Pad Thai is a popular spicy shrimp noodle
dish in Thailand and around the world.
12 ounces rice noodles
10 cloves garlic
2 large shallots
1 medium chili pepper, thin red
1/2 cup peanuts roasted and unsalted
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons brown sugar, firmly packed
3 large eggs
1 pound shrimp, jumbo uncooked frozen, pre-peeled and cleaned
3 tablespoons oil, divided
2 cups bean sprouts, picked over and rinsed
4 medium scallions, trimmed and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 lime, cut into wedges
red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cilantro, washed and dried
Prepare all ingredients for cooking.
Cook rice noodles according to the package directions, approximately
4-6 minutes. Drain them in a colander and rinse with cold water. Set
Mince shallots and garlic, and place in a bowl. Slit red chili and
using a spoon to seed it. Cut the chili into small pieces and place in
the bowl with shallots and garlic.
Mix fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar in a medium
bowl. Lightly beat eggs in another bowl. Place peanuts in a plastic
bag and gently crush with a rolling pin, place crushed peanuts into a
bowl. Place bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro in separate bowls.
Defrost shrimp under cold running water according to the package
directions, approximately 5 minutes. Remove tails and cut each shrimp
In a skillet heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat, cook eggs for
a minute or so until they are set but not browned, remove eggs and
place in a bowl.
Heat remaining oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the
shallots, garlic, and chopped chili pepper. Stir-fry for a minute, add
the shrimp, and raise the heat to medium-high. Stir-fry for about 3 or
4 minutes, shrimp will turn pink and almost cooked through, do not
overcook the shrimp. Remove shrimp and vegetables to a bowl.
Quickly rinse the cooked noodles again and drain. Add the rice noodles
and 3/4 of the sauce to the empty pot still on medium-high heat. Toss
these around to heat. Add bean sprouts and scallions to the rice
noodle pot. Cook for a few minutes, tossing often. When the noodles
and veggies are hot add the shrimp, cooked eggs and the rest of the
sauce, and stir.
Serve the shrimp-noodle dish with a squeeze of lime and sprinkled with
the peanuts, red pepper flakes, and cilantro.
Pad Thai is a dish of stir-fried rice
noodles with eggs, fish sauce, tamarind juice, red chilli pepper, plus
any combination of bean sprouts, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, garnished
with crushed peanuts and coriander. It is normally served with a piece
of lime, the juice of which can be added along with Thai condiments.
In Thailand, it is also served with a piece of banana flower.
Two different styles of Pad Thai have evolved: the version most often
found in the streets of Thailand, which is relatively dry and light,
and the version that seems dominant in many restaurants in the West,
which is heavier and may be covered in red oil.
Though the dish had been known in various forms for centuries – it is
thought to have been brought to the ancient Thai capital of Ayuthaya
by Vietnamese traders – it was first made popular as a national dish
by Luang Phibunsongkhram when he was prime minister during the 1930s
and 1940s, partly as an element of his campaign for Thai nationalism
and centralization, and partly for a campaign to reduce rice
consumption in Thailand. The Thai economy at this time was heavily
dependent on rice exports; Phibunsongkhram hoped to increase the
amount of it available for export by launching a campaign to educate
the poor in the production of rice noodles, as well as in the
preparation of these noodles with other ingredients to sell in small
cafes and from street carts.
Its name literally means "Thai-style stir-fried noodles", which
suggests an origin that isn't Thai. Indeed, noodle cookery in most
Southeast Asian countries was introduced by the wave of immigrants
from southern China settling in the region the past century. They
brought with them rice noodles and their ways of cooking them. During
the recession following World War II, the post-war government of Field
Marshall Pibul, desperate in its efforts to revive the Thai economy,
looked for ways to stem the massive tide of unemployment. Among the
occupations the government aggressively promoted to give the populace
a way to earn a living was the production of rice noodles and the
operation of noodle shops. Detailed instructions on how to make the
noodles and recipes were printed and distributed around the country.
From these efforts, rice noodles became firmly rooted in the country
and have since become a widespread staple food.
Outside of Thailand, Pad Thai is one of the best-known Thai dishes,
and is very popular in Thai restaurants in the United States and
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