Pat Thai is considered the classic Siamese dish, but in fact its origins are firmly rooted in Chinese cooking.
- a good handful of Thai dried thin rice noodles (sen lek)
- 2 tbsp grated palm sugar
- 2 tbsp tamarind water (see Note)
- 1 tsp vegetable oil
- 2 red Asian eschalots, coarsely chopped with a pinch of salt
- 1 egg
- 2 tbsp hard bean curd, deep-fried and then cut into 5mm cubes
- 1 tbsp dried prawns, washed and dried
- 1 tsp shredded salted preserved radish, washed and dried
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- white sugar, to taste
- 1 handful bean sprouts, plus extra to serve
- ½ small bunch Chinese chives, chopped into 2 cm lengths, plus longer lengths to garnish
- crushed roasted peanuts, to serve
- roasted chilli powder, to serve
- lime wedges, to serve
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Soaking time 1 hour
Soak the noodles in water for an hour or so until softened (but not overly so), then drain.
Mix the palm sugar with the tamarind water.
Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat and stir-fry the shallot until fragrant and beginning to colour. Crack in the egg, reduce the heat and stir to prevent from scorching.
Add the noodles and tamarind water mixture. Mix in the bean curd, dried prawns and salted radish. Stir in the fish sauce and a little white sugar. Stir-fry until almost well-combined and hot, tossing to prevent the noodles from catching. Add the bean sprouts and chives. The noodles should taste sweet, sour and salty.
To serve, sprinkle the noodles with the peanuts and chilli powder, garnish with the extra bean sprouts and chives, and serve with the lime wedges.
• To make the tamarind water, place ⅓ cup tamarind pulp and 80 ml (⅓ cup) warm water in a bowl and stand for a few minutes to soften. Squeeze and work the pulp with your fingers to dissolve it, Strain through a fine sieve, pushing down to extract as much liquid as possible, then discard the solids.