Sunday, January 26

Pad Thai Noodles with Chicken and Prawn

If you have been to Thailand then this dish needs no introduction. Available on every street corner from the mental Khao San road in Bangkok to bamboo shack beach restaurants. It is the backpackers staple, mainly because it is cheap, tasty and filling meaning more cash can be reserved for ice cold Singha beers. I have eaten these noodles countless times in a myriad of now forgotten places - this version is an amalgam of the best ones. 

If you get the time, try and find your local Asian supermarket as you will be staggered how economical items are compared to supermarkets. I got most of my ingredients from Teohs on Lower Ashley Road in Bristol - a fantastic treasure trove of a shop. Serves 2 to 3.

Vegetable oil
Garlic - 3 fat cloves, peeled and sliced
Spring onions - 1 bunch, cleaned and sliced, green bits and all.
1 small onion - peeled and finely sliced
Bean sprouts - approx 150g
Crushed red chilli - 1 tsp
Rice noodles - 100g
Eggs - 2, beaten
Prawns - 100g
1 small chicken breast - finely sliced
Blanched peanuts - 50g
Fresh coriander - 1/2 a large bunch, leaves and stems chopped separately 
Limes - 2
Fish sauce - 2-3 tbsp
Sweet chilli sauce - 2-3 tbsp

Put your noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Leave to stand for 5 mins or so and when tender, drain, refresh in lots of cold water, drain again then toss them in veg oil to stop them sticking.

In a large frying pan or wok, gently fry your peanuts in quite a lot of veg oil until dark golden (maybe 50ml of oil). Drain reserving the oil and set aside to cool. Once cool, roughly crush and set aside. Get the pan back on a high heat and tip in the peanut oil you reserved. Start to fry off the onion, chilli and garlic and when just starting to colour toss in the chicken and most of the spring onion and bean sprouts. When the chicken is almost cooked through, push all the pan contents to one side and fry the beaten eggs on the clear side of the pan. When the eggs have scrambled, mix everything together again and toss in your noodles, prawns, a handful of the crushed peanuts, the fish sauce and chilli sauce to taste. Also throw in the chopped up coriander root at this stage as it has bags of flavour

Keep stir frying until the noodles are hot and the chicken is fully cooked. Taste and add more chilli and fish sauces to your taste.  Serve on a large platter and sprinkle generously with the rest of the peanuts, raw bean sprouts, spring onion, the coriander leaf and lime wedges. 

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