A favorite street food in Thailand, Pad Thai packs many layers of flavor, color and texture into a simple rice noodle stir-fry. Our recipe calls for prawns, however, you can substitute chicken, pork, tofu or vegetables to suit your taste. The secret to a great Pad Thai is to have every ingredient prepped before starting to cook. Stealing from the French, this “mise en place” method makes it possible to prepare it quickly, without having to stop or step away.
Prawn Pad Thai Recipe
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 6 min
16 oz Pad Thai rice noodles, (black or white), cooked
¼ c fish sauce
¼ c brown sugar
2 T tamari
1 T sambal or sriracha hot sauce
¼ c lime juice
2 T + 2 T vegetable oil, plus some for rice noodles
1 lb lg prawns, shelled and cleaned
2 shallots, sliced
2 T garlic, minced
1 serrano chili, sliced fine
½ c roasted, salted peanuts, plus more for garnish
2 c Napa cabbage, shredded (optional)
¼ c Thai basil leaves
1-2 limes, quartered for garnish
1-½ c fresh bean sprouts for garnish
Heat water and soak rice noodles, according to package directions, then drain and rinse in cold water to stop cooking (do not overcook noodles, as they are more delicate than wheat noodles). Drizzle lightly with vegetable oil to keep from sticking and set aside. In a small bowl, combine fish sauce, brown sugar, tamari, hot sauce and lime juice and set aside. In a large wok or skillet over med-high heat, add 2 T of vegetable oil. When oil is hot and shimmering, carefully add shrimp all at once (it will likely flare up briefly). Sauté shrimp 2 min, until pink but not completely cooked through; remove from pan.
Add 2 T vegetable oil to pan and sauté shallots 1 min. Add garlic and serrano chili and cook 1 min more. Push everything to one side of pan and add eggs in center, stirring to scramble quickly, then push eggs to side of pan. Add fish sauce mixture and shrimp, then bring to a simmer and stir together. Add peanuts, cabbage and noodles, then stir to combine. Remove from heat quickly to avoid overcooking noodles. Divide among 4 serving bowls. Garnish with more peanuts, lots of fresh Thai basil, more chilies, as desired, lime wedges and fresh bean sprouts. Serve immediately.