The El Paso restaurant scene is indeed lacking in the Thai food category. We were missing Thai food back in Dallas, so we decided to recreate a signature Thai dish at home! We must say this recipe was easier than expected, and turned out just as tasty as we hoped. This recipe calls for ingredients that may only be found in your local asian food market such as tamarind pulp, fish sauce, bean sprouts, tofu, and rice noodles. Recipe adapted from Hot Thai Kitchen.
Pad Thai Sauce
3 tablespoons of palm sugar or brown sugar
3 tablespoons of water
4 tablespoons of tamarind paste (instructions below on how to make paste from tamarind pulp which is available in stores)
2 tablespoons of fish sauce
one container of firm tofu chopped into cubes
2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 cloves of garlic chopped
Your choice of protein (shrimp, chicken or both)
2 cups of bean sprouts
10 stems of garlic chives or green onions
1/4 cup of roasted peanuts
optional chili flakes and jalapeños
Soak the noodles in room temperature water for one hour.
Make the tamarind paste from tamarind pulp. The tamarind pulp can be found in your local asian grocery story. It comes in a block. Take 1/2 pound or 1/2 a block of the tamarind pulp and cut into pieces. Boil 2 cups of water then add the water to the tamarind pulp. Mix thoroughly or massage with your hands to release all the tamarind from the fibers. Then use a sieve to isolate just the liquid tamarind paste. You can add up to 1/2 cup water to help with the draining process. If you have left over, it can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months.
Make the pad thai sauce. Melt 3 tablespoons palm or brown sugar in a pot over medium heat. After sugar melts, add 3 tablespoons water, 4 tablespoons of the tamarind paste, and 2 tablespoons of fish sauce. Bring sauce to a simmer, then set aside to cool.
Drain the noodles and cut in half with scissors
Heat a wok or large nonstick skillet add oil to coat the bottom.
Sauté the garlic, tofu, your protein choice. Once cooked, add the noodles and the sauce. Toss until the sauce is absorbed.
Then push noodles to side of wok/skillet and fry 2 eggs. Then mix eggs into the noodles.
Top with bean sprouts, roasted peanuts, lime wedges, sliced jalapeños, and garlic chives/green onions.
Overall very impressed with this recipe. The sauce has a lot of ingredients, some of which you may not have heard of, but they are all essential for the classic pad thai taste. Also you may be tempted to add salt to the sauce, but there is enough salt in the fish sauce and tamarind paste. You can add salt to taste after stirring the noodles with the sauce. It is helpful to have a wok at home, but using a large skillet/pan works just as well. The topping choices are up to you. You can also add chili flakes or crispy dried shrimp if you like. And do not forget the lime wedges! The number of aprons we decided to give this recipe is....