My favorite part about making a good pad thai at home is being able to eat it right out of the pan when it’s at its best state – hot, saucy, and most importantly, the ingredients (especially the noodles) are cooked just right. This is the closest thing to authentic pad thai that I can whip up using ingredients available around me.
For the Pad Thai:
- 6 ounces dry rice noodles, medium-width
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 shallot, sliced
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup cut-up extra-firm tofu or pressed tofu, small pieces
- 1 cup cut-up chicken, 1-inch pieces
- ½ pound medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 4 scallions, cut into 2” lengths
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- Oil, for sautéing
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup tamarind paste/concentrate
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon paprika, for color (optional)
- Lime wedges
- Roasted peanuts, crushed
- Bean sprouts
- Chili flakes
- Soak the noodles in warm water for 1 hour. Drain.
- Make the sauce: In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients. Set aside.
- Season shrimp and chicken with salt and pepper. Dry the extra-firm tofu between paper towels. Heat your wok or pan over high heat. Add oil just to coat the bottom. When the pan starts to smoke, sear the shrimp quickly, about 45 seconds on each side. Do not overcook. Do the same for the tofu, sear until a nice crust is formed on two sides. Set aside.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Clean the pan with a paper towel, if there are any burnt pieces. Add a little oil and sauté the garlic and shallots until softened. If using pressed tofu, this is the time you add it in. Add dried shrimp and chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink.
- Add the noodles and the sauce in. Mix until the sauce is mostly absorbed by the noodles. Try the noodles to check if it’s already cooked. Add a splash of water if it begins to dry up.
- Push the noodles to the side of the pan and make some room for the eggs. Add a little oil and add the eggs in. Let it cook undisturbed for about a minute before breaking up the yolks and mixing it into the noodles.
- Add the shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and scallions. Toss it together. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish.