped) and illusive grated Carrot.

 6. Heat your wok until it starts to smoke

7. Add oil (we used Sesame)

8. Add Tofu and a table spoon or two of your sauce (add extra garlic if you fancy it). Cook tofu until crisp and golden.

9. Add noodles and 1/2 cup of warm sauce. (best to have your sauce to hand and warming on a hob throughout).

10. Stir all vigorously making sure to keep everything moving until the noodles are soft. (if you find the sauce is evaporating too quickly add a bit of water. Again, its good to have this to hand as everything happens pretty quickly. Add more oil if your noodles are clumping.

11. Push noodles to one side and crack an egg into the wok. I found that the egg cooked too quickly and sort of disappeared. Next time I' going to try adding it last- I'll let you know how it goes. Toss all together.

12. Add bean sprouts, pickled beetroot, cabbage, spring onions and toss all together. Add more sauce if things are looking a bit insipid and pale.

13. whack it all on a plate sprinkle liberally with Peanuts, chilli and carrot.

14. Serve with booze (any you like but dry white wine and cider go particularly well). ENJOY!



  1. Oh my.. That sure looks yummy and you look like you had loads of fun :)


  2. It was delicious and so nice to make something of a weekday evening. :)


Leave me a little bit of love.