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annikalshore's avatar

Does anyone know how to make really great pad thai?

Asked by annikalshore (31points) January 19th, 2007
suggestions of recipes, techniques, or even reliable thai cook books/website would be wonderful! Thank you!
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15 Answers

ben's avatar
Yes! I spend one summer cooking it over and over until I had the perfect recipe. Here's the the recipe for the secret sauce (Feel free to multiply): 6 Tbs rice vinegar, 6 Tbs sugar, 4 Tbs Fish sauce, 2 Tbs lime juice, 2 Tbs ketchup, 1-2 Tbs garlic chili sauce, 1 egg. You can tweak the quantities to get the flavor you want, but that's my secret sauce. Just don't tell anyone about the ketchup. Besides that, cook up some wide rice noodles, add sauteed chicken or tofu (peanut oil tastes best). When the noodles are almost ready, add in tofu, and sauce. Garnish with chopped peanuts, cilantro, carrots, sprouts.
annikalshore's avatar
are we sure about ketchup?
ben's avatar
Very sure. Trust me, it sounds gross, but it adds color and is not detectable on its own.
annikalshore's avatar
Ok, I will try it and report back. And I appreciate your comment about color...I tried to make pad thai about a year ago, and although the flavors were fine (though too mild for my taste) it turned into a very pale grey, and seemed distasteful. I'll let you know how this works. Thanks, Ben.
hossman's avatar
Ben,don't be ashamed of the ketchup. I worked for a long time in a Mandarin restaurant, and they used ketchup in several sauces.
darwinsbulldog's avatar
Be careful with the rice noodles. They can go from perfect to overcooked and gummy very quickly. Also, if you can find preserved raddish it gets even better.
dans85's avatar
Where's the peanut butter? I just threw together whatever I had in my fridge the other day (various quantities of peanut butter, soy sauce, rice wine, milk, bit of flour, touch of honey) and made a scrumptious pad thai over wheat noodles. Of course, add some veggies, too.
b's avatar
Ketchup does not belong in PhadThai, sorry Ben. The sauce tradionally is fish sauce and tamarind paste. I will post my recipe soon.
FallingLeaf's avatar
ketchup is what white people use to try and imitate pad thai. the ketchupy taste is actually tamarind. do not use ketchup.
FallingLeaf's avatar
and the key to the noodles is to not cook them like spagetti, but to lay them in a dish and pour boiling water over them until they become softened. if you boil them over the stove they will get mushy and stick together.
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Nimis's avatar

According to this Wiki article:
Ketchup-like sauces originated in eastern Asia as a fish sauce,
long before anyone outside the Americas had ever seen a tomato.
– This might be difficult to prove.

The word “ketchup” comes from the Malay / Indonesian word kichoop or kechap
which itself was derived from the Chinese ke’tsiap; the first part of the word, “ke”,
in Cantonese Chinese means tomato and the second part, “chup” means sauce or juice; combined it means tomato sauce—in this case ketchup as we know it.
– This etymology sounds pretty plausible.

So it’s quite possible that the OG pad thai version might have had ketchup in it!

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