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The Hirshon Pad Thai – ผัดไทยกุ้งสด

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 8 ounces Thai rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 4 ounces boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 ounces super-compressed fried tofu – This can be found at most Asian grocers in a plastic bag, not in water. Some might be brown from soy sauce, but some white ones are also available. Pick whatever you like.
  • 6 tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (TFD recommends 3 Crabs brand)
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar, or more to taste (TFD note: you can use regular sugar, but this is more authentic)
  • 2 teaspoons Thai hot sauce (alternatively, try Sriracha brand, or use Chinese Chili Paste with Garlic – TFD likes Fu Chi brand)
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup peanut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, cut into thin slices
  • 8 large shrimp, shelled and deveined (5 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • Commercially-ground white pepper
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • red bell pepper strips
  • fresh coriander leaves
  • red pepper flakes
  • lime wedges


  1. Soak noodles in plenty of cold water for at least 1 hour. Noodles should be somewhat flexible and solid, not completely expanded and soft. When in doubt, undersoak. You can always add more water in the pan, but you can’t take it out.
  2. Combine tamarind paste with ¼ cup warm water in a small bowl and let soak for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Slice the chicken into ¼-inch strips. If you find it difficult to cut thinly through fresh meat, leave it in the freezer for 30 minutes to harden slightly and then slice. Reserve.
  4. Julienne tofu and cut into 1 inch long matchsticks. Reserve. Blend or process peanuts into coarse meal. Reserve.
  5. Return to your reserved tamarind paste in its water. Mash it and transfer the mud-like mixture to a strainer set into a bowl. Mash and push with a spoon, forcing liquid to strain into the bowl.
  6. Scrape off the juice that clings to the underside of the strainer. You will have about 5 tbsp of tamarind juice. Discard the solids left in the strainer.
  7. Add to it the fish sauce, palm sugar, hot sauce and lime juice. Beat to thoroughly mix and reserve.
  8. Use a wok. If you do not have a wok, any big pot will do. Heat it up on high heat and put some oil in the wok.
  9. Fry the peanuts until toasted and remove them from the wok.
  10. Add shallot, garlic and tofu and stir them until they start to brown.
  11. The noodles should be flexible but not expanded at this point. Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking.
  12. Add ⅔ of the combined fish sauce mixture. Stir. The heat should remain high. If your wok is not hot enough, you will see a lot of juice in the wok at this point. Turn up the heat, if that is the case.
  13. Make room for the egg by pushing all noodles to the side of the wok. Crack the egg onto the wok and scramble it until it is almost all cooked. Fold the egg into the noodles. The noodles should be soft and chewy at this stage. Pull a strand out and taste.
  14. If the noodles are too hard (not cooked), add a little bit of water. When you get the right taste, add shrimp and chicken and stir fry until just cooked through. Sprinkle white pepper around to taste.
  15. The noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled.
  16. Add about ⅔ of the reserved ground peanuts and stir. Add about ⅔ of the bean sprouts, all the green onion pieces and the remaining tamarind juice mixture. Stir-fry for 30 seconds and take off heat.
  17. Transfer noodles to a serving dish and sprinkle with red pepper flakes to taste. Top with the rest of the ground peanuts, the rest of the sprouts, some strips of red pepper and fresh coriander leaves.
  18. Add lime wedges on the side of the dish (one or more per diner) and serve immediately.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours