Pad Thai with Prawns
This is about as close to a takeaway pad thai as I’ve ever tasted. Get everything measured out and ready before you start as you need to be able to cook this dish quickly over a high heat. The slight caramelisation of the vegetables and noodles in the sweetly sour sauce is what gives it the deep savoury flavour.
- 150g wide, flat dried rice noodles
- 1tbsp sunflower or ground nut oil plus 1 tsp
- 2 ½tbsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla), plus extra for serving
- 2tbsp fresh lime juice
- 1tbsp light soft brown sugar
- 1 medium red onion, halved and cut into 12 wedges
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½tsp dried chilli flaked
- 2 medium eggs, well beaten
- 175g peeled and cooked cold prawns, thawed if frozen
- 25g roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
- 8 spring onions, sliced
- 100g bean sprouts, rinsed and drained
- 20g fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped
- soy sauce to serve
Half fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Add the noodles in 3–4 batches and stir well after each addition. Return to the boil and cook for 3–4 minutes or until just tender. You may need to use a fork to stir the noodles as they cook.
Drain the noodles in a colander and toss with the 1 teaspoon of oil to stop the strands sticking together, then put to one side. Mix the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar in a small bowl.
Pour the remaining tablespoon of oil into a large wok or non-stick frying pan and stir-fry the red onion over a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Push all the vegetables to one side of the pan.
Pour the beaten eggs into the pan and allow to cook into a thin omelette on the bottom. This should take 30–40 seconds. Just before the egg is completely set, use a wooden spoon to roughly chop it.
Immediately add the prawns, cooked noodles, peanuts, spring onions and fish sauce mixture. Increase the heat to its highest setting and stir-fry together for 2 minutes. Toss all the ingredients with tongs or 2 wooden spoons as you stir-fry to make sure everything is thoroughly hot and well mixed.
Add the beansprouts and coriander and stir-fry for 2–3 minutes more or until the noodles and eggs are lightly browned in places. Divide between warm plates or bowls using tongs. Serve with extra fish sauce and soy sauce.