Shrimp Pad Thai
This recipe loads perfectly chewy noodles with layers and layers of flavor by using shrimp three ways (head-on fresh shrimp, fried dried shrimp and shrimp paste). If you don't have access to head-on shrimp, regular shrimp will still be delicious.
- 2 Ounce flat rice noodles
- 2 Tbsp 1-inch pieces of garlic chives
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 Tbsp minced Thai preserved sweet radish (see Note)
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped shallot
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic
- 2 Tbsp diced extra-firm tofu (1 ounce)
- 7 head-on shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 Tbsp dried shrimp
- 3 Tbsp canola oil
- 0.25 tsp Thai chile powder (see Note)
- 0.25 tsp shrimp paste in oil (see Note)
- 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
- 1.5 Ounce palm sugar (see Note), grated on the large holes of a box grater (1/4 cup)
- 0.25 cup Asian fish sauce
- 0.25 cup tamarind concentrate (see Note)
- 1.5 Tbsp skin-on peanuts
- Bean sprouts and lime wedges, for garnish
- In a large bowl, cover the noodles with cold water and let stand for 2 hours. Drain well.
- Preheat the oven to 375°. Spread the peanuts on a baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop.
- Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, palm sugar, vinegar, shrimp paste and chile powder and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Let cool.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Add the dried shrimp and stir-fry over high heat for 1 minute. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the shrimp to a paper towel–lined plate. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop the dried shrimp.
- In the same skillet, cook the fresh shrimp over moderately high heat, turning once, until just white throughout, about 2 minutes. Transfer the shrimp to a plate.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil to the skillet and heat until shimmering. Add the tofu, garlic, shallot and preserved radish and stir-fry over high heat, until the garlic and shallot are golden, about 1 minute. Add the noodles and 3 tablespoons of the tamarind sauce and stir-fry until the noodles are coated and most of the sauce is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and chives and cook, stirring and tossing, until the egg is cooked, about 1 minute. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the peanuts and dried shrimp. Transfer to a plate, top with the head-on shrimp and garnish with the bean sprouts and lime wedges. Save the remaining tamarind sauce for subsequent batches.
Make Ahead: The soaked and drained noodles can be covered with a damp towel and refrigerated overnight. The tamarind sauce can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Notes: The tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, shrimp paste, chile powder, dried shrimp and preserved sweet radish (also sold as sweet-salty turnip) are available at specialty food stores and at templeofthai.com.
Recipe Credit: Ann Redding
Image Credit: Con Poulos