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From Gourmet Magazine, December 2007. Vegetarian if you use soy instead of fish sauce. It's a little spicy if you use all the Sriracha -- cut back if you don't like spice, or add more if you do. As good as anything I've had in a restaurant. Oh and I added some carrots for healthiness. And made a bunch of other tweaks. Also, even though it involves some deep frying, it is not too difficult to make.
- 12 ounces flat rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons tamarind pulp (from a pliable block. 1/2 T tamarind concentrate works as well)
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1⁄2 cup light soy sauce or 1⁄2 cup fish sauce
- 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar (measured while packed)
- 2 tablespoons sriracha sauce
- 1⁄4 cup peanut oil (plus at least 1 more cup for frying) or 1⁄4 cup vegetable oil (plus at least 1 more cup for frying)
- 4 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 (16 ounce) package firm tofu, rinsed and cut into 1 inch cubes
- 6 large eggs
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
- 1 bunch scallion, white & pale green parts cut into 2-inch pieces and halved lengthwise, green parts chopped roughly
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 cups bean sprouts (1/4 lb)
- 1⁄2 cup roasted peanuts, corasely chopped
- Cook noodles according to package directions; generally this involves soaking in very hot water for several minutes and rinsing under cool water.
- Meanwhile, make sauce by soaking tamarind pulp in boiling water in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Force mixture through a sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds and fibers. Alternatively, dissolve tamarind concentrate in hot water. Add soy or fish sauce, brown sugar and Sriracha, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
- Heat 1 1/2 cups oil in wok over medium heat until hot, then fry half of shallots over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, 8-12 minutes. Carefully strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl; reserve oil. Spread fried shallots on paper towels to drain. Wipe wok clean.
- Pat tofu dry. Reheat shallot oil in wok over high heat until hot. Fry tofu in 1 layer, turning occasionally, until golden, 5-8 minutes. Transfer tofu to paper towels to drain using slotted spoon. Pour off frying oil and reserve.
- Lightly beat eggs and salt. Heat 2 T shallot oil in wok over high heat until it shimmers. Add eggs and swirl to coat sides of wok. Cook, stirring gently with a spatula, until cooked through. Break into chunks with spatula and transfer to a plate.
- Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour in 6 T shallot oil and swirl to coat side of wok. Stir-fry white and pale green scallions, garlic, carrots and remaining shallots until softened, about 1 minute.
- Add noodles and stir-fry over medium heat (use 2 spatulas if necessary) for 3 minutes. Add tofu, 1 cup of bean sprouts, and 1 1/2 cups sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce, until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in additional sauce if desired, then stir in eggs and transfer to a serving dish.
- Sprinkle pad thai with peanuts, fried shallots, and remaining scallions. Serve with lime wedges, remaining bean sprouts, cilantro sprigs, and Sriracha.