Thai food, why must you be so scrumptious? With your awesome curries and noodle concoctions, with the lemongrass and the tamarind? And why must London be filled with your restaurants? Tempting me at every corner? You may think that if you are allergic to eggs and soy, you wouldn't be able to enjoy a decent Thai meal. Well, you're certainly limited on what you can order at a thai restaurant, that's for sure. They really enjoy placing an egg on top of a perfectly egg-free dish. I find that I have two options if I'm craving Thai food: order panang curry at your favourite Thai spot, or make your own dish at home.
Last night, Phil and I opted for the latter, and I cooked up one of our most favorite dinners: prawn pad thai. I originally found the recipe in delicious magazine, and made several alterations, the main one being NO EGGS! And once you've bought the unique ingredients once, you'll almost never have to buy them again. Unless you become addicted to this meal, which is almost guaranteed.
Prawn Pad Thai Without Eggs
Adapted from the delicious mag recipe
- 1/2 packet of wide rice noodles
- 3 tbsp tamarind paste
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1-2 tsp chilli flakes
- 3 handfuls cooked and peeled prawns
- 1 handful cooked and peeled baby shrimp
- 2 handfuls beansprouts
- Bunch of spring onions, chopped
- Handful unsalted roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
- Bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 lime, cut in half
- Cook the rice noodles for 15 minutes, until completely soft and cooked through. This may depend on the packet's instructions, but I have found they tend to take longer than is normally recommended.
- Meanwhile, make the sweet-and-sour paste. Mix the tamarind paste in a shallow dish with a splash of hot water to loosen. Add the fish sauce and sugar; mix, taste and adjust to give a nice combination of sweet, salty and sour.
- Heat the oil in a wok. when it’s good and hot, fry the garlic and shallots for 30 seconds. Add the chilli flakes and toss together. Add the drained noodles to the wok and stir-fry for a couple of minutes.
- Add the sweet-and-sour paste and stir well. Add the prawns and shrimp, beansprouts, spring onions and half the peanuts. Toss well and cook for a few minutes.
- Divide the pad thai among 2 serving bowls, sprinkle with the cilantro and remaining peanuts, and serve with the limes, to squeeze over.
Lesson learned: fish sauce may smell awful, but it's a wonderful way to add saltiness to the sweet and sour sauce. All of the flavors combine in this dish so perfectly. If you like it a bit spicier, add more chili flakes, or chop up a fresh red chili instead.