When cooking Thai food, the goal is to find a balance between the four tastes in Thai cooking: sweet, salty, hot, and spicy. The ingredients in every Thai dish can be modified to increase or decrease the intensity of any of the four tastes to suit your preference.
Basic Pad Thai Ingredients:
- 3 tbsp of oil (vegetable or sesame)
- 3 tbsp of minced garlic
- 3 tbsp of minced shallot
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 1/2 lb dry "sen lek" noodles. Soak them in warm water for 20-30 minutes, then drain and set aside. (Sen Lek noodles are flat rice noodles that are about the size of linguine. You may also use flat rice noodles that are less wide than linguine and Sen Lek noodles.)
- 1/4 lb prawns, peeled (optional)
- 2 tbsp of sugar
- 3 tbsp of fish sauce
- juice of 2 fresh limes
- dried hot chili flakes (to taste)
- 1/4 lb bean sprouts
Garnish (place each garnish in its own small dish, and place on the dining table):
- 1/2 cup peanuts (roasted or un-roasted), chopped
- 2 lime wedges (lime juice will be squeezed onto pad Thai by the diner)
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 lb bean sprouts
Basic Pad Thai Directions:
- Pre-heat dry wok over medium-high heat.
- Add 1 tablespoon of the oil (vegetable or sesame) and coat the entire pan.
- If adding prawns, add in prawns once the oil is hot. Constantly stir the prawns until they turn bright orange-pink.
- Remove prawns from wok and set aside.
- Add the remaining oil, coat the pan, and add the garlic and shallots, stirring until golden brown.
- Turn the heat to high, and add eggs into wok.
- Using a wooden spoon or spatula, gently stir the eggs.
- Let the mixture stand for about 30 - 60 seconds to allow the eggs to fry.
- Add all of the noodles and stir vigorously for about 60 seconds, taking care not to break the noodles.
- While stirring constantly add the sugar, fish sauce, lime juice, and 1/4 lb the bean sprouts.
- Stir and toss to coat all of the noodles, while taking care again not to break the noodles.
- When the noodles start to become sticky, quickly add back prawns, stir, and then place everything that is in the wok into two bowls.
- Garnish: Allow diners to share the garnishes and to determine the amount of garnish for their dish.