Hey guys, both me and Jess here today,
This is a dish I've made a few times, it's one that I've adapted slightly to suit my tastes but is based on a recipe you can find all over the internet and in all thai restaurants. However, when I've looked on the internet, almost every recipe seems to differ and there is little in common. This is a recipe that can be easily adapted to have meat, or to be vegan, and to be gluten free or gluten...full (?) noodles. This time I'm making it vegan, gluten free and without tofu as Jess isn't too keen on tofu yet, and I've only just got her into thai food so yeah, baby steps. Anyway, I'll mention times where you can include different things if you want too. I'm using spring onions here instead of regular white onions so I add them later, but if you're using a white onion then add it earlier on. Also all of the vegetables are changeable, these are the ones we wanted/what asda had to offer, you can pick your own! Traditionally (as far as I can gather) Pad Thai uses both chicken and tofu, and coats the noodles in egg to give a thicker consistency, feel free to add an egg if you prefer, you can substitute this for 1/4 cup of silken tofu, but I don't think this gives quite the same effect so I prefer just to leave it out.
For the Pad Thai Sauce:
1 tbsp Tamarind Paste (this sounds like something no one has ever heard of but the Sainsbury's in fallowfield sells it so I'd imagine most do)
1 tbsp Peanut butter (if it's not crunchy, it's not worth it.)
3 tbsp gluten free Soy Sauce (or normal, I use dark because I prefer the colour and flavour it gives but as ever, you're the boss!)
3 tbsp Brown Sugar
1 tsp Crushed Chilis
1 tsp Ground Pepper (ish)
1/3 a cup of Stock (I used boiling water with 1/4 of a Kallo cube in it)
For the veg:
1/2 Courgette (sliced)
1 Pepper (chopped into sticks)
1/2 cup Mushrooms (sliced)
1 Carrot (thinly sliced)
3 Spring Onions (sliced into rings)
Handful of Mangetout
Handful of Sugarsnaps
1 hot Chili
1 large handful of crushed Peanuts
1/2 a pack/1 1/2 cup Beansprouts
Large Handful of Spinach
For the noodles:
4 cakes/a 4 person portion of whatever noodles you want (we're using a pack of tesco's fresh rice noodles as they are both nice and vegan/gluten free but anything will work, I would usually flat wheat noodles as I like the texture)
1 pan of Boiling water
Salt and Pepper to season
A dash of oil to fry in
Optional: 1/2 a chicken breast per person, marinated in soy sauce, stock and garlic beforehand, or 1/2 a block of diced firm tofu (don't use silken here) marinated in the same way. You can use other meats if you'd like but you'll probably have to adjust the cooking time for this, try to shred whatever you're using so it cooks quickly. Pork and beef would both work well I imagine.
First cook the noodles (if you need too) place in the boiling water and leave for 5 minutes to soak until soft, or if you're using large noodles and you think they need simmering briefly then simmer then, then strain and leave in cold water so that they don't stick together.
Mix the sauce together, the boiling water should help with this.
Heat the oil in a frying pan (you'll need a large one, we ended up splitting into two pans) over a high heat
Now add the onion if you're using one, and chicken and/or tofu, fry until just browning and the onions are sweating.
Add the chili - if you're following this recipe exactly and this is the first thing you're adding just fry the chili on its own for a minute or so before adding the rest of the vegetables.
Add the vegetables - all except the beansprouts and spinach (these will go in right at the end), if you like you can stagger them to get an even cooking, I'd add the courgette, carrot and pepper first and brown and then the rest, but honestly I generally like the crunchy vegetables crunchy and the softer ones softer so I chuck it all in and cook for the same amount of time.
Add in about 1/3 of the sauce mixture and toss through, as the vegetables start to cook you might need to reduce the heat slightly to prevent burning
Toss in the peanuts as well
Fry everything until it's starting to look cooked
Now add your noodles and all but a couple of spoonfuls of the sauce - use a spatula to break the noodles up a bit so the veg and noodles mix well (otherwise you get all noodles on top and all the veg at the bottom) - now is when you would add a whisked egg
when the noodles are heated through and everything is well combined, add the spring onions (if you're using them) beansprouts, spinach and the remainder of the sauce (just to coat the last few things)
Make sure the sauce is properly reduced (i.e. not just a runny mess at the bottom and has given everything a nice coating)
Serve and enjoy!
This recipe can be easily adapted to any different combination of meat, vegetables and noodles. I like to add red cabbage to my stirfrys at the last minute so there's something with a nice crunch as you eat it, but again this is just personal preference. Let us know any changes you make at email@example.com
NB// these go exceptionally well with the Cherry Bakewell Monkey Bars we made for afters! http://twocooksoneblog.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/update-cherry-bakewell-monkey-bars.html
Christmas themed recipe soon to come!