Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pad Thai

1/2 pound dried rice noodles 1/8 inch wide
Warm Water
1/2 pound shrimp, chicken, pork or combination
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon paprika
4 green onions
1/2 cup vegetable oil (more if needed for step six)
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 eggs
3/4 pound bean sprouts
ground roasted chiles (see note at bottom)
ground unsalted roasted peanuts
Lime wedges

1. Soak noodles for 20-25 minutes in enough warm water to cover them.
They should be flexible and soft, but not so soft that they can be mashed
easily with the fingers. Later cooking in liquid will soften them more.
Drain them throughly in a colander while preparing the other ingredients.
Traditionally they are left in full-length strands, but you may cut them
into 8 inch lengths if you find it easier to stir-fry then that way.

2. Peel and devein the shrimp leaving the tails intact(or remove if preferred)
Slice chicken, pork into 1/8 inch strips 1-2 inches long.

3. Mix the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and paprika in a bowl and stir until
the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Slice green onions both the green and white
parts, diagonally into 1-1/2 inch long pieces. Set aside.

4. Heat a wok, add the oil and swirl over the surface. Add the garlic and stir
fry until light golden. Add the meat and stir-fry until shrimp is pink. If
using chicken or pork stir-fry until pink disappears. Add the noodles and
toss lightly to coat with oil and the distribute meat and garlic( I often
do this in a larger pot since things tend to come out of the wok).

5. Add the liquid from step 3 and bring it to a boil rapidly, gently
folding the noodles without breaking them. Reduce heat to medium and
boil the mixture, folding frequently until the noodles have absorbed the
liquid (I find a pasta server works great for this step).

6. Lift the noodles gently from one side of the wok. Pour a little oil
along the side of the wok, then break the egg ad slip it into the oil.
Break the yolk and cover the egg with the noodles immediately. Repeat
this on the opposite side with the other egg. Allow eggs to cook
undisturbed, over moderate heat until they are set and almost dry.
Additional oil may by added if the eggs or the noodles begin to stick to the

7. When the eggs are set and almost dry, fold them gently but rapidly into
the noodles. Try not to break the noodles, which will be soft and fragile
at this point. An effective way is to insert the scoop under the eggs, lift
it through, and fold the mixtureover. Continue the lifting and folding
motion until the eggs are broken up and well distributed.

8. Add the green onions (and bean sprouts if you prefer them mixed in)
and toss the entire mixture quickly and gently, stll avoiding breaking
the noodles. Cook for about 2 minutes or until onions are tender.

9. Take a large platter spread with bean sprouts(if you left them out
above). Spread Pud Thai from wok over top. Sprinkle ground chilies(see
note) and ground peanuts over the top and squeeze lime over the top.
Or serve toppings seperatly for each diner to add according to taste.

Note on chilies: Buy whole dried chiles and grind since pre-ground often
lack the "bite" of whole ones. Thai chilies may be used (_VERY_ hot),
or milder American chiles may be used. The Thai chilies are know as
Prig hang. They may also be found in Mexican food sections under the
name "Chiles Arbol". Use sparing if you aren't used to them they
are quite potent.


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