When you go to a Mexican restaurant, you prepare yourself to indulge on tacos or burritos. When you’re at an Italian restaurant, you prepare yourself to be delighted by a pizza. When you go to a Thai restaurant, you prepare yourself to savor a Pad Thai. Well, this is the case when it comes to my dining experiences. But all these dishes can be made in the comfort of your own kitchen for any kind of night in.
My mom originally sent me the following recipe for Rice Noodles from Food52. I was very hesitant at first because this seemed to be a hard task to achieve. I eventually overcame my fear and tested the waters. I soon fell in love with the idea of making my own rice noodles. They do require a lot of patience but at the same time, it’s a gratifying satisfaction that comes with it. When I finished the batter, I felt that my day of cooking (yes, it did take a day) wasn’t meant to be over. Thus, I continued by putting my noodles to good…GREAT… use
This recipe is what I would call a Pad-Thai made easy. Not only is it easy, it’s also very tasty and passed the Dad-Test, the test that deciphers if something has plenty of flavor that anyone would enjoy, including my dad. My dad isn’t a picky eater but he is not a fan of Tofu at all. He does like Pad Thai but always discards the tofu because of its lack of flavor. However, this recipe changed his point of view, allowing him to enjoy the entire dish…tofu and all.
So, for the next dinner that you host, make it a special one that your friends and family will not forget. Another fun idea is to have your friends come over and help you make this dish for everyone to enjoy. There are endless ways to serve this dish but the flavor will always be there. Don’t shy away from it like I did at first.
- 200grams (or 1 heaping cup) rice flour
- 535grams (about 2 cups plus 2 heaping tablespoons) water
- 65grams (or 1/2 cup) potato starch (cornstarch will also work fine)
- Canola oil for greasing
Whisk together the flour, potato starch or cornstarch, and the water together until well combined in a large bowl. Set aside as you set up your steamer.
Fill a large steamer with enough water to reach just below the steamer basket and bring it to a boil. (If you don’t have a steamer, add water to a large pot or wok, then place a circular metal rack that’s taller than the level of the water inside. Put the lid on and bring the water to a boil over high heat.) Find a shallow sheet pan that fits into your steamer or makeshift steamer (I used a pizza pan, but a shallow metal pie pan will also work), and brush the pan with canola oil. Whisk the batter, then pour in enough to cover the pan in a thin layer. Place the pan inside of the steamer as level as possible, so that the noodles cook evenly. Place the lid on the steamer and steam the sheet of rice mixture on high heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until large bubbles form on the surface of the sheet of rice noodles. (If you have two shallow pans, you can repeat this process with the second pan while you remove the noodles from the other to cut the cooking time in half.)
To remove the steamed noodles from the pan, thinly brush the top surface of the cooked noodle sheet with canola oil, then run a spatula around the edges. Tilt the pan towards a cutting board, then gently scrape the noodle-sheet onto the cutting board. Cut the noodles into thick strips with a pastry cutter. Don’t worry if your strips are curling up rather than staying flat — no matter what, the noodles will stick to each other in the absence of liquid, so don’t freak out. They will separate easily once sauce is applied.
Repeat the process until you’ve used up all of the batter. Serve the noodles hot.
- 1 recipe of Rice Noodles (above)
- 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 1 cup boiling-hot water
- 1/2 cup light soy sauce
- 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha (Southeast Asian chile sauce)
- 1 bunch scallions, chopped
- 4 large shallots, sliced
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) package firm tofu, rinsed, pat dry and cut in 1 inch cubes
- 1 1/2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
- 6 large eggs
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- Toppings: lime wedges; cilantro sprigs; Sriracha; bean sprouts
Soak the tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Force mixture through a sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds and fibers. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and Sriracha, stirring until sugar has dissolved.
Heat oil in wok over medium heat until hot, then fry half of shallots over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until golden-brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Carefully strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a heatproof bowl. Reserve shallot oil and spread fried shallots on paper towels. (Shallots will crisp as they cool.) Wipe wok clean.
Reheat shallot oil in wok over high heat until hot. Fry tofu in 1 layer, gently turning occasionally, until golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer tofu to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Pour off frying oil and reserve.
Lightly beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat 2 tablespoons shallot oil in wok over high heat until it shimmers. Add eggs and swirl to coat side of wok, then cook, stirring gently with a spatula, until cooked through. Break into chunks with spatula and transfer to a plate.
Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour in 6 tablespoons shallot oil, then swirl to coat side of wok. Stir-fry scallions, garlic, and remaining uncooked shallots until softened, about 1 minute.
Add noodles and stir-fry over medium heat (use 2 spatulas if necessary) 3 minutes. Add tofu, bean sprouts, and 1 1/2 cups sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce evenly, until noodles are tender, about 2 minutes.
Stir in additional sauce if desired, then stir in eggs and transfer to a large shallow serving dish.
Sprinkle Pad Thai with peanuts and fried shallots and serve with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, Sriracha and bean sprouts.
Pad Thai recipe adapted from: Epicurious.com
Rice Noodle recipe adapted from: Food52.com