Good news, everyone! I found a recipe for pad thai that doesn’t involve tamarind paste! The recipe I found says that it’s still authentic, even though there’s no tamarind, because there is a part of Thailand that makes their pad thai this way. Tamarind is just so difficult to find!
So I decided to make this dish because I had a lot of extra pho noodles and bean sprouts from make pho. Add some tofu, some aromatics, and a combination of Asian sauces and you’ve got yourself some Thai noodles! You can substitute the tofu for chicken, pork, or whatever protein you typically prefer with your pad thai. You can add vegetables and such to it as well, but I chose not to in this recipe.
Also, if you can’t take spicy foods, you may want to either take the seeds out of the chili before you saute it or just omit the chili altogether. It wasn’t completely unbearable, but I just want to give you guys a fair warning 🙂
Simple Pad Thai
adapted from About.com
1 box of firm tofu, fried and cut into 1/2 in x 1/2 in x 2 in pieces (or 1 lb of uncooked meat, sliced)
1.5 tbsp soy sauce
1/3 cup chicken stock
3 tbsp rice vinegar (or white vinegar)
1 tbsp lime juice
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano chili, sliced (remove the seeds if you don’t want it too spicy)
1 tbsp ginger, grated
4 green onions, the green part cut into 1 inch pieces and the white part chopped
1 oz rice noodles (pho sized), cooked al dente
2-3 cups bean sprouts
1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped (optional)
lime wedges (optional)
- Mix the tofu (or chicken) in 1.5 tbsp soy sauce. Set aside.
- Mix chicken stock, rice vinegar, lime juice, brown sugar, fish sauce, and 1 tbsp soy sauce together until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
- Heat oil on medium-high heat then add garlic, chili, ginger, and the white part of the green onions. Saute for about a minute then add tofu (or chicken). Saute that for 2-3 minutes (or until chicken is cooked).
- Shove everything to the sides of the pan so that it’s clear in the middle. Crack the egg in the middle and scramble it, then combine with other ingredients.
- Add the noodles and 3-4 tbsp of the chicken stock mixture. Using 2 utensils, toss the noodles and stir-fry all the ingredients together. Continue frying in this way, adding more of the sauce every minute or two, until all the sauce has been added and the noodles are chewy and a little bit sticky (8-10 minutes). When the sauce has been absorbed, fold in bean sprouts (you want them to stay crispy) and green part of the green onions.
- Remove from heat and taste the noodles. Add 1-2 tbsp of fish sauce to taste. Serve with chopped peanuts and lime wedges.