Do you want to try the popular Pad Thai in Filipino style? Here’s an easy guide for Filipinos at home.
Pad thai (ผัดไทย) or also known as Pad Thai is an ubiquitous street food in Thailand. Conventionally made from stir-fried rice noodles, shrimp, tofu, chinese chives, bean sprouts etc. and then tossed in special sauce made from tamarind juice, palm sugar, and other spices. It is then folded or tossed in scrambled eggs. Served with lime and sprinkled with ground peanuts. This dish is Thailand’s National cuisine and very popular around the world. It has a unique tangy, salty, umami flavor with a touch of sweetness. It is obviously full of flavor and delicious.
I know there are tons of recipe version and even in Thailand too. But know this, you can adapt to what you have on hand or use the magic of substitution. If tamarind pulp/juice is not possible, you can try Tamarind Paste or Sampaloc Powder mix. Your Pad Thai can turn into a more darker hue by using Tamarind paste instead of juice. Another option would be Chinese rice vinegar, or apple cider vinegar. For Fish sauce substitution, the closest you can get for umami is the use of Oyster sauce with little Light soy sauce. In Chum Phon Province, Thailand, in Thai Charoen (ไทยเจริญ), a bizarre food shop, they used “kapi” (shrimp paste) and bitter orange juice in their phat thai. For shrimp, you can substitute it with any meat you like or use dried or fresh shrimp. You may shop for the ingredients in Shopee or Lazada. (Please note I am not affiliated to any of these stores, this is just a suggestion).
Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe (Filipino Style)
- 8 oz. Thai Rice Sticks or Pad Thai Rice Noodles (thin, dry, flat and about 3mm in size. Brands: Dee Thai, Real Thai, Hofan, Pantai)
- 2 tablespoons oil (or peanut oil)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup shelled and deveined shrimp
- 1-2 small square tofu, cut into pieces and fried
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- ¾ cup bean sprouts + side dish
- 2 Tbsp Chinese chives or Scallion, chopped
- FOR THE TAMARIND JUICE:
- 2 tablespoons fresh tamarind pulp/paste
- ⅓ cup warm water
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 3 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 4 tablespoons tamarind juice (or 3 tablespoons Chinese rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
- 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
- 2 ½ tablespoons brown sugar (Thai use palm sugar or in Filipino we call it Panutsa)
- 3 tablespoons water
- OPTIONAL GARNISH:
- Dried chili flakes
- Roasted ground nuts, unsalted
- Sliced lime/lemons
- Prepare Dried Rice Sticks: First you need to return Rice Sticks to fresh noodle form, by soaking in clean lukewarm water for about 8-10 minutes. Once soft but still firm, drain in water. The Rice Sticks are ready to use just stir fry. Set it aside.
- How to make the Tamarind juice: Combine the tamarind pulp and water together. Squeezed it together to release the tamarind flavor. Strain to get the juice and discard the pulp. It has a rich and slightly thick dark brown color. Take 4 tablespoons of juice and set aside.
- In a bowl, stir all the ingredients for the Sauce and set it aside.
- How to cook the Pad Thai: In a large pan, heat the oil over high heat. Saute garlic until fragrant. Add the shrimp, tofu, and toss. As soon as the shrimp changes in color (about 1-2 minutes), add the softened rice noodle and stir continuously, for 30 seconds.
- Use a steel spatula and push aside the ingredients to one side of the pan. Pour in the slightly beaten eggs and let form into a round flat shape for about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the noodles over the eggs and fold, then add the Sauce. Mix and keep tossing until well combined.
- Add the bean sprouts, chopped chives and toss them altogether.
- Turn off the heat and serve the noodles immediately with the lemon wedges, sprinkle with the roasted peanuts grounded in mortar and pestle. Serve it with extra bean sprouts on the side of the plate.
- Serve and enjoy! So yummy!