There are many aspects to learning how to make an excellent restaurant-style pad. These include the recipe, steps, history, and tamarind puree. Once you understand these elements, you’ll be ready to start preparing the dish. You’ll be amazed at the results.
To make Pad Thai at home, you must start by understanding the essential ingredients and the process of making this dish. Tamari, or tamarind, a native of Thailand, is one of the most vital ingredients in this dish. Tamarind is typically available in blocks or compacted pieces, which you should soak in water for an hour or overnight. Then, press the soaked tamarind through a fine-mesh sieve. The resulting puree should look like apple butter and be sweet and velvety.
Pad Thai originated in Thailand and has become one of the world’s most famous noodle dishes. A decade ago, it ranked 5th on the popularity index of cuisines worldwide. Since then, countries and cooks have added their variations and ingredients, but the basic recipe of this dish remains the same. This dish combines rice noodles, stir-fried eggs, bean sprouts, and a tangy sauce.
Pad Thai is usually made to order in restaurants. The process comes together quickly. If you don’t want to spend an hour making a single batch of pad Thai, cook two or three servings at a time. Alternatively, you can serve your first batch of pad Thai while you wait for the second one to finish. If you’d like to make Pad Thai at home, make sure you have a large enough pan. A wok is the best cooking vessel for this dish.
To make pad Thai at home:
- Start by mixing the ingredients for the sauce.
- Add the noodles to the hot wok and stir-fry for a few minutes.
- Fold in the bean sprouts and the green onion.
- Test your noodles to determine if they’re cooked to the consistency you want.
- Serve your delicious pad Thai with a side dish like green onion and steamed vegetables.
A few steps to follow to make good Pad Thai at home. Firstly, you should prepare all the ingredients. For instance, you should clean the tofu and slice it into small cubes. It would help if you chopped the garlic and chives too. Also, clean the bean sprouts and dry them before adding them to the recipe. You should also wash and drain the pickled sweet radish. You can also pound the dried shrimp in a mortar and pestle.
Next, you should prepare the sauce. The sauce will include tamarind puree. You can buy tamarind at an Asian or Indian market. It is essential to soak it in hot water for several minutes and then squeeze it to extract its pulp. Add this mixture to the other ingredients and stir them well. Then, pour the sauce over the noodles.
Once you’ve finished your ingredients, you can begin cooking. Ideally, you should use a large skillet that can retain heat for a long time. This will ensure that the ingredients cook quickly and brown properly. Browning the elements will give the dish an extra layer of flavor. The traditional way of cooking Pad Thai is with a wok, but you can also use a large cast iron skillet.
Authentic Pad Thai sauce should not contain ketchup or syrupy sauce. It should also not be a heavy clump of noodles. A good sauce will balance sweet and sour, umami and earthiness.
The popularity of pad Thai in the West began with simple and cheap street food sold on Bangkok’s streets. It contained beans, vegetables, and protein to make the perfect balanced meal. This food was quickly adopted by the Thai government, which promoted its sale and encouraged street vendors to offer it for sale.
The history of pad Thai is an intriguing one. The dish was not traditionally part of Thai cuisine until the 1930s when it was first distributed to street vendors by the government. This standardized recipe soon spread throughout Thailand and the world. While it might not have originally been Thai, the dish is a product of the country’s nation-building strategies.
While it originated on the streets of Bangkok, the popularity of this dish quickly spread to rural Thai villages. Songkran Daks, the owner of Thai Basil in Chantilly, Virginia, was born and raised in a town in southern Thailand where the dish was widely available. In those days, pad Thai was served in banana leaves or newspaper, wrapped in a string for easy transportation. It was usually done as a late-night snack.
Before the Phibun family brought it to the US, most Thais ate rice topped with chili paste and leaves and sprinkled with salt. However, during World War II, the Thai population faced a rice shortage. This shortage served as an opportunity for Phibun to use the dish as a nationalistic propaganda tool. Today, pad Thai is famous in America as well as Thailand.
In addition to the rice noodle base, the dish is also served with shrimp, tofu, or vegetables. The broth of this dish is flavored with garlic, fish sauce, tamarind, and various other ingredients. It is often served with lime wedges and may even be garnished with pickled vegetables and raw banana flowers.
Tamarind puree for restaurant-style pad Thailand has a unique tangy flavor. It’s the main ingredient in Thai cooking, but some recipes add peanut butter or other bold flavors. This tamarind paste can be purchased in jars or bottles in international aisles.
Tamarind paste comes in two forms: paste and puree. Both of these are important for pad Thai sauce. It would help if you used the kind that’s in jar form. Be sure not to buy one in solid form. Instead, look for a jar labeled as either a puree or paste. The former is more convenient. Tamarind paste will be less sour and have a slightly more fruity flavor.
To make the sauce, first prepare the rice noodles. You can buy them ready-made in Asian stores and supermarkets in Australia. Alternatively, you can make your own at home. Then, mix the fish sauce, soy sauce, and tamarind puree. You can use ketchup or rice vinegar as a substitute if you don’t have any of these ingredients.
When choosing a tamarind paste, make sure to buy one that is made from the pulp. It should also come from Thailand or Vietnam, not India. The tamarind paste you buy in India is usually black and is not appropriate for Thai cooking. If you’re worried about tamarind flavor, you can also use lime juice.
A traditional ingredient of Pad Thai is crushed peanuts. These can be roasted in the oven or fried in a wok. Afterward, they should be destroyed using a mortar, pestle, or rolling pin. If you’re not a fan of peanuts, you can omit the peanuts.
Garlic chives play a central role in Phad Thai, a stir-fried Thai dish that balances the flavors of sweet, sour, and spicy. Used in Thailand since its inception, garlic chives are a popular addition to this dish, adding bitterness and complexity to the flavor profile. Other classic ingredients include mung bean sprouts, fish sauce, and chili.
Garlic chives are an essential ingredient in pad Thai and can be substituted for green onions in some recipes. The tofu should be cut into cubes, the garlic and chives should be chopped, and the bean sprouts should be rinsed and dried before adding them. Before adding it to the dish, you should also rinse the pickled sweet radish thoroughly. Before adding them to the soup, you should also pound the dried shrimp using a pestle and mortar.
The rice noodles used should be of the Erawan Brand medium size, considered traditional in Thailand. You can use other rice noodles brands, but remember that they may need adjustments in the water and soaking time. Also, be sure to use Chinese chives, which are larger than regular chives and are crispier and garlicky. You can substitute spring or green onions if you can’t find Chinese chives. You can also add crushed peanuts to the soup.
After adding the sauce, you can add the prawns and chicken. Add them to the noodles and cook until the dressing absorbs them. Once the noodles are cooked, add the scrambled egg and bean sprouts. After that, add garlic chives and add some sliced peanuts.