Pad Thai is a classic dish form Thailand, made of rice noodles, either chicken, pork or shrimp (or a combination), and a variety of other flavors. Although there are a lot of ingredients, it is rather simple to prepare. The overall combination of flavors and textures make this dish an absolute delight.
Soak the rice noodles in warm water for 45 minutes to 1 hour or put in boiling water for 4 minutes.
Mix the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar, set aside.
Heat ½ the oil in a wok or large skillets and briefly sauté the garlic.
Drain the noodles and add to the pan, adding the remaining oil as needed.
Add the 4 Tbs of peanuts, the bean sprouts, onion and chile flakes and mix well.
Serve, topping with the remaining peanuts and cilantro.
Tamarind juice is difficult to find, but the Pad Thai still tastes great without it. If you can find tamarind paste, mix 1/4 cup (65 ml) with 1/4 cup water and let set for at least 15 minutes. Strain the paste after 15 minutes, saving the liquid to use as tamarind juice and discarding the paste.
*The oil can be reduced to a tablespoon or two if using a non-stick pan.
After making this a lot, I found that I enjoy some additional vegetables in the mix. My favorites are julienne carrots and red or green bell peppers. These add flavor as well as color to the dish. I make a half recipe for the 2 of us, but use the full measure of fish sauce, sugar, lime juice and peanuts. This makes a much more flavorful dish. For the 2 of us I reduce the noodles to 1/3 of an 8-ounce package to reduce leftovers.
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