“Pad Thai has become a bit of a cult favourite in both street food markets and high-end Thai restaurants, and it’s not hard to see why – it’s ridiculously tasty and seriously satisfying. Packed with proper Thai flavours like dried shrimps, Asian herbs and a beautiful tamarind sauce, it’s fresh and zingy but hearty and warming – a modern classic. ”
Cook the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.
Meanwhile, make the tamarind sauce. Coarsely grate the palm sugar into a bowl, add the tamarind paste, 1 tablespoon of fish sauce, a dash of vinegar and 2 tablespoons of boiling water and mix well so the sugar dissolves. Taste, and adjust the flavours if needed – you’re looking for sweet, sour and slightly salty.
Halve, deseed and finely slice the chillies, then place in a bowl with the juice from 1 lime to make a quick pickle.
Drain the noodles and toss in a little oil.
Peel and roughly chop the shallots, then trim and finely slice the chives. Pick and roughly chop most of the basil and mint leaves.
Slice the tofu into rough 1cm chunks. Run the tip of a knife down the back of each prawn and pull out the vein, meaning they’ll butterfly as they cook. Rinse the dried shrimps under cold running water, then pat dry with kitchen paper.
Place a large wok on a medium heat with a splash of oil, then add the dried shrimps, peanuts and chilli flakes. Toss for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden.
Take the pan off the heat, transfer half the mixture to a pestle and mortar and lightly crush, keeping to one side. Return the pan to a medium-high heat with another splash of oil, adding the shallots to the mix. Fry for 2 minutes, or until turning golden.
Toss in the prawns, chives, chopped herbs and shredded radish, then cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes, or until the prawns are almost cooked through.
Beat and add the egg, cook for 1 to 2 minutes, then fold through and toss in the tofu, noodles, beansprouts and tamarind sauce until well combined.
Divide the pad Thai between bowls, sprinkle over the crushed nut mixture from the mortar and pick over the remaining mint and basil leaves. Serve with the quick pickled chillies and lime wedges for squeezing over. Delicious!