Read the recipe all the way through to get the general idea. Its seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not hard or complicated. The prep takes 20 minutes, the cooking takes 10 minutes. It’s a fast meal really–but the key is to have everything ready, before you start the wok. If you don’t have a wok, use a large skillet- turning the heat down a bit.
The first step is to soak the rice noodles. Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water, break the noodles in half and soak the noodles for 20 minutes. They will be bendy but not soft. Don’t worry that they are not soft, they will get soft in the wok. While the noodles are soaking get your other ingredients ready.
In a medium bowl, mix the tamarind, fish sauce, warm water and brown sugar (or palm sugar) .
In this version, I added tofu and shrimp. But feel free to use one or the other. Cut extra firm tofu, and pat down hard with paper towels to release some of the moisture, into strips or cubes.
Heat peanut oil (or vegetable oil), on high heat. Swirl it around the edges of the wok, coating it. Add the chopped shallot and garlic and stir until just golden. Crack the egg in the center. It will bubble and spatter. Add the tofu, radish and dried shrimp, around the edges of egg, stirring them constantly with a metal spatula, careful to keep the egg intact, for a minute, until they get golden. When the edges of the egg are golden brown, flip, and break it apart into a few pieces with the metal spatula, and then stir it all together, letting it brown up a bit, for another minute.
Add the noodles and bean sprouts –constantly stirring and flipping for a minute or more- until the noodles begin to soften. Add the prawns, peas, asparagus and tamarind-fish sauce. Stir until the prawns are cooked through, the noodles are soft, and the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions ( or garlic chives) and ½ of the peanuts.
And serve immediately, garnishing with lime, more peanuts, scallions ( or chives) , fresh bean sprouts and chili flakes.
Spring Vegetable Pad Thai
Authentic Pad Thai with Spring Vegetables- Slightly adapted from Pok Pok
- Prep Time: 20 mins
- Cook Time: 10 mins
- Total Time: 30 mins
- Yield: 2-3
- Category: Main
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
- 4 oz. thin flat rice noodles- soaked in lukewarm water
- 1 T shredded salted radish ( optional)
- 1 T dried, toasted shrimp, chopped very small ( optional)
- 1 tsp tamarind concentrate mixed with 4 T warm water ( or sub 3 T rice vinegar)
- 3 T palm sugar or brown sugar or white sugar
- 3 T fish sauce
- 1 large shallot finely chopped
- 4-5 cloves garlic, rough chopped
- 1 egg
- ½ Cup extra firm tofu (optional)
- ½ Cup scallions or garlic chives
- 6-8 medium shrimp- peeled and de-veined ( raw or cooked- or sub tofu)
- ½ Cup fresh peas ( or snap peas, or snow peas,)
- ½ Cup asparagus ( or green beans, or mushrooms)
- 1-2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- Garnish with ¼ cup roasted chopped peanuts,lime wedges, chili flakes
- Soak the rice noodles in a large bowl of lukewarm water for 20 minutes
- Soak the salted radish in a small bowl of lukewarm water for 10 minutes, drain.
- Toast the dried shrimp in a skillet until crispy, over medium heat, 4 minutes, then chop small.
- Mix tamarind water, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl, set aside.
- Pat dry tofu with paper towels, pressing down to release water, and cut into 1inch long strips, ⅓ inch thick. ( see photo).
- Chop scallions and peanuts, cut limes into wedges, set all aside for garnish.
- Place tofu, salted shrimp and drained radish, next to stove, and have metal spatula handy.
- Drain the noodles, keep in the same bowl, placing the sprouts in the bowl with them. ( After 20 minutes, the noodles will still be somewhat firm but flexible– they will soften up in the wok)
- In a wok, heat oil on medium high heat. Swirl it around to coat sides. Add shallot and garlic and stir until just golden, about 1-2 minutes. Add egg, and sprinkle with salt, and let it bubble and sizzle, only flipping after the edges turn crispy, then breaking it up into small bits, let it crisp a bit. Move to the side.
- Add the tofu, radish and dried shrimp, around or next to the egg, stirring until the tofu starts to brown- about 2 minutes.
- Add the drained noodles and ½ the bean sprouts, and stir constantly, flipping the noodles continuously for 1 minute.They will not be completely soft yet.
- Add the shrimp, peas, asparagus and the tamarind mixture into the wok and keep stir frying, until the shrimp are cooked thru, the noodles are softened, and the liquid evaporates some, about 4-5 minutes.( This will smell quite fishy at first as it cooks… but it will mellow out) If the noodles are not quite soft, you can a bit more water a little at a time, until they soften up.
- Toss in the scallions and ½ the peanuts.
- Serve immediately, garnishing with peanuts,lime wedges, fresh bean sprouts and chili flakes.