Serves 2 | Super Easy
All cuisines are great, and the more cuisines you know, the more creative you can become in the kitchen. The thing about your palate is, it needs practice! The more varieties and flavours you taste the more mature and knowing your palate becomes. When it comes to being creative, and developing the ability to come up with new recipes and flavours, your palate is your best friend. It is therefore worthwhile to approach food with an open mind, and a willingness to try all things new. Getting to know a variety of cuisines will also develop your techniques, and skills as different cuisines use different cooking methods. For those used to cooking traditional local food, Asian cuisine provides a new playground. Asian cuisine is so diverse and rich. From produce, to flavours, to cooking methods: it is a foodie's practical haven! Besides the technical part of Asian cooking, the cuisine is delicious, especially when done right. By that I mean, the quality of home-cooking, rather than that of the chain's - commercial quality - which tends to be full on MSG and other ingredients that mask the tastes of the better quality offerings of this cuisine.
So go ahead, and experiment with new cuisines, try out new techniques, dedicate some time to learn something new. And what is more rewarding than food? Trust me, you will love it.
Pad Thai - one of my earliest introduction dishes to Thai food - is not only enjoyed throughout Thailand, but is also celebrated throughout the world. It is one of Thai foods best loved offerings. I love digging into these classic sour, sweet and spicy noodles. After a long day working, tucking into a Pad Thai in front the TV is the ultimate unwinding exercise. When cooked at home, Pad Thai is so much better than that taken out. It is customary to use dried shrimps in Pad Thai, but I prefer my Pad Thai with fresh shrimps instead. But feel free to use the dried shrimps, or even chicken if that is your preference. You can also keep it all vegetarian!
|Tamarind water, or Tamarind Concentrate|
Often in Asian cooking you will have to use Tamarind water or Tamarind concentrate. If you do not have access to pre-prepared Tamarind water/concentrate, or if like me, you prefer to cook from scratch, then here is how it's made:
2 tbsp Tamarind stacked with seeds or 1 tbsp paste without seeds
1/4 cup water
Place all in a bowl, and soak for 10 minutes. Squeeze the Tamarind with your hands repeatedly to incorporate, removing the seeds if any. Once the mixture has incorporated, strain reserving the liquid and discarding the fiber.
Shrimp Pad Thai
A packet of dried rice noodles
250g fresh shrimps, shelled and deveined
1 tbsp Tamarind water
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp cooking oil
2 red shallots*, finely chopped
1 bunch Chinese chives, finely chopped
a handful of bean sprouts
50g firm Tofu, cut into thin cubes, fried till golden
1 tsp white radish, shredded
1 tsp red chili powder
1 tbsp raw peanuts, toasted and roughly crushed
3 small spring onions, diagonally chopped.
*Red Shallots are similar to red onions - smaller and narrower. The difference is in the flavour, as they are sweeter than red onions, and not as sharp in the onion flavour. If you don't have red shallots, substitute with red onion.
If using ready to cook noodles, follow packet instructions. If using dried rice noodles, soak in water for 2 hours until soft, when ready to use drain.
Prepare the sauce: Simmer the sugar, tamarind water, and fish sauce on medium heat, until the sugar dissolves.
In a skillet, sprinkle a little bit of oil and place on range top. When the oil is hot stir fry the shrimps till just about changing in colour (1/2 coooked). remove from heat and place in bowl, to slow down the cooking process. Set aside.
In a wok and over medium heat, heat the oil, and fry the chopped shallots just until beginning to colour. Crack in the egg and stir to break the egg apart. Add the fried tofu and white radish. Toss to coat.
Add the drained noodles and stir fry, until the noodles are slightly coloured.
Add the prepared sauce and sprinkle with the red chili powder, toss to mix all. Simmer gently for about a minute. If wok content appears to be dry, add a little extra oil.
Add the half cooked shrimps, chopped chives and the bean sprouts, toss to mix, and cook stirring for 1 minute.
Pile the Pad Thai on serving plate, sprinkle with crushed peanuts, chopped spring onions and chives. Serve with a wedge of lime.
Hope you liked today's post and that you too, like me, love Pad Thai. If you do, I know you will try this recipe. If you have never tried Pad Thai before, then this is one Thai noodles recipe that you are going to love, so go for it and give it a shot, you will be happy you did.
Don't forget to leave me a comment, you know I love to hear from you :)
Join our community on Facebook and connect with us there too...
ü Please consider the environmental impact before printing this post