Thursday, 13 August 2015

Pad Thai (Thai-style Fried Noodles)

I’ve ‘played around’ with a number of different versions of the classic Thai dish, Pad Thai. This is a fairly simplified version, but I think that is one of the factors in its favour. With a little practice, this tasty dish can actually be prepared in 15-20 minutes from start to finish, making it perfect for a quick weeknight meal. I made a double batch in a large electric frypan last weekend for a family gathering and it was a great success.

For 2–3 large servings:

150–200g rice noodles
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3 cloves garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
about 200g boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon minced red chilli
200g cooked prawns, thawed and drained if frozen
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 spring onions, sliced diagonally
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 tablespoon lime (or lemon) juice
2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 cups bean sprouts
chopped fresh coriander and roasted peanuts to garnish

Place the rice noodles in a large bowl, cover with boiling water and soak for 5–10 minutes or until soft and flexible, then drain well. (Check after five minutes as different brands seem to soften at different speeds and some get too soft if soaked too for long.)

Heat about 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large wok or frypan, then add the beaten egg and cook to form a thin omelette. As soon as the upper surface looks dry, roll or fold the omelette and remove it from the pan. Cut it into 1cm ribbons and set aside.

Add the rest of the first measure of oil to the pan, then add the garlic, cook over a high heat until it just begins to brown, then add the chicken and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes until chicken has lost its pink colour and is beginning to brown.

Stir in the chilli and prawns and stir-fry for a minute longer, then add the noodles, second measure of oil and the spring onion greens. Toss to combine then add the fish sauce, vinegar, lime (or lemon) juice and sugar.

Stir-fry until the liquid has almost disappeared, then add the bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute longer.

Serve immediately garnished with chopped coriander and peanuts.

Photography: Lindsay Keats

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