The majority of the time, there is nothing I crave more than Asian food. Curry and Pad Thai would comprise 90% of my diet if it were feasible. But making the trip to Bangkok Bistro every time I feel the need for Thai food is time-consuming and gets very pricey for a college budget.
The same is true of most ethnic food, so I’ve decided that for the next few weeks, I’ll be posting quick, easy international recipe for the students like myself who love Flavors of Far-from-Home whose time commitments and budget don’t allow trips to M Street every time the desire for a new flavor arises. So please, comment and let me know what kinds of things you’d like to learn!
Today, in honor of the dish that inspired this idea, we’ll be learning how to make dorm-friendly Shrimp Pad Thai in a little more than half an hour!
What You’ll Need (Recipe Serves Two):
- 8 oz. Thai rice noodles (linguini width), or more if you’re a hungry pair
- 1-2 cups raw (or cooked) shrimp, shells removed
- 1 shallot (OR 1/4 cup purple onion), chopped
- 4 cloves minced garlic
- 1 egg
- 2-3 cups bean sprouts
- 1/8 tsp. ground white or black pepper
- 3 finely sliced green onions
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, ground or chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying
- 3 Tbsp. chicken stock
- Wedges of lime for serving
For the Sauce:
- 3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste (available at Asian/Indian food stores)
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 2+1/2 Tbsp. fish sauce (available in tall bottles at Asian food stores)
- 1-3 tsp. chili sauce (to taste)
- 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
How to Make It:
- Boil a large pot of water, then remove from heat.
- Soak (do not boil) the noodles until soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little “crunchy”.
- Drain and rinse the noodles thoroughly with cold water. Set aside.
- In a small bowl or cup, dissolve the tamarind paste in the hot water.
- Add the other sauce ingredients to the tamarind, stir well. (The amount of chili sauce can be varied based on taste, but the sugar is necessary to prevent the sourness of the tamarind from taking over.) Set aside the mixture.
- Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add 2 Tbsp. oil, followed by the shallots and garlic. Stir-fry for 1 minute.
- Add the shrimp plus 2-3 Tbsp. chicken stock. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and plump. (If you opted for cooked shrimp, only stir-fry for 1 minute.)
- Move the ingredients to the side to make a space in the center of your wok/pan. Add another 1 Tbsp. oil, then crack in the egg. Stir-fry to scramble (30 seconds to 1 minute).
- Add the drained noodles to the pan and drizzle the sauce into the pan.
- Using a “tossing” motion, mix and stir-fry everything together. Keep the heat between medium and medium-high in order to cook the noodles without burning the dish
- Stir-fry 4-6 minutes, or until noodles are to your taste. Taste everything and add more of anything, based on your taste.
- Add the green onion, coriander, and peanuts on top, and garnish with lime wedges, which add a great tang if squeezed over the dish. Thai chili sauce can also be served on the side if you like it extra spicy. ENJOY!