Tasty twists freshen up a classic Thai favourite!
There are probably thousands of different ways to make Pad Thai, one of the most ubiquitous and popular street foods in Thailand. Stir fried rice noodles and vegetables in a tasty sauce make this dish fast and flavourful. In this variation, I’ve chosen to include shrimp, asparagus and red peppers for a big dose of colour and taste. I’ve also switched things up a little by replacing the traditional bean sprout garnish with fresh, crunchy pea shoots. For a lacto-ovo vegetarian version, omit the fish sauce, substitute 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) of cubed firm tofu for the shrimp and use vegetable stock in place of chicken broth.
- 1/2 – 1 teaspoon (2.5 mL – 5 mL) Asian chili-garlic paste (to taste)
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) soy sauce (or tamari for gluten-free version)
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) fish sauce (optional but delicious)
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) ketchup
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken broth
- 10 oz (285 g) medium-sized rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) canola or olive oil
- 12 stalks asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces
- 1 cup (250 mL) slivered red pepper
- 16 – 20 large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- White parts of 4 green onions, chopped
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 2 cups (500 mL) pea shoots, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup slivered green onion tops
- 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped peanuts
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) fresh coriander leaves
- Put all ingredients for sauce in a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake to combine. Set aside.
- Put noodles in a broad bowl and cover with hot tap water. Let soak for 25 – 30 minutes to soften. If desired, cut softened noodles in half with kitchen shears.
- In a large frying pan or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add asparagus and red pepper and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Add shrimp and white parts of green onions and sauté, stirring constantly, for 2 – 3 minutes more, until shrimp is pink.
- Add beaten eggs and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
- Drain noodles thoroughly and add them to pan, stirring gently but thoroughly. Add sauce and stir again. Cook for 4 – 6 minutes until noodles are tender, adding a bit more chicken broth (or water) as needed to make sauce the desired consistency.
- Transfer cooked Pad Thai to warmed bowls and garnish with pea shoots, green onion tops, peanuts and coriander. Serve immediately.
Serves 3 – 4.