I picked up this Prawn Phad Thai recipe during my travels through southwest Thailand. I went there solely to explore the flavours of the provinces. Being a hardcore restaurant chef, I know that Phad Thai can either be the most sought-after dish or a dish that confuses the customer with its flavour profile steeped in contrasts. So we tend to tweak it to suit the local palate. But this version is from a local and exactly what it tastes like in that region.
For The Sauce
- ¼ cup palm sugar
- ¼ cup prawn water (head and shell boiled in cold water, just like stock)
- 3 tbsp tamarind pulp
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 stalk lemon grass, bashed
For Noodle Stir Fry
- 200 gm rice noodles
- 80 gm tofu, diced and lightly fried
- 10 to 12 medium sized prawns
- 4 spring onions, cut diagonally in ½-inch segments
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 shallot, finely sliced
- 1 egg
- 1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped
- ½ cup moong sprouts
- ½ cup finely shredded carrots
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts
- ¼ cup coriander leaves, picked
- Lime wedges
- Heat a small pan on medium or low flame and add in the tamarind pulp, prawn water, palm sugar, fish sauce, garlic and bashed lemon grass stalk.
- Cook the sauce till the palm sugar dissolves completely. You could tweak the sweetness and tanginess to bring about the right balance by adding a little more palm sugar or tamarind. Keep the sauce aside.
For Noodle Stir Fry
- Boil the rice noodles on high heat for 2 minutes, drain and refresh by rinsing the noodles with cold water. The noodles should be slightly firm.
- In a wok or large pan, add 2 teaspoon oil and place on high flame. Toss in the prawns and stir fry until they turn opaque. Remove the prawns and keep aside.
- In the same pan, pour in 1 teaspoon oil and allow it to smoke. Then, add the sliced shallot and stir fry for a minute. Drop in the garlic and keep stirring to ensure the garlic does not burn.
- Put in the noodles along with 3 to 4 tablespoon of the sauce prepared in advance and keep stirring until the noodles are nicely coated with the sauce.
- Move the noodles to one side of the pan, spoon in 1 teaspoon of oil and crack an egg in it. Scramble the egg for about 30 seconds.
- Toss in three quarters of the carrots and moong sprouts, along with the prawns, tofu, spring onions, chopped bird’s eye chilli. Stir fry the ingredients together for another minute.
- Add a couple of tablespoons of the sauce while stir frying the vegetables. Finally, pull in the noodles and give it all a good toss.
- Remove from heat and serve hot, garnished with the remaining carrots, sprouts, roasted peanuts, coriander leaves and lime wedges.