Prawn Pad Thai
Pad Thai is one of my absolute favorite comfort foods, and this prawn pad thai is better than chicken or pork in my opinion. Now during this Chinese coronavirus quarantine, comfort foods are more important than ever. Ever since Alona and I bought a place in Thailand over three years ago, we try to spend a month or so a year in the country. While Thai food overall is delicious, Pad Thai is probably the dish most people around the world know best.
Now, for this recipe I am not going to show you how to make the sauce base. As it uses tamarind paste which can be difficult to find outside of South East Asia, I suggest just buying Pad Thai sauce from the Asia section of your local grocery store. Or you can use Amazon which may be easier.
Even in Thailand it is rare for a vendor to make their own Pad Thai sauce. Most just buy a huge jug of it at the market so they can save time in preparing the dish for customers. To be honest (and this may sound sacrilege to Thai people) I think store-bought sauce tastes better than places that make it in house / homemade.
For the protein I’m just these beautiful prawns. As with almost all my shrimp recipes, these are Argentinean Red Shrimp which I’m luckily enough to be able to buy in bulk. They are large and sweet, and perfect for all shrimp recipes. Make sure not to throw out the heads, they make excellent shrimp stock for things like my Simple Shrimp Soup!
Of course, after the sauce the most important part of Pad Thai is the noodles. I’m using these long, flat rice noodles that are similar in shape to an Italian trenette pasta. Rice noodles cook a lot quicker than wheat pasta so you can just boil it for a couple minutes in a skillet filled with water. This can be the same pan you do the entire dish in. Prawn Pad Thai is an extremely quick recipe to cook once you have all the mise-en-place.
Like with most Asian cooking, high temperature is key. After sauteing the prawns for a minute in quite a bit of oil, remove them and set aside. Then in the same pan pour the pad thai sauce in. Let it cook in the oil for 5-10 seconds at high heat, then pour in the beaten eggs. Give everything a good stir, then add in the noodles, some fish sauce, and prawns. Quick toss and pour onto the serving plate.
Of course it would not be prawn pad thai (or any pad thai for that matter) without all the toppings. These include chopped peanuts, spring onion, chili pepper, chili flakes, lime wedges, and bean sprouts. Garnish with a shrimp head for presentation. If you don’t like one of the toppings feel free to leave them out. It is not mandatory that you use everything for it to be a proper pad thai.
Prawn Pad Thai
- Pan / Wok
- 12 large Shrimp prawns. Peeled and de-veined
- 120 grams Rice Noodles dry weight
- 60 ml Pad Thai Sauce go for store-bought. It's still delicious and saves so much time
- 2 Eggs beaten
- 3 tbsp Oil neutral oil is traditional, but you can use olive oil if you want
- 1 tbsp Peanuts chopped
- 20 grams Bean Sprouts
- 1 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1 Chili Pepper chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp Red Chili Flakes optional
- 1 tbsp Green Onion chopped (optional)
- In a skillet add water about half way and bring to a boil. Add in the rice noodles and let boil for 2 minutes, or until cooked. Remove and set aside.
- In the skillet add the oil and turn the heat on high. Saute the prawns for a minute then remove and set aside. Do not pour out the oil.
- Into the skillet pour in the pad thai sauce, wait 5-10 seconds, then pour on the beaten egg directly. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mix/break everything up.
- Once the eggs just begin to set, pour in the noodles and reintroduce the shrimp. Add the fish sauce and give everything a good toss so everything is coated in the sauce and eggs.
- Pour the contents of the pan onto your plates and add the garnishes/sides. These include chopped peanuts, chopped chili pepper, chopped green onion, bean sprouts, and red chili flakes. If you don't like something feel free to leave it out.