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  • Pad Thai

    Posted on January 16th, 2022 cwmoore No comments
    a big platter of saucy noodles garnished with green and red spices

    Pad Thai With Shrimp Recipe

    Active time: 45 mins | Total time: 1 hour 45 mins | Servings: 2 to 3

    Ingredients FOR THE SAUCE

    • 1 cup tamarind juice or concentrate (see headnote)
    • 1 cup palm sugar (may substitute light brown sugar)
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/2 cup fish sauce
    • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt


    • 4 ounces medium-width dried rice noodles (about 1/8 inch)
    • 4 to 5 tablespoons vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
    • 8 fresh or frozen/defrosted shrimp (21- to 25-count), deveined; peeled with tails on, if desired
    • 1 tablespoon dried shrimp, finely chopped (optional; see headnote)
    • 1 tablespoon sweet preserved radish (see headnote)
    • 3 1/2 ounces red pressed tofu, sliced thin into 1/2-inch-long pieces (see headnote; optional)
    • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
    • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (see headnote)
    • 2 tablespoons finely chopped roasted unsalted peanuts (about 1/2 ounce)
    • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions or garlic chives
    • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
    • Lime wedges, for serving

    Step 1

    For the sauce: Combine the tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, water, fish sauce and salt in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour, until the mixture is syrupy and darker in color. As it reduces, you may need to further reduce the heat to low to prevent it from scorching.

    Step 2

    Meanwhile, start the noodles for the dish: Place them in a bowl and cover with cold water; soak for 1 hour (at room temperature).

    Step 3

    Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and stir-fry just until golden brown. Add the fresh/defrosted shrimp, stirring constantly until they are opaque and just cooked through, for 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate (the garlic stays in the pan).

    Step 4

    Drain the noodles well, then add them to the same skillet you used to cook the shrimp. They will try to stick together, so separate them as you stir, adding a splash or two of water. Then add 5 tablespoons of the pad thai sauce, stirring until everything is thoroughly incorporated. The noodles should be soft and moist. Add the dried shrimp, if using, the preserved radish and the pressed tofu, if using. Return the cooked shrimp to the skillet and toss to incorporate.

    Step 5

    Use a spatula to clear a space at the center of the pan for frying the eggs. If the pan seems dry, add the remaining tablespoon of oil. Pour in the eggs, then use the spatula to cover them with the noodles in the pan. Once the eggs are set, stir the noodles until everything is well mixed. This should result in cooked bits of eggs, both whites and yolk, throughout the noodle mixture.

    Step 6

    Add the crushed red pepper flakes (to taste), peanuts, scallions or garlic chives and half the bean sprouts. Toss to incorporate and just heat through, then transfer to a platter. Serve right away, with the remaining bean sprouts and the lime wedges.

    Adapted from Nongkran Daks, chef-owner of Thai Basil in Chantilly, Va.

    Tested by Becky Krystal; email questions to voraciously@washpost.com.

    Scale and get a printer-friendly version of the recipe here. The nutritional analysis is based on 3 servings.

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