Pad Thai is our go-to order for Thai takeout and a common lunch choice for the TT editors. Tender rice noodles tossed in a sweet and tangy tamarind sauce with vegetables, shrimp and egg makes for a reliable and comforting meal that never lets you down.
Though we may switch up the protein, combining these flavors with shrimp is still our favorite. The addition of tofu creates the perfect texture to soak up the sauce. However, be sure to press your tofu before using. This method of removing the moisture from the tofu makes it even firmer. Place the tofu over a dish towel on a plate and top with another dish towel and plate. Weigh the top plate down with a pan or large can, then let sit for 30 minutes and the moisture will seep out. Now you’re ready to fire up the wok.
Shrimp Pad Thai
Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen
Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
8 ounces pad Thai rice noodles
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon grated palm sugar or light brown sugar
Pinch red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced, greens reserved for garnish
One 1-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1 cup broccoli florets
8 ounces medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 cup bean sprouts
4 ounces pressed tofu, julienned
2 eggs, beaten
Chopped roasted peanuts, for garnish
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
Lime wedges, for serving
1. In a medium bowl, cover the noodles with boiling water. Let sit until tender, 15 to 20 minutes, then drain.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind, fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and pepper flakes.
3. In a wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, scallions and ginger, and cook, stirring constantly until aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and cook until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp, bean sprouts and tofu, and cook until the shrimp is opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Push the contents to one side of the wok and pour the eggs onto the other side. Quickly scramble the eggs until set, about 1 minute, then incorporate with the vegetables and shrimp. Add the noodles and the reserved tamarind mixture, and toss until evenly coated and the sugar has dissolved, 2 minutes more.
5. Divide between plates and garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves, then serve with lime wedges.