Friday, August 20, 2010
Shrimp Pad Thai
Andy and I have a favorite Thai place here in Louisville, Simply Thai. It's one of those places that's small (only like 8 tables in the whole place), kind of tucked away (you'd have to know it was there to know it was there), and extremely authentic. It's one of our go-to places when we're in a pickle and don't know what to eat. They never disappoint. They have an amazing curry selection, but I always end up getting the pineapple curry with chicken. I love the sweetness the pineapple brings to the hot heat of the curry. Definitely a good balance. And their pad thai... awesome! I know pad thai is one of those staple dishes that if you ask anybody if they've had Thai food, they say, "oh yeah, I've had pad thai!" Or if they've never had Thai food before, I think pad thai is always a good introductory course to get them to fall in love with Thai food!
1-2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 oz. thick rice noodles (most say Pad Thai noodles on the box)
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb. medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
small handful honey roasted peanuts, chopped
small handful cilantro, chopped
In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, 2 tablespoons oil, and tamarind concentrate. Stir until sugar is dissolved and set aside.
Soak the rice noodles in hot tap water for about 20 minutes, or until they start to soften but not fully tender. Drain and set aside.
Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside. (There's lots of things to set aside, aren't there? Makes it easier in the end because the cooking of this dish is fairly quick)
In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil under high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp start to turn pink with browned edges. Remove shrimp and set aside.
Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet. Add garlic, shallot, and jalapeno. Cook over medium heat and stir continuously for about 1 minute. Add eggs to skillet and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until scrambled, about 30 seconds. Add the egg noodles and toss with tongs to combine. Pour the tamarind/fish sauce mixture over the noodles and increase the heat to high, continuing to toss the ingredients with the sauce.
Add 1/2 of the chopped peanuts and cooked shrimp. Toss noodles for about 2 more minutes.
Dish out onto hot plates and top with remaining peanuts and garnish with cilantro.
This was definitely a fire in my mouth, but in a good way. Usually pad thai's are fairly mild in spice, but I liked this one for it's heat. If you've never tried Thai food before, this is definitely a great dish to start with! Enjoy and happy weekend everyone!