This popular dish takes time to prepare. However, you can make the sauce in advance and keep it in the freezer or refrigerator. For an authentic dish, don't take shortcuts and don't leave out any of the ingredients-particularly the Pad Thai sauce that gives the final dish its rich, amber color and succulent taste. Select the rice stick noodles marked "M" for medium; the thinner and the wider ones are used for other noodle dishes. Salted or preserved radish is sold in cellophane packets at Asian markets and, after opening, lasts almost indefinitely in the refrigerator. Be sure to have all the ingredients within reach because you have to work fast and be at the stove throughout the cooking time. With one bite of this Pad Thai, you will discover noodle heaven.
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra as needed
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1 tablespoon dried shrimp, optional
- 1/2 cup sliced pork
- 1/2 cup whole shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 tablespoon (shredded) preserved radish
- 1/4 pound medium-size dried rice noodles (soaked 60 minutes in cold water and drained)
- 5 tablespoons Pad Thai sauce, recipe follows
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon ground hot chiles, or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons ground roasted peanuts
- 1/2 cup sliced garlic chives or green onion
- 2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed, plus more for garnish
- 1 wedge lime
Heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic and stir-fry until golden brown. Add the meat and shrimp and keep stirring until the shrimp changes color. Remove the shrimp to prevent overcooking and set aside.
Add the noodles. They will stick together so stir fast and try to separate them. Add a little water, stirring a few times. Then add the Pad Thai sauce, and keep stirring until everything is thoroughly mixed. The noodles should appear soft and moist. Return the cooked shrimp to the wok.
Push the contents of the wok up around the sides to make room to fry the eggs. If the pan is very dry, add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add the eggs and spread the noodles over the eggs to cover. When the eggs are cooked, stir the noodles until everything is well mixed-this should result in cooked bits of eggs, both whites and yolk, throughout the noodle mixture.
Add chiles, peanuts, garlic chives and bean sprouts. Mix well. Remove to a platter. Serve with raw bean spouts and a few drops of lime juice.
A viewer, who may not be a professional cook, provided this recipe. The Food Network Kitchens chefs have not tested this recipe and therefore, we cannot make representation as to the results.
Pad Thai Sauce:
- 1 cup tamarind juice
- 1 cup palm sugar plus 3 tablespoons
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 2 teaspoons salt
Mix all ingredients in a saucepan for about 60 minutes until it is well mixed and syrupy. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Cook's Note: If you want to double this recipe, DO NOT double the ingredients, for the bulk will be too much to work with. Rather, make the dish twice. If you plan to make this for company, cook noodles ahead of time and add bean sprouts and garlic chives when you heat it up. If it is an informal gathering, it is fun to let your guests cook their own noodles.
You can buy premixed tamarind concentrate or make your own tamarind juice. Buy a package of compressed tamarind pulp at any Asian market, cut off 3 tablespoons of paste and soak in 1 1/2 cups of warm water for 20 minutes. Squeeze out the pulp and discard; the remaining liquid is tamarind juice. Store any leftover juice or noodle sauce in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.