Pad Thai

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Title: Pad Thai
Yield: 6 Servings
Categories: Main Dishes, Thai

Ingredients:

1/2 lb Dried Rice Noodles (1/8" w).
1/2 lb Shrimp, chicken, or pork. *
1/4 c Fish Sauce.
6 tb Sugar.
6 tb White Vinegar.
1 tb Tomato Paste.
4 Scallions.
1/2 c Vegetable Oil (Approx.).
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped fine
2 Eggs.
1/4 lb Bean Sprouts.
2 tb Ground Roasted Chilies.
1/4 c Ground Roasted Peanuts.
Lime Wedges.


* The meat used may be either fresh shrimps, chicken, pork, or
combinations. The traditional uses dried shrimps and hard tofu pieces
rather than fresh meat.

Soak the noodles for 20 to 25 minutes in enough warm water to cover. They
should be soft, but not so soft that they can be mashed easily with the
fingers. Later cooking will soften them more. Drain the noodles thoroughly
in a colander while preparing the other ingredients. Traditionally, they
are left in full length strands, but you may cut them into shorter lengths
(about 8-9 inches, say) to facilitate easier stir frying. Peel and devein
the shrimps, leaving the tails intact, OR slice the chicken/pork across the
grain into strips not more than 1/8 inch thick and 1-2 inches long. Mix the
fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and tomato paste in a bowl. Stir until the
sugar is dissolved. Set the mixture aside. Slice the scallions, both white
and green parts, diagonally into pieces 1-1/2 inches long. Set aside. Heat
a wok, and add the vegetable oil to the hot wok. Swirl the oil to coat the
surface of the wok. Add garlic and fry till golden. Add shrimp and fry
till they turn pink, or if chicken/pork is used, fry till the pink color
disappears completely. Add the noodles and toss lightly to coat them with
oil and to distribute the garlic and meat. Add the liquid mixed earlier and
bring to a boil rapidly, gently folding the noodle, being careful not to
break them. Reduce the heat to medium and boil the mixture, folding
frequently, until the noodles have absorbed the liquid. Using a wok scoop,
or a stiff spatula, lift the noodles gently from one side of the wok. Pour
a little oil along the side of the wok, then break one egg and slip it into
the oil. Break the yolk, and cover the egg with the noodles immediately.
Repeat this on the opposite side of the wok with the remaining egg. Allow
the eggs to cook undisturbed, over moderate heat, until they are set and
almost dry. Additional oil may be added if the eggs or the noodles begin
to stick to the wok. When the eggs are set and almost dry, fold them gently
but rapidly into the noodles. Try not to break the noodles, which will be
soft and fragile at this point. An effective way is to insert the scoop
under the eggs, lift it through, and fold the mixture over. Continue the
lifting and folding motion until the eggs are broken up and well
distributed. Add the bean sprouts and sliced scallions, and toss the
mixture quickly and gently, still avoiding breaking the noodles. Cook for
about 2 minutes, or until the bean sprouts and scallions are crisp-tender.
Place the mixture on a large, warm serving platter. Sprinkle ground chilies
and peanuts over the top, and squeeze lime juice over that. Alternately,
these garnishes may be served on the side for each diner to add according
to tastes. NOTES: 1. Pad Thai is traditionally served accompanied with
fresh vegetables, in particular whole scallion, a small pile of fresh raw
bean sprouts (to be mixed into the noodles), and if available, a wedge of
banana blossom. 2. For the traditional recipe, omit the shrimps,
pork/chicken, and all references to them. Substitute 1/2 pound very firm
tofu and 1/4 pound dried shrimps. Put the tofu on a triple layers of paper
towels, cover it with another triple layer, put a plate on top of that, and
put a two pound weight (cans of vegetables for an example) on top of the
plate. Let stand for 20 to 30 minutes to press out the excess water. Put
the dried shrimp in a sieve, rinse them quickly under hot running water,
and set aside to drain. After the tofu has been pressed, slice it into
strips about 1/4 inch thick, 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch long. ~--

From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at www.synapse.com/~gemini