Jun 19, 2012
Prawn Pad Thai was the third dish I made during my outstanding Thai cooking class with Parn at The Pirate restaurant, Koh Samui. If I am honest this used to be my least favourite Thai dish, I can hear people screaming ‘ what?!’ But I think it is because of how it is made at Thai restaurants in the UK. However since moving to Thailand I find no matter where I eat Pad Thai, whether it is from a street vendor or restaurant, I absolutely love it. In fact it’s possibly now my favourite, I tend to either order Pad Thai or cook it at home 2-3 times a week now. It is definitely one of those Thai dishes that are just better in Thailand.
Pad Thai is popular served in a number of ways; often it is just vegetables, vegetarian Pad Thai is great with the addition of small cubes of fried tofu, or you can have it with chicken or prawn. Tiger prawns add a beautiful colour and texture to the dish which is why I choose to use them during the cooking class.
I learnt a great number of tips and tricks from Parn, which were especially helpful in creating this amazing prawn Pad Thai dish, it tasted absolutely glorious, even if Parn did takeover for the plating up, so I didn’t slop it all on.
Pad Thai is a very presentable dish, check out my photos to see how Parn does it. I have noticed in Thailand to add to the presentation they add a little half moon of condiments to the plate featuring; a lime wedge, crushed peanuts, chilli flakes and sugar (but I never think the sugar is necessary).
I am so pleased with the two tips I have learnt for this dish I have decided to put them before the ingredients. First of all it is a wonderful addition to any Pad Thai recipe to create your own Pad Thai sauce. Now, you can just add a splash of soy sauce and fish sauce (it will still be tasty) but I learnt from Parn if you wish to make the ultimate Pad Thai then make your own sauce (please see ingredients for details). Parn makes the best Pad Thai on the island of Koh Samui and I think this is why!
Secondly, it is very easy to over cook the noodles in any noodle dish. When I first arrived in Thailand I thought they were under cooking the noodles, but when I tasted them they were perfect. So the trick is to really minimally cook your rice noodles and they will be perfectly al dente. Parn taught me to add the rice noodles to the pan dry and add around 50ml of cold which stops the noodles sticking together and aids them to cook.
Very Thai, very tasty, very easy recipe
Serves: one person
Preparation and cooking time: 10-15 minutes
Pad Thai goong (prawn) – Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 fresh tiger prawns (peeled and de-veined)
75g flat rice noodles
2 tsp dry shrimp
Homemade Pad Thai sauce*
3 tsp chopped unsalted peanuts
2 handfuls of fresh beansprouts
1 handful fresh chopped chives
Pad Thai goong (prawn) – Method
The list of ingredients for this recipe indicates the order at which items should be added to the wok.
First add the vegetable oil to the wok on a high heat. This whole dish can be cooked on a high heat. Thai food is often fast food and Thai people like to cook on a high heat.
Throw in the tiger prawns, cook for 1 minute then crack in the egg (no need to beat before hand). Stir in and allow the cook for around 30 seconds.
Add the uncooked rice noodles and 50ml of cold water. Stir in and cook for another 2 minutes, until noodles have softened.
Mix in dried shrimp, followed by Pad Thai sauce (or soy and fish sauce if not using Pad Thai sauce).
Take off the heat and stir in chopped peanuts, beansprouts and chopped chives. Serve with a wedge of lime.
Pad Thai sauce
Parn assures me that you can make a massive batch of this sauce and store it in the fridge for up to three months. However unless you’re a restaurant or eat a lot of Pad Thai I have shrunk the quantities down a little, so you if you have some leftover you can use it in another Pad Thai dinner or as a home stir fry sauce.
2 tsp tamarind paste
2 tsp palm sugar
2 tsp fish sauce
½ tsp chilli powder
1 tsp chopped shallots
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce