The cuisine of Thailand is arguably one of the best in the world. It’s bright and fresh, and the fiery chilis burn. It often causes you to wince from the sharp bite of lime and vinegar. Pad Thai, however, while undoubtedly a staple of the Thai food scene, has few of those stand-out aspects.
This street-style Pad Thai recipe is the perfect for those unfamiliar with Thai food.
How to Make Pad Thai
While it’s an incredibly simple recipe to prepare, each one seems to have it’s own unique, subtle differences. We’ve eaten Pad Thai all over the country, from Bangkok’s legendary Khao San Road to the hills of Pai, the stunning beaches of the south.
The town of Ao Nang, down in Krabi, is where we found our favourite. We don’t know the specifics of what made this one stand out, a couple of simple additions were obvious. Most notably was the addition of caramelized shallots that added an interesting dimension we hadn’t encountered before.
Although Pad Thai is typically a fairly mild dish, we’ve added just a little heat to our version by roasting the peanuts in chilli oil. Also, though eggs are usually scrambled into the dish while cooking, we prefer adding a partially cooked egg on top. The runny yolk adds a nice richness to the sauce. And of course, we’ve added those amazing caramelized shallots.
Can easily be made vegan by omitting the egg and prawns. Or go the other way and swap the tofu for chicken or pork.
Pad Thai Street Food Recipe
- 1/2 cup Peanuts, crushed
- 2 Shallots, sliced thin
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes
- 1 tsp Oil, Peanut or Canola
- 2 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 2 tbsp Tamarind Paste
- 1/4 cup Palm Sugar, (white sugar will work)
- 1/4 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Oil, Peanut or Canola
- 1/2 lb Prawns, peeled and deveined
- 2 cloves Garlic, minced
- 2 Shallots, sliced thin
- 400 g Firm Tofu, cut into 1 cm slices
- 1 Bird's Eye Chili, more or less, depending on your heat tolerance
- 2 Green Onions, sliced thin
- 200 g Rice Noodles, cooked according to package instructions
- 2 handfulls Bean Sprouts, roughly the same amount as noodles, washed
- 1 Lime, cut into wedges
- 2 Eggs
- Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Add oil, peanuts, shallots and chilli flakes and toss to coat. Stir frequently until browned slightly. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel.
- Mix fish sauce, tamarind paste, water and sugar in a pan and heat to melt sugar and reduce slightly. Remove from heat, add lime juice and set aside. It might taste a little tart and strange but it all comes together in the end!
- Cook noodles according to package directions and set aside.
- Heat oil in wok or large frying pan, fry tofu until brown and crispy on all sides. Remove from pan onto a paper towel.
- Heat pan back up to medium heat and add shallots. Fry until softened then add garlic and shrimp, fry for 3 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through.
- Add sauce and stir to reheat. Add noodles to the pan and mix until well coated and heated through. Add tofu, bean sprouts, green onion and sliced chillies. Toss to combine.
- Cook 2 eggs to your liking. We prefer soft poached or sunny side up.
- To Serve: Place into bowls and top with egg, caramelized shallots, peanuts, and a little more green onion and chillies.