Here's what you need:
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste*
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 fresh red chilis or 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon safflower or grapeseed oil (high heat oil for cooking)
- 2 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves
- 8 oz peeled shrimp (frozen is fine)
- 6 green onions
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup snow peas
- 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
- 1 lime
*I looked for ages for tamarind paste in a jar and couldn't find it. I've used this dried tamarind paste before and it's a bit of a pain to work with. I found a tamarind sauce flavoured with lime that I should have used instead.
Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Mine said to boil them for 6-8 minutes. I like these medium-with flat noodles for pad thai but you can use whatever size you prefer.
Once cooked, drain and set aside.
Thaw your shrimp if necessary by running cool water over them in a colander. Shell the shrimp. I like to remove the tails but you can leave them on if you like the look.
If you're able to find tamarind paste in a jar you can skip this step. If you have the solid dried tamarind, boil a kettle of water. Tamarind is an Asian fruit that has a very sour flavour but adds an authentic tang to pad thai.
Break off about a tablespoon of the paste.
Cover with 1/3 cup boiling water and stir to dissolve. Add the fish sauce and brown sugar to the tamarind and set aside.
Chop the shallots, garlic and chilis.
Chop the green onions into 1 inch lengths.
Mince the cilantro and rinse and prepare the bean sprouts and snow peas.
Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and add the shallots, garlic and chilis.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes until softened and add the shrimp.
Cook the shrimp on both sides for about 2 minutes until pink and opaque.
Add the cooked rice noodles to the pan.
Then pour the tamarind, fish sauce and sugar mixture over top, tossing to combine.
Add in the snow peas, green onions and bean sprouts and toss for about 2 minutes to cook through. Then sprinkle with cilantro.
Serve in a shallow bowl and top with chopped peanuts if desired. The sour tamarind, sweet sugar and salty fish sauce make a great combination. This is a light, flavourful, filling meal.