Author Jean Morrison
Pad Thai Noodles
Thai food is something my family have only got interested in quite recently. This particular noodle recipe is one that is a meal in itself.
The exquisite flavours of lime juice, fish sauce and coriander are such a magnificent combination. If you don't have fish sauce you need to buy some because nothing can be substituted for it really. It's quite stinky stuff but works its magic in Thai food.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Quantity: Serves 4 - 5
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300 gm (10 ounces) thick flat rice stick noodles
1 tablespoon oil
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons red chillies, chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
3 teaspoons sugar
100 gm (4 ounces) raw prawn meat, chopped
200 gm (8 ounces) pork, sliced thinly
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup bean sprouts
Big handful of garlic chives or 2 spring onions finely chopped
Fresh coriander leaves, chopped
1/4 cup of roasted peanuts, chopped
Soak the noodles in warm water for 10 minutes.
Heat half the oil in a wok and pour in the beaten eggs. Swirl the egg mixture around in the wok as it cooks to make a thin omelette. Toss omelette over and briefly cook the other side. Remove to a warm plate and chop into small pieces.
Pour the remainder of the oil into the wok and cook the chillies and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar to the wok and cook further 30 seconds.
Add prawn meat, pork and celery and cook for 3 minutes or until meat has changed colour. Toss in the bean sprouts and garlic chives. Cook 1 minute.
Tip in the drained noodles and mix through carefully.
Divide into 4 or 5 bowls and sprinkle with the coriander and nuts.
If you can't afford prawns then chicken would be fine instead. In fact you can substitute both the pork and the prawns with chicken and it still tastes delicious.
I've used wheat noodles when I've had no rice noodles in the pantry. They just need soaking longer. Read the instructions on the packet for best results.
If you are not keen on using chillies just use a weeny bit of chilli sauce and add some finely chopped red capsicum. The meal does need something red otherwise it can look bland. It would still taste good but would look a little insipid.
If you don't have fresh coriander leaves then use a good teaspoon of coriander from a jar but add it in to the recipe with the bean sprouts.
Capsicums/Peppers are from the nightshade family. They originated in Central and South America. They come in an amazing array of colours from bright red, yellows, oranges, purples and greens. Capsicums can be eaten in their raw form or they can be cooked. They range from very mild spiciness to extremely hot! Most species of capsicums contain capsaicin which is the chemical that causes the hot burning sensation when they are eaten. they are good sources of vitamin C.
Limes originated from India and Malaysia and were brought back to Europe by returning crusaders in the 13th century. Limes are an excellent source of vitamin C.
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