Happy Veteran's Day! I hope you do something special to commemorate the day. I might end up commemorating Veteran's Day by staying in bed and nursing my sore throat. I am feeling under the weather.
I have wanted to make Pad Thai for a while, but all the recipes require tamarind paste. I looked at the grocery stores near me to no avail. I visited a Korean grocery store while shopping at a thrift store with friends. Among the unending row of sauces and pastes, they carried blocks of tamarind paste.
Tamarind paste come from a tree indigenous of the tropical areas of Africa, but it has been in cultivation in the Indian subcontinent for a long time. The fruit is a pod three to six inches in length. It is eaten throughout the world: Africa, China, the Caribbean, South America, Indian, and Southeast Asia. It is an ingredient is Worcestershire sauce.
I used a recipe from about food and made it as directed. It is believed that Viet traders brought a stir fried rice noodle dish to the ancient Thai capital of Ayuthaya.
In the 30s and 40s a Thai Prime Minister wanted to westernize Thailand, called Siam, and lessen Chinese influence in his country. To replace Chinese noodles, a new noodle called Pad Thai was created.
The ingredients for this recipe are 8 ounces Thai rice noodles, 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken, 1 teaspoon corn starch, 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 4 minced garlic cloves, 4 cups bean sprouts, 3 green onions, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, 1/3 cup cashews, 1/4 cup chicken broth, vegetable oil, lime wedges, 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, 1/4 cup warm water, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, 3 teaspoons chile sauce, and 3 tablespoons brown sugar.
To make the sauce, I dissolved the tamarind paste in the warm water. I added 3 tablespoons of soy sauce.
I added the chile sauce and brown sugar.
I cooked the noodles according to the packaged instructions. They still had a little bit because they would cook more in the sauce.
The marinade for the chicken is made with corn starch and 3 more tablespoons of soy sauce. I put the diced chicken in the marinade and set it aside.
In a hot skillet with oil, I cooked the garlic for less than a minute.
I added the chicken and marinade. I cooked this for 5 to 7 minutes. I added a tablespoon of broth each time the pan became dry.
I added the noodles and the sauce.
I stir-fried this for two minutes. I used two utensils to lift and stir the Pad Thai, like you stir a salad.
I added the bean sprouts and continued stir-frying the Pad Thai for another minutes.
I garnished with cashews, green onion, cilantro, and a squirt of lemon.
Pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes, and it didn't disappoint. The noodles were not as crispy and fried as I would have liked because I didn't use enough oil.
The flavors were fresh and fragrant. There is sweetness from the brown sugar, saltiness from the fish sauce, and a little sour note from the tamarind paste.
This is definitely best the first day. The noodles were a little soggy the second day. I am very impressed with my first Pad Thai attempt. This won't be the last Pad Thai recipe on my blog.