Thailand a Magical Place…….
A Time to relax with Khun Thomas, eat with Khun Lilly and my Girls and learn Thai cooking with Khun Pop
Pad Thai or Phat Thai (Thai: ผัดไทย, IPA: “fried Thai style”) is a dish of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper dried, plus any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken or tofu, garnished with crushed peanuts,coriander and lime, the juice of which can be added along with Thai condiments. Pad Thai is one ofThailand’s national dishes and well known through out the world.
Two different styles of Pad Thai have evolved: the dry, light version found in the streets of Thailand, and the version that dominates restaurants in the West, which is heavier and oilier.
Though the dish had been known in various forms for centuries – it is thought to have been brought to the ancient Thai capital of Ayuthaya by Vietnamese traders – it was first made popular as a national dish by Luang Phibunsongkhram when he was prime minister during the 1930s and 1940s, partly as an element of his campaign for Thai nationalism and centralization, and partly for a campaign to reduce rice consumption in Thailand. The Thai economy at this time was heavily dependent on rice exports; Phibunsongkhram hoped to increase the amount available for export by launching a campaign to educate the poor in the production of rice noodles, as well as in the preparation of these noodles with other ingredients to sell in small cafes and from street carts.
During the recession following World War II, the post-war government of Field Marshall Pibul, desperate in its efforts to revive the Thai economy, looked for ways to stem the massive tide of unemployment. Among the occupations the government aggressively promoted to give the populace a way to earn a living was the production of rice noodles and the operation of noodle shops. Detailed instructions on how to make the noodles and recipes were printed and distributed around the country. From these efforts, rice noodles became firmly rooted in the country and have since become a widespread staple food.
Pad Thai Recipe
300gr dried thin gkuay dtiow or rice noodles (also known as ban pho to the Vietnamese)
30ml of fish sauce (nahm bplah), to taste
10gr of palm or coconut sugar, to taste
20ml of peanut oil
150gr of fresh shrimp, shelled, deveined and butterflied
100gr of firm pressed tofu, cut into thin strips about an inch long, half an inch wide and a quarter inch thick
3-4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots thinly sliced (or substitute with half a medium onion)
30-40gr of small dried shrimp
20gr of chopped sweetened salted radish
3-5gr of ground dried red chili or more if you desire hotter
100gr fresh bean sprouts
50 garlic chives cut into 1 1/2-inch-long segments (optional)
40gr of chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
1 lime, cut into small wedges
A few short coriander sprigs
4 spring or green onions cut on an angle
1 cucumber sliced with on angle 1/2 cm thick
Soak the dried rice noodles in cool or lukewarm tap water for 40 minutes to one hour, or until the noodles are limp but still firm to the touch. While the noodles are soaking, mix the fish sauce with the tamarind juice and palm sugar; stir well to melt the sugar. Taste and adjust flavors to the desired combination of salty, sour and sweet. Prepare the remaining ingredients as instructed.
When the noodles have softened, drain and set aside. Heat a wok over high heat until it is smoking hot. (Note: If your wok is small, do the stir-frying in two batches. The recipe may also be halved to serve two.) Add 2 teaspoons of oil and quickly stir-fry the shrimp until they turn pink and are almost cooked through. Salt lightly with a sprinkling of fish sauce and remove them from the wok.
Swirl in the remaining oil, save for 1 teaspoon, to coat the wok surface and wait 20 to 30 seconds for it to heat. Add the tofu, frying 1 to 2 minutes, or until the pieces turn golden. Add garlic and stir-fry with the tofu for 15 to 20 seconds. Follow with the sliced shallots and cook another 15 seconds. Then add the dried shrimp, sweetened salted radish and ground dried chili. Stir and heat through a few seconds.
Add the noodles and toss well with the ingredients in the wok. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes and when most of the noodles has changed texture and softened, push the mass up along one side of the wok. Add the teaspoon of oil to the cleared area, crack the eggs onto it and scramble lightly. When the eggs have set, cut into small chunks with the spatula and toss them in with the noodles.
Add the sweet-and-sour seasoning mixture. Stir well to evenly coat noodles. If the noodles are still too firm to your liking, sprinkle 1 to 2 tablespoons of water over them to help cook. Taste and adjust flavors as needed to your liking by adding more fish sauce or tamarind juice; if the noodles are not sweet enough, sprinkle in a small amount of granulated sugar.
When the noodles are cooked to your liking, toss in 2 of the 3 cups of bean sprouts and the garlic chives (optional), sprinkle with half the chopped peanuts and return the shrimp to the wok. Stir and when the vegetables are partially wilted, transfer to a serving platter, or dish onto individual serving-size plates, and garnish with the remaining bean sprouts and chopped peanuts, the lime wedges, cilantro and green onions.