I tend to steer clear of traditional recipes, unless I am going to deconstruct them. I just figure that there are enough recipes out there and do we really need another one? In this case, I am going to say yes. I have had many a Pad Thai and many a bad one. I don’t know what it is but often to me it is like eating plastic bags with a smattering of egg and the odd, very small and questionable prawn. The kind of prawn you have to inspect at close range because you are not sure if it actually is one! Now, I am going to be a little bold here (me? Never) and say that I do believe it was the best Pad Thai I have ever had. Too big a call? I’ll let you be the judge!
Prep time: 30 Minutes Cooking time: 10 Minutes $$ Low to Medium Budget
1 tbs of extra virgin coconut oil for frying (peanut, canola etc will do)
400gm of green prawns
375gm packet of medium rice stick noodles
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
3cm piece of ginger, roughly chopped
1 lemon grass stalk, roughly chopped
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
20gm of shrimp paste
1 tbs of grated palm sugar (2 x cubes)
6 spring onions, sliced into 3cm batons
200gm of green beans, topped and halved diagonally
2 cups of bean shoots
2 eggs lightly beaten
1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/4 cup of fish sauce
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
For the Garnish:
2 spring onions, very finely sliced diagonally or lengthways (place them in a bowl of icy water to get a nice crisp curly effect)
1 red chilli, sliced thinly
1/2 cup of granulated peanuts
Lime wedges to serve
As with all stir fries it is really important to have all your ingredients ready to go so that when it comes time to cooking you can whack everything in the wok and it won’t be a soggy mess at the end. You do need quite a large wok for this amount so if you only have a small one, maybe halve the recipe and leave the kids out of it!
Place the garlic, ginger, lemongrass and chilli in a small food processor or Turbo Chef and whizz until you have the beginnings of a paste. Add the shrimp paste and palm sugar and whizz until you really have a paste. Don’t go sticking your nose in, the chilli will make you cough and the shrimp paste will quite possibly make you gag! Tastes awesome though……
Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce and lime juice in a small bowl
Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Once boiling place the noodles in the pot, making sure they are fully covered with water and remove from the heat. Cover with a lid for approximately 5-6 minutes. They may still be a little firm but they will continue to cook in the wok. Drain and run under cold water.
Heat your wok to a nice, hot heat. Add the coconut oil and the paste and stir fry for approximately 60 seconds. Add the beans, prawns and spring onions. Toss around the wok for about 2 minutes and then push everything to one side. Pour in the eggs and using a wooden spoon, work really fast to break up the egg. Add the bean shoots, noodles, coriander leaves and sauce and toss to combine. Lastly add the noodles and using two wooden spoons, drag and lift from the edges so that all of ingredients are tossed together and covered with the sauce and egg.
Divide the noodle mixture among four bowls (reserving a serve for your lunch tomorrow). Top each bowl with a small wad of spring onion, a few chilli slices, a smattering of peanuts, a couple of coriander sprigs, a lime wedge and serve…..