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Real Shrimp Pad Thai

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)

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Shrimp pad thai
Yogi Studio/Moment Open/Getty Images
This recipe for Pad Thai Noodles with Shrimp is authentic and so scrumptious! The recipe is gleened from what I've learned from Thai chefs in Thailand. Once you have the ingredients, the pad Thai sauce is simple to put together, so don't be tempted to buy bottled or packaged pad Thai sauce, which never tastes as good as fresh. Also, making it yourself means you get to adjust the flavors exactly to your liking. Aside from getting the sauce right, the secret to great pad thai is all in the noodles and how you cook them. But not to worry - you'll find great tips in this recipe for getting them just right. ENJOY!

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: SERVES 2-3

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Thai rice noodles (linguini width), or enough for 2 people
  • 12-15 small to medium raw shrimp, shells removed
  • 1 boneless chicken breast or 1-2 thighs*, chopped up into small pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 green onions, sliced (keep white separate from green)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. grated galangal OR ginger
  • 1-2 fresh red or green chilies (or as much or little as you like), finely sliced
  • 1 egg
  • 2-3 cups bean sprouts
  • handful fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • 2-3 Tbsp. vegetable oil for stir-frying (e.g. coconut, peanut, corn, sunflower, etc...)
  • lime wedges for serving
  • PAD THAI SAUCE:
  • 1 to 1+1/2 Tbsp. tamarind paste, to taste (available at Asian/Indian food stores)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. chili sauce, OR 1/3 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar

Preparation:

For an easy version of this recipe, see: Quick & Easy Shrimp Pad Thai.

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil, then switch off heat. Dunk in noodles and soak 3-4 minutes, or until noodles are limp but still firm and a little "crunchy". Tip:The noodles must remain 'undercooked' at this stage, as they will be fried later. This is the key to chewy 'al dente' rice noodles. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Set aside.
  2. Toss sliced chicken in 1 Tbsp. soy sauce and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl or cup, combine all 'Pad Thai Sauce' ingredients (note that if your tamarind paste is very thick, only add 1 Tbsp; if thin/runny, add 1+1/2 Tbsp). Taste-test the sauce, looking for a very strong-tasting flavor that tastes sour-sweet first, followed by salty and spicy. Set aside.
  4. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add the white parts of the onion (reserve green parts for serving), plus garlic, galangal/ginger, and chili. Stir-fry 1 minute.
  5. Add chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes, or until opaque when cut through. Add shrimp and continue stir-frying 2-3 more minutes, or until shrimp are pink and plump.
  6. Push ingredients aside, making room in the center of your wok/pan and crack in the egg. Stir-fry quickly to scramble (30 seconds to 1 minute).
  7. Add the noodles and drizzle over 1/3 of the pad Thai sauce. Using 2 utensils and a gentle turning motion, stir-fry everything together. Keep heat between medium and high - you want it hot enough to cook the noodles, but not so hot that they'll burn. Add more sauce every 30 seconds to 1 minute as the pan/wok dries out. Continue stir-frying until sauce is gone and noodles begin to get sticky and 'glossy' and taste chewy ('al dente' (5 to 7 minutes).
  8. Turn off heat. Fold in bean sprouts and taste-test. If not flavorful or salty enough, add more fish sauce. If too salty or sweet, add a drizzle more tamarind or a good squeeze of lime. If not spicy enough, add more chili sauce or fresh-cut chilies.
  9. Sprinkle over the green onion, nuts, and coriander, and garnish with lime wedges (to be squeezed over before eating). Thai chili sauce can be served on the side for those who like it extra spicy. ENJOY!

Tips: When making more than 8 oz. of noodles, I usually double the pad Thai sauce recipe. Avoid making more than 12 oz. of noodles at any one time, simply because as it's hard to turn the noodles and get them cooked evenly without over-cooking them. Any leftover sauce can be stored in a jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

Chicken in Shrimp Pad Thai? People often ask why I bother adding chicken to shrimp pad Thai. The answer is simple: it tastes better! Adding a little chicken is a tip I was given by a local Thai chef in southern Thailand, and she is right - it completes the dish and gives the taste added depth. Enjoy!

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
OMG! YUMMY, Member DEBINSTPETE

I FELT LIKE I WAS IN MY FAVORITE THAI RESTAURANT, THIS RECIPE IS THAT GOOD... I FOLLOWED EXACTLY, AND THE ONLY CHANGE I WOULD MAKE FOR FUTURE IS TO ADD A BIT MORE CHILIS, WE LIKE MEDIUM TO SPICY (DEPENDING ON DISH) AND AS MADE JUST WASN'T FIERY ENOUGH; MADE AGAIN WITH JUST CHICKEN AND VEGIES, ALSO FANTASTICALLY FLAVORFUL, THIS WILL BE MY NEW GO TO PAD THAI RECIPE, HINT - MAKE TONS OF SAUCE AND FREEZE INDIVIDUAL PORTIONS FOR WHEN YOU ARE IN A HURRY, I GUARANTEE QUICKER THAN TAKE-OUT, AND PROBABLY BETTER!!!

15 out of 17 people found this helpful.

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