This street vendor cooking how-to video demonstrates two very simple, different versions of Pad Thai, but that's not all. The possibilities are endless when it comes to Pad Thai--you can use your imagination to tweak the recipe to your own taste. Here, the first version uses boiled chantaboon rice stick noodles, and white vinegar with black soy sauce as the main sauces. The second version, Pad Thai without noodles (Pad Thai Mai Sai Sen) is quite popular. We also have our own favorite version of Pad Thai that uses tofu (which we love in Pad Thai!), and takes practice but has a wonderful rich flavor. Does the video inspire you to create your own Pad Thai today? Follow along and learn how to make authentic pad thai like the real street vendors.
This recipe requires 1 cup of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts. For best preparation, coarsely break them up in a stone mortar and pestle.
8 ounces Chantaboon rice noodles. These should be soaked at room temperature for an hour or more depending on how soft you prefer the noodles. It may take some experimentation to determine your preference, start with warm water.
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped.
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
1/4 cup dried shrimp or 1/2 fresh cooked shrimp
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup regular sugar (or crushed palm sugar but it doesn't make much difference).
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate mixed with 5 teaspoons water (this makes tamarind juice)
1 medium egg, beaten
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely broken up.
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup tofu that has been diced (1/2" cubes), marinated in dark sweet soy. "Firm" tofu works best.