Thailand is my first out of the country trip and I would always remember my food adventure in that place. After an island trip or an evening stroll at the night markets, we’d grab ourselves some authentic Thai street food. One of the things I really miss is their authentic Pad Thai which locals prepare in sidewalks or restaurants. The mix of sweetness, spiciness, and tanginess in this savory noodle dish nicely complements its different ingredients like seafood, meat, and vegetables. Pad Thai has the balance of everything from textures, spices, and flavors.
I thought of recreating my own version since online deliveries from Thai restaurants are somewhat expensive. I studied carefully different recipes from YouTube and was quite intimidated by the ingredients and steps. Yet, my love for Pad Thai made me take the challenge. Lockdown has allowed me to go outside my comfort zone in terms of cooking complex dishes. I’ve grown too comfortably with Filipino and Italian cuisine and I wanted to explore how far I can go doing Asian dishes.
I made use of local ingredients available in the market. Since I have no tamarind paste, I used Sinigang mix powder. Instead of lime, I used lemon. As an alternative for garlic chives, I used spring onion. You can add more chilies depending on your preferred spiciness.
- 400g rice noodles
- Fried tofu, cut into cubes
- 1/2 kg shrimps, deveined
- 1/2 kg chicken breast
- 1/2 cup fish sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice
- 2-3 red chilies
- 1 tbsp tamarind powder
- crushed peanuts
- 2 pcs lemon, cut into wedges
- minced onion and garlic
- spring onions
- bean sprouts (Togue)
- 1 egg
- Soak the noodles in hot water and leave for 10 minutes.
- Prepare the sauce: Mix the fish sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and vinegar in a bowl. Set aside.
- Pre-cook the tofu, shrimps, and chicken.
- Sauté the garlic, onion, chilies, and add the tofu, shrimps and chicken.
- Add the noodles and mix the sauce.
- Add the bean sprouts and mix everything all together.
- On one side of the pan, fry an egg. Let it sit for a minute then mix it with the noodles.
- Top with crushed peanuts and spring onion.
- Slice some lemon wedges and put it on the side.
It may look simple in video tutorials, but the preparation is tedious and tiring. However, accomplishing this is so rewarding! Eating my own version of Pad Thai is fulfilling. Plus, it reminds me of my memorable vacation in Phuket, Thailand years ago.
After doing this, I find myself checking out some Vietnamese recipes. I don’t mind infusing some local ingredients in my dishes to retain that Filipino twist.