We have been practicing making Pad Thai and weren't real happy with it. Then my blogger friend, Cathy at Wives with Knives posted the recipe I needed. My problem was that the Oriental grocer I frequent only had blocks of tamarind with the seeds. Then, through Cathy, I clicked onto Chez Loulou who had a couple of paragraphs explaining how to treat these blocks of tamarind, and after that, all clicked.
It's a good and typical Thai dish that probably suits the majority of Americanized palates. We thoroughly enjoyed it and will probably make it at home on occasion, but if I have the chance to eat in a Thai restaurant, I will go a little more adventurous into that great Thai food culture.
8 ounces Thai rice noodles
8 ounces shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 ounces thinly sliced chicken breast
4 ounces firm tofu, cut into bite-sized pieces
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 eggs lightly beaten
4 ounces bean sprouts
1/4 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts, finely chopped
For the Sauce:
1/3 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
1/4 cup brown sugar
2-4 teaspoons chili powder (I used Sriracha)
Cover the noodles with hot water and let sit until softened and then drain
Make the sauce by bringing the sauce ingredients to a gentle simmer. Add the chili powder and adjust to your palate.
Heat oil in a large wok until almost smoking. Add onions and saute' until translucent. Add the chicken and saute' 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic and a couple of tablespoons of the sauce, the shrimp, if using.
Add the eggs and let them set for 10-15 seconds and then stir quickly. Add the noodles and most of the sauce and stir together.
Add bean sprouts and green onions and the peanuts and stir everything together.