I have some confessions to make. I'm not really sure what this is supposed to taste like. I don't know that I've ever been to a Thai restaurant. The only Pad Thai I've tasted is from a kit at the grocery store. So I probably am not the best judge of what Pad Thai should be. So, just keep that in mind when you read my opinion of how it came together! Mmmkay?
I liked it. I thought it tasted fresh and delicious. My kids liked it too but Tyler isn't really a fan of Thai food so he just tolerated it. I can see myself making this again. It came together pretty quickly and easily. The hardest part was finding the rice noodles! I went to 16 grocery stores before I found them. Okay, maybe it was 5 but it still seemed excessive! I, luckily, had some tamarind concentrate that I'd ordered from Amazon for a different recipe, otherwise that would have been harder to find (I've tried before). The book included a substitution list for the tamarind which would have been super helpful in that circumstance.
Pad Thai with Shrimp
1 T tamarind concentrate
2/3 cup hot water
3 T fish sauce
3 T sugar
1 T canola oil
1 T rice vinegar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I only used a dash because I was scared! Next time I might use a little more)
Noodles, Shrimp and Garnish
8 oz dried, flat rice noodles (Thai rice noodles) about 1/4 inch thick
1 T canola oil
12 oz medium shrimp (40-50/lb) peeled and deveined
1 shallot, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, lightly beaten
6 oz bean spouts
4 scallions, sliced thin
Salt to taste
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
2 T chopped, roasted, unsalted peanuts
Lime wedges for serving
Combine sauce ingredients and set aside. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Remove from heat and stir in noodles. Let stand, stirring occasionally until softened but not fully cooked (8-10 minutes). Drain noodles and set aside in colander.
Heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in skillet or wok, until just smoking. Add shrimp and cook until shrimp are curled and browned slightly, turning as necessary, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Heat remaining 1 1/2 tsp oil until shimmering. Add shallots and garlic and cook until lightly browned about 1 1/2 minutes. Add eggs and stir constantly until scrambled but still moist (about 20 seconds).
Add noodles and sauce. Cook, tossing gently until noodles are evenly coated, about 1 minute.
Add shrimp, sprouts, and scallions to the skillet and cook, tossing gently until shrimp are heated through and noddles are tender, about 2 minutes. Season with salt to taste. To serve, sprinkle with cilantro and peanuts and serve with lime wedges.
Source: Adapted from: The America's Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook