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Pad Thai - stir fried noodles

Pad Thai is often called the signature dish of Thai cuisine. There are several regional variations, indeed it has been said that Thailand has a different curry for every day of the year, but a different pad thai for every cook in Thailand! This is my wife's variation.

This variation uses a small amount of khao koor (powdered fried rice), which occurs as an ingredient in several other Thai recipes. You can make a small amount and keep it almost indefinately in a well stoppered jar.

Khao Koor: get a medium sized wok fairly hot, and add a couple of tablespoons of uncooked rice, and keep in movement until the rice starts to turn golden brown. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Grind to a fairly coarse powder in a spice mill (a pepper mill works quite well), or a mortar and pestle. (I find that a coffee grinder doesn't really do the job as it tends to grind too fine - the powder should retain some "texture").

You also need a cup of dry roasted, unsalted peanuts. We roast them in their shells on a charcoal brazier, but you can do it just as well in an oven, or even in a skillet... However they should be freshly roasted to bring out the full flavour for this dish.

Ingredients

8 ounces	rice vermicelli (either the sen mee or the sen lek
		style of Thai noodles or indeed any rice noodles
		will do). These should be soaked for a short while
		(perhaps 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the
		brand of noodles) until soft.

5-6		cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
2 tablespoon	chopped shallots
quarter cup	dried shrimp (these should be rolled, or roughly 
		punded in a mortar and pestle to break them up)
quarter cup	fish sauce
quarter cup	palm sugar
2-3 tablespoon	tamarind juice
2-3 tablespoon	chopped, pickled raddish (mooli)
1		medium egg, beaten
quarter cup	chopped chives
half cup	roasted peanuts, very coarsely broken up.
one cup		bean sprouts

protein ingredient - this can be half a cup of fried tofu that has been
marinated in dark sweet soy, or an equivalent amount of coarsely chopped
pork or chicken.

method

Heat a little cooking oil in a wok and add the garlic and shallots, and
briefly stir fry until they just shows signs of changing colour. Add the
remaining ingredients except the egg and the bean sprouts, and stir fry
until the protein ingredient is nearly cooked. Continuing to stir with
one hand, slowly "drizzle" in the beaten egg to form a fine ribbon fo
cooked egg (if you con't feel confident with this make an egg crepe
separately, and then roll it up and slice it into quarter inch wide
pieces, which you add to the mix at this point). Finely add the bean
sprouts and cook for no more than another 30 seconds. Remove from the
pan to a serving platter.

Garnish

Mix a tablespoon of lime juice with a tablespoon of tamarind juice and a
tablespoon of fish sauce, and use this to marinade half a cup of
uncooked bean sprouts, half a cup of chopped chives, and half a cup of
very coarsely ground roasted peanuts. Sprinkle this mixture on the
cooked pad thai. Cut several limes into segments and also slice up some
cucumber into rounds then halve the rounds. Put the lime segments and
cuke segments around the serving platter.

You can also sprinkle a quarter of a sliced up banana flower and some
Indian Pennywort leaves over the top as edible decoration.

pad thai is served as above, but Thais add copious amounts of the four
basic condiments (chilis in fish sauce, ground dried red chili, sugar
and crushed peanuts) at the table, to suit their individual
predilictions.
Special thanks to - Muoi Khuntilanont.