By GERLIE M. UY
I had three plates of Pad Thai! whoosh. This noodle dish is akin to the pancit and bihon we Filipinos are enamored with. As in any other Thai dish, this stir-fried rice noodle has mongo sprout, tofu and fish sauce. The sharp sourness of tamarind (I used the powder but I think the tamarind sauce or the fruit itself is great), the sweetness of sugar (Thais use palm sugar), the saltiness of fish sauce and the aroma of spring onion blend in to bring an exciting taste. Since I used powder tamarind, I better added a squeeze of lemon just before seving with sugar and peanuts on the side.
2 Tbsp Peanut or sesame oil
6 cloves of garlic
1 big white onion
1 cup chicken strips
1 block of firm tofu, chopped (300g)
2 beaten eggs
6 leaves of spring onions, chopped
2 Tbsp basil, dried or freshly chopped
6 Tbsp of tamarind powder, dissolved in about 3 Tbsp water
6 Tbsp fish sauce
6 Tbsp premium soy sauce (or oyster sauce if preferred)
6 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 mongo sprout or togue (about an inch sprout)
1/8 chopped peanuts
400 gms Hofan noodles (rice noodles)
In a casserole, bring water to boil. Add the rice noodles and let cook until tender. Drain and set aside.
In a big skillet, saute garlic and onion in sesame oil. Stir in chicken strips until cooked. Add small amount of water if the chicken is dry. Add the chopped firm tofu. In the same skillet, bring the mixture on the side and cook the beaten egg ad stir constantly until cooked then stir together with the mixture. Add 2/3 of the spring onions, basil leaves and tamarind mixture and then, salt up to desired saltiness. Add sugar up to desired sweetness, but not too sweet. Add fish sauce, premium sauce and soy sauce. let simmer and add the mongo sprout. Add half of the peanuts. Let the mixture's taste sink in and blend and then add the cooked rice noodles. Stir for a few minutes, adjusting taste with salt or soy sauce. Add chili powder if desired.
Serve hot sprinkled with spring onions and garnished with sugar and peanuts on the side. A slice of lime or lemon squeezed on a plate of pad thai will surprise your palate.