We learned to cook this on our cookery course in Koh Samui, but the recipe ‘book’ we were given was so unlike what we had done, I have had to combine that recipe with Rick Stein’s! I use the prawn heads to make a stock (simply freeze them until you need them). Our chef used ketchup in her Pad Thai but I think that is a bit sweet. It’s really worth preparing all the ingredients and laying them on the same plate as their fellow ingredients, according to time of adding them to the wok, as a good Pad Thai is cooked extremely quickly to keep it crisp. You can eat it on its own or as part of a Thai feast with Tom Yang Goong a red or green curry, pomelo or papaya salad and rice.
10-12 large unpeeled raw prawns
3 tbsp coconut oil
175 grams of wide flat rice noodles (medium size)
15 g garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp crushed dried chillies
2 eggs, beaten
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp tamarind water or 1 tbsp tamarind from a jar
2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce or ketchup (!)
1 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp dried shrimp
150g medium/firm tofu, cut into chunks
50 g roasted peanuts, chopped
4 spring onions halved, cut into diagonals
50g fresh bean-sprouts
2 tbsp chopped coriander
2 tbs Chinese or ordinary chives, cut into lengths, for garnish
lime wedges for serving
First prepare all the ingredients and have them chopped and ready. Peel and decapitate the prawns, reserving the shells to make a stock for use in a soup.
Soak the noodles in boiling water for 3-5 minutes until soft, drain sprinkle some oil over them to keep them from sticking .
Heat the oil, add garlic, chillies and prawns and stir fry until prawns are pink and only just cooked. Pour in the eggs and scramble them until they are turning.
Turn down the heat and add the noodles, fish sauce, tamarind water, chill sauce and sugar and stir fry until noodles are coated and heated through. Then add dried shrimps, peanuts, spring onions, bean sprout, tofu and coriander and stir around until well-mixed. Serve with lime wedges, on its own or as part of a Thai feast.
Omit the fish sauce, dried shrimps, and egg.
Substitute 6 shitake mushrooms, finely sliced and fry them with the garlic , chillies and a small red onion finely sliced.
Then add the remaining ingredients, but use a light soy sauce instead of fish sauce.