Pad Thai Noodles with Shrimps
I first ate this in a small street café in Ko Samui, an island off Thailand. It was so supremely good that my husband videoed it in close-up so that I could recreate the whole thing at home. I did, and here it is – every bit as good, I'm glad to say. If you have trouble tracking down dried shrimps, these are available by mail order from Wing Hong Co Ltd, tel: 0191 233 1800.
Serves 2 as a main course
This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Two.
| 4 oz (110 g) rice noodles (medium width, about 1/8 inch/3 mm thick)|
| 2 level tablespoons dried shrimps|
| 6 oz (175 g) raw headless tiger prawns (if frozen, thoroughly defrosted)|
| 3 tablespoons groundnut or other flavourless oil|
| 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed|
| 2 medium red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped|
| ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced into half-moon shapes|
| 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce |
| juice 1 large lime (about 2 tablespoons) |
| 2 large eggs, lightly beaten |
|For the garnish: |
| 2 heaped tablespoons fresh coriander leaves|
| 2 oz (50 g) natural roasted unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped or crushed in a pestle and mortar|
| 2 spring onions, chopped, including the green parts|
You will also need a deep frying pan with a diameter of 10 inches (25.5 cm), or a wok.
The way to tackle this is by having all the ingredients on the list prepared and assembled in front of you.
First of all place the dried shrimps in a jug, cover with some boiling water and soak for 10 minutes, then do the same with the noodles, placing them in a bowl and making sure they're totally submerged in boiling water.
After this time, drain the noodles in a colander and rinse them in cold water, then drain the shrimps.
Now, to prepare the prawns, peel off and discard the shells, then you need to de-vein them. To do this, make a slit all along their backs using a small, sharp knife and remove any brownish-black thread, using the tip of the knife to lift it out. Now chop each prawn into 3.
When you're ready to start cooking, heat the oil in the frying pan or wok over a high heat until it is really hot.
Then, first add the garlic, chilli and red onion and fry for 1-1½ minutes, or until the onion is tender, then, keeping the heat high, add the soaked dried shrimps and the prawns and fry for a further 2 minutes, or until the prawns have turned pink and are cooked.
After that add the fish sauce and the lime juice, then stir this around for just a few seconds before adding the noodles.
Now toss them around for 1-2 minutes, or until the noodles are heated through. Next add the beaten egg by pouring it slowly and evenly all over.
Let it begin to set for about 1 minute, then stir briefly once more until the egg is cooked into little shreds.
Then mix in half the garnish and give one final stir before serving absolutely immediately in hot bowls with the rest of the garnish handed round to be sprinkled over.