I love Thailand. I found it very depressing to watch some of my favourite places on earth on the telly in the days since the tsunami. The Thais are such warm people and their country is so beautiful. There were so many places on the news that I recognized. In order to make myself feel better I decided to make the pad Thai I learned to cook at the Chiang Mai Thai Cookery School. I’ve been there both times I’ve gone to Thailand and the next time I go, I will definitely be taking their master class! The teachers are wonderful and funny and the class is so interesting. It’s not just a live cooking show, but a hands on instruction and interactive discussion on all topics relating to native Thai foods.
I can’t claim that this is the original recipe as I’ve mutated it somewhat over the time I’ve been making it. For starters, theirs calls for tamarind paste, and I much prefer lime juice for the sour. I’ve never liked tamarind paste.
When I’m missing Thailand, like now, I cook up a big batch of this, make myself a pineapple shake and settle back.
The quantities of ingredients listed are all really an estimation of what I use and are thoroughly alterable to suit your own tastes. I like my Pad Thai pretty spicy and limey, so bear that in mind.
1 Tbsp oil
4 cloves chopped garlic
5 chopped shallots
¼ cup Tiny dried shrimps
25-30 prawns, peeled with tail on
3 Tbsp soy sauce
½ cup fish sauce
4 Tbsp palm sugar
Juice of 2 whole limes
4-7 birds eye chilies, diced fine, including seeds
Fresh wide rice noodles (or dry, but soaked in boiled water for 5 minutes)
4 cups bean sprouts
½ cup crushed peanuts
4 lime wedges
Heat oil in large non-stick wok or stir-fry pan and stir-fry the garlic, shallots, dried shrimpies and prawns for 2 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together in a bowl the soy sauce, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime juice and chilies and set aside. Add the wet noodles to the pan and stir-fry for 3 more minutes, adding about a ½ cup of water or chicken stock to soften the noodles. Stir in sauce, and continue cooking.
Break eggs into sauce bowl and whisk to combine.
If your pan is big enough, push noodles to the side and pour egg into the empty spot. Otherwise, empty contents of pan into large bowl. Pour eggs into empty pan and rotate pan to get a large, thin omelet covering the bottom and sides of the pan. When the omelet has just about set, return the noodle mixture to the pan and stir to combine, breaking up the omelet and mixing it through the noodles. Remove pan from heat, add bean sprouts and stir to combine. Heap servings onto plates and garnish with crushed peanuts and lime wedges.
As an added bonus, here are some of my favourite photos of our last trip to Thailand.