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.