Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai
As a child, I was more accustomed to eating Southeast Asian cuisine than McDonald's. At the time, I was a little embarrassed about this fact and always wondered why my Mom didn't have meatloaf & mashed potatoes on the dinner table like the rest of my friends. She always tried, but cooking 'western-style' dishes was a labor of love, and she never felt entirely comfortable doing it.

These days, I call my Mom regularly for these same Southeast Asian recipes and wonder why I didn't pay closer attention to her cooking. Though I sometimes find the exotic ingredients and spices intimidating, I always love a good trip to the local Asian grocery that is no fail, always packed with more customers than it can handle. I had purchased tamarind for another recipe of my Mom's, and was left wondering what to do with the remainder. I happened upon this recipe for Vegetarian Pad Thai from Gourmet magazine. I re purposed the recipe to include the veggies that I had in the refrigerator and my all time favorite, shrimp. I forgot to think ahead and soak the noodles, so I ended up just boiling until al dente, making sure not to overcook as they would be sauteed shortly afterwards.
Though the dish is probably not 100% authentic, we still enjoyed it & hope you do too!

Shrimp Pad Thai
12 ounces dried flat rice noodles (1/4 inch wide; sometimes called pad Thai or banh pho)
3 tablespoons tamarind (from a pliable block)
1 cup boiling-hot water
1/2 cup light soy sauce and 1 tbsp soy sauce, divided.
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 tablespoons Sriracha (Southeast Asian Chili sauce)
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
2 large eggs, beaten
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup carrots, sliced matchstick style
1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped into bite sized pieces
10 jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
cilantro sprigs

Soak noodles in a large bowl of warm water until softened, 25 to 30 minutes. Drain well in a colander and cover with a dampened paper towel.

Meanwhile, make sauce by soaking tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Force mixture through a sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds and fibers. Add 1/2 cup soy sauce, brown sugar, and Sriracha, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

Heat oil in wok over medium heat until hot, then saute onions over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, about 6 minutes. Add 1 tbsp. of soy sauce to the onions. Add garlic, broccoli and carrots and saute for an additional 4 minutes. Add eggs and swirl to coat side of wok, then heat until cooked through. Break into chunks with spatula. Finally, add shrimp and continue to saute until shrimp is almost cooked through, approximately 3 minutes.

Add noodles and continue to stir-fry over medium heat (use 2 spatulas if necessary) 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce evenly, until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes.
Stir in additional sauce if desired, then transfer to a large shallow serving dish. Sprinkle pad Thai with peanuts and cilantro sprigs.


Thistlemoon said...

I love Pad Thaiiiii!

Sounds so incredibly delcious!

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Karen said...

Hi Sharon!

This is so amazing. I've been looking for some tried and true Thai recipes all over the blogosphere. I love Pad Thai and Pad See Ew, but I don't always like how restaurants prepare them. I told my husband the other day that I would make both of these dishes for him as soon as I found a good recipe. I can't wait to try this!

Thanks for your positive feedback on my re-design, too!