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Friday, December 31, 2010

Pad Thai

Pad Thai
4 TBS tamarind paste or pulp
4 TBS palm sugar (or brown sugar)
4 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TSP sriracha
1 Package rice sticks
Peanut oil
1 Package tofu, drained and diced
2 Chicken breasts, sliced thin
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 Eggs
Bunch of scallions, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/3 Cup of peanuts
1/3 Cup bean sprouts
Lime wedges for serving

Pad Thai is a classic Asian dish that always seemed impossible for me to re-create. After doing some research, I think I've come up with a pretty close interpretation. There are a few ingredients I omitted, but if you can find them, you can add dried shrimp and pickled radish for even more authentic flavor. You can enjoy this dish with or without the chicken, or even add shrimp.

First, soak the noodles according to the package directions. For the tamarind, which I found in the form of a dried brick at an Asian market, soak in warm water for about 8 minutes. Push the liquid through a sieve and put aside. If you can find already made tamarind paste, go ahead and use it. For the sauce, add the paste, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sriracha in a small sauce pot and heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil over medium high heat. Cook the chicken until just about done. Remove the chicken, add another tablespoon on oil, then add the tofu. Cook until browned. Set both aside.

Once noodles have soaked and are soft, but still al dente, drain and rinse with cold water. Wipe out the pan and reheat anther tablespoon of oil. Working in 2 batches, add the half the garlic. Saute for 1 minute, then add half the noodles. Cook for a couple minutes, then make a space in the middle and add one of the eggs. Beat until the egg begins to set, then toss with the noodles. Add half the chicken and tofu and cook for a few minutes more. Turn off the heat, then add the peanuts, spouts and scallions.

Serve first batch with lime wedges and more sriracha or chili oil immediately before working on second batch.

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.