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In Thailand, Pad Thai is a street food and it's rarely cooked in homes or restaurants. Shrimp is the most common protein because they're plentiful and inexpensive, but the dish can also be made with chicken, pork or a combination.
-- China Millman
- 8 ounces rice noodles (pad thai noodles)
- Boiling water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons tamarind juice
- Make the sauce.
- Vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion or shallots
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup dried shrimp
- 1/3 to 1/2 cup diced pressed tofu
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 2 eggs
- 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
- Cilantro leaves for garnish
- 1 teaspoon crushed chile peppers (optional)
- 2 limes, cut in quarters
Place noodles in a large, heat-proof bowl or pot and pour boiling water over them to cover. Soak for 20 to 30 minutes, until the noodles are softened, but not quite cooked.
Combine fish sauce, sugar and tamarind juice in a small saucepan and heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved. Taste the sauce and adjust it so it's a balanced mix of saltiness, sweetness and sourness. Set the sauce aside.
Heat a wok or a large saute pan over high heat. Add 1/4 cup oil, or a little more, until there's about 1/4 inch of oil coating the pan. When the oil is very hot but not smoking, add the garlic and onions and stir fry. When the onion has become translucent and the garlic is golden brown, add the dried shrimp.
Continue to stir-fry until the shrimp has released its aroma. Add the pressed tofu and stir until everything is well combined. Add chicken and stir fry until it's no longer visibly pink.
With a heat-proof spoon or spatula, move ingredients over to one half of the pan. Make sure there's about 1/4-inch of oil. Crack 2 eggs into pan and scramble them together. When they're cooked, mix the eggs into the rest of the ingredients, then add the soaked rice noodles, along with a spoonful or two of their soaking liquid.
Add the sauce that you made earlier. Continue to cook, stirring very frequently, until the noodles are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add a generous pinch of dried chile peppers, if you'd like.
Add chopped green onions and 1 cup bean sprouts and stir fry just for another minute, then turn off the heat. Transfer the Pad Thai to a serving platter or individual plates. Garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro, the remaining bean sprouts and , if desired, the crushed chile peppers. Serve with a wedge of lime.
It's not traditional to use carrots in green curry, said Si, but he likes to add them for color and texture. He also used a mix of green and orange bell peppers.
-- China Millman
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon green curry paste
- 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breast, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 can coconut milk
- 4 small Thai eggplant (green, round eggplants the size of a medium tomato), stems trimmed, cut into quarters and submerged in lightly salted water
- 1 bell pepper (or combination of different colors), stemmed, seeded and cut into 1/4-inch thick slices
- 1 cup carrots, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons Thai basil
Heat a 4- to 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Coat the bottom of the pan with about a teaspoon of vegetable oil, and once the oil is hot, add the curry paste. Cook the curry paste, stirring it with a wooden spoon, until it's very aromatic. Add the chicken and stir to coat it with curry. Cook the chicken, stirring occasionally, until it is no longer pink.
Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Add the eggplant, pepper and carrot and increase the heat to medium high. Once the mixture comes to a boil, lower the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook until the vegetables are tender, seasoning to taste with fish sauce and sugar.
Turn off the heat, then add the Thai basil.
Serve with steamed rice.
Serves 2 to 4.
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 8-inch stalk lemongrass
- 4-inch piece of galangal root, washed and cut into thin slices (about 10 slices)
- 5 to 7 Kaffir lime leaves or lime leaves
- 2 cups sliced Oyster or button mushrooms
- 1 cup boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3 green or red Thai chiles, chopped
- Fish sauce
- Juice of 1 lime or more to taste
Put the can of coconut milk and the same amount of water in a 4-quart saucepan.
Remove the outer leaf from the lemongrass and trim the root. Using the back of a knife, smash the lemongrass until it become aromatic (about 10 to 20 good wacks). Cut the lemongrass into 1- to 2-inch chunks. Add the lemongrass, the galangal slices and the lime leaves, torn in half over the pot, to the coconut milk.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, then turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and simmer the mixture for about 15 minutes, until the coconut milk has been infused with the flavors of the aromatics.
Return the heat to high, then add the sliced mushrooms, chicken and Thai chiles to the pot. Return to a simmer, then lower the heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and the mushrooms are tender.
Season to taste with fish sauce (start with 2 tablespoons), sugar and lime juice. Off the heat, sprinkle the soup with cilantro before serving.
First Published June 24, 2012 12:00 am