Thanks to Miranti’s great blog The High Heel Gourmet, I’ve been trying out authentic Thai recipes for the first time. Miranti is very clear about what is authentic Thai and what is not, and I really like her style. The funny thing about me cooking Pad Thai is that I have never eaten it before in my life. So I don’t know what it is supposed to taste like. I just followed Miranti’s instructions for Authentic Pad Thai, and I really liked the result. It was delicious and unlike anything I’ve ever tasted before. There were also some ingredients I had never tasted before (garlic chives and preserved radishes). This dish has many layers of flavor, including umami, sweet and sour, and spicy (if you garnish with chile flakes) and many different textures, including crunchy vegetables and tender shrimp.
Now I guess I have to go to a Thai restaurant in Amsterdam to see if their version is anything like what I came up with. Miranti wrote an interesting and fun post about what is not supposed to be in Authentic Pad Thai, which also includes a very interesting story about the history behind Pad Thai and explains why she is so passionate about making it the right way.
The only concession I made to Miranti’s recipe is that I left out the tofu. I don’t care much for it, and it is one of the few foods that Kees actually hates. Serving him tofu would be like filing for divorce. So I left out the tofu and added some more shrimp instead. The hardest part about this recipe is finding all the ingredients. The rest is pretty easy, as long as you won’t try to make photos of what you are doing like I did… If you’d like to prepare auhentic Pad Thai, please go over to Miranti’s blog and do as she says. Her instructions are much more detailed than my account of what I did below.
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp chopped shallots
2 Tbsp dried salted shrimp
2 Tbsp salted preserved radishes or turnips
1/4 cup pressed tofu cut into thin pieces (I left this out)
125 grams (.27 lb) thin rice noodles, also called Rice Sticks or Banh Pho
300 grams (.66 lb) jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
200 grams (.44 lb) mung bean sprouts
125 grams (.27 lb) garlic chives
For the sauce
2 Tbsp tamarind paste
2 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp palm sugar
2 lime wedges
2 Tbsp crushed roasted peanuts
2 tsp palm sugar
chile pepper flakes
Soak the dried salted shrimp in cold water to soften.
Stir frying is done over high heat and you need to work quickly before anything burns. Add a bit of water at any time if the mixture becomes too dry.
Two years ago I baked this delicious ricotta-pear-almond cake that is ridiculously easy to make. Just mix the ingredients in the food processor, pour the batter in a springform pan, and bake. This cake is very light because it has no butter or other added fat. This flashback reminds me I should bake this again soon 🙂