Pad Thai With Chicken and Tofu
Happy Monday, I hope you had a great weekend and have survived your Monday. Well, tonight’s dish is delicious, its another Asian dish, my last post was Korean Barbecue Fried Chicken, delish, but tonight we travel to exotic Thailand. But you will not find this dish in the gold ladened palaces where only royalty dine, no you will find it in the streets, the alleys where it’s accessible to all. This could be the equivalent of tacos to Mexican food, it’s a very popular street food, my kind of food!
During World War II, Thailand suffered a rice shortage due to the war and floods. To reduce domestic rice consumption, the Thai government under Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram promoted eating noodles instead. His government promoted rice noodles and helped to establish the identity of Thailand. As a result, a new noodle called sen chan (named after Chanthaburi Province) was created. Pad Thai has since become one of Thailand’s national dishes. Apparently its not just Thailand’s national dish because it was listed at number five on a list of “World’s 50 most delicious foods” readers’ poll compiled by CNN Go in 2011.
The taste is sweet, salty, nutty, tangy, a bit spicy with great chewy texture from the sen chan or thai rice noodles. I cooked mine with chicken, however, you could use shrimp, beef, pork, or just tofu for a vegetarian dish, either way you will dig it. My only suggestion would be to save this for a Friday night or weekend, the dish may take a little over an hour to finish. The cooking and prep is actually pretty quick, but the time killer is soaking the noodles for about 45-60 minutes before cooking them. To speed up cooking time you could also buy a bottle of Pad Thai sauce at your local market’s Asian section instead of making from scratch. But do make the dish, it’s rather easy, kind of like making a stir fry, but with these Thai noodles. It’s sure to impress your tastebuds and your buds who will enjoy your creation.
Thank you so much for reading and have a great new day tomorrow.
- 4 ounces pad Thai rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste (from a block)
- 5 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped smoked tofu (about 2 1/2 ounces)
- 1 small shallot, halved and thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 chicken breast, cut into small pieces
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups mung bean sprouts
- 3 scallions, cut into thirds crosswise and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons salted peanuts, finely chopped
- Lime wedges, for serving
Put the noodles in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Set aside until pliable and al dente, 45 to 60 minutes. Drain well.
Meanwhile, make the sauce: Break the tamarind paste into bits with your fingers and put in a small bowl. Cover with 1/4 cup boiling water and let stand 10 minutes. Mash with a fork to break up the paste, then press through a fine-mesh sieve with a rubber spatula over a bowl, discarding any seeds and tough bits. Stir in the sugar, fish sauce and a pinch of salt until smooth; set aside.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, then add the tofu, shallot, ginger and garlic. Cook, stirring with a flat wooden spoon, until tender but not browned, about 2 minutes. Add the noodles and a few tablespoons of the tamarind sauce. Cook, stirring and spreading the noodles around the skillet, until the noodles absorb all the sauce, about 1 minute. Add a few more tablespoons of the tamarind sauce and stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute more.
Push the noodle mixture to one side of the skillet and add the remaining 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to the other side. Add the chicken to the oil in a single layer and cook until cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. (Occasionally stir the noodles to make sure they are not sticking to the skillet.) Add the remaining tamarind sauce and stir to combine the noodles and chicken.
Push the noodle-chicken mixture to one side of the skillet. Add the eggs to the other side, stir briefly, then let cook, undisturbed, until mostly set. Spoon the noodle-chicken mixture on top of the eggs, then flip the whole thing over and break up the eggs into large chunks. Remove from the heat, add the bean sprouts and scallions and stir quickly to combine (you want the sprouts and scallions to remain crunchy). Divide among bowls, top with the peanuts and serve with lime wedges.
Recipe courtesy of Food Network magazine