I seem to have misplaced my most recent favourite pad thai recipe, so I found one from the NYTimes that is pretty good. I like how much fish sauce it uses but disagree that the noodles should be checked every 5 minutes — every minute is more accurate if using boiling water. Can use hot tap water instead and check less often. I also rolled up fresh kaffir lime leaves and sliced them into long thin strips, then added them at the same time as the bean sprouts and cabbage to give it that exciting citrus kaffir flavour. I used carrots instead of cabbage last night to good effect.
• 115 g rice noodles (between 6mm and 1mm wide)
• ¼ cup peanut oil
• 2 to 4 tablespoons tamarind paste
• ¼ cup fish sauce (nam pla)
• ⅓ cup honey
• 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
• 2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
• 1/3 cup chopped scallions
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 2 eggs
• 1 small head Napa cabbage, shredded (about 4 cups)
• 1 cup mung bean sprouts
• 300 g peeled shrimp, 400 g pressed tofu, or a combination
• 1/3 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
• 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 2 limes, quartered
1. Put noodles in a large bowl and add boiling water to cover. Let sit until noodles are just tender; check every 5 minutes or so to make sure they do not get too soft. Drain, drizzle with one tablespoon peanut oil to keep from sticking and set aside. Meanwhile, put tamarind paste, fish sauce, honey and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-low heat and bring just to a simmer. Stir in red pepper flakes and set aside.
2. Put remaining 3 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; when oil shimmers, add scallions and garlic and cook for about a minute. Add eggs to pan; once they begin to set, scramble them until just done. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and continue to cook until cabbage begins to wilt, then add shrimp or tofu (or both).
3. When shrimp begin to turn pink or tofu begins to cook, add drained noodles to pan along with sauce. Toss everything together to coat with tamarind sauce and combine well. When noodles are warmed through, serve, sprinkling each dish with peanuts and garnishing with cilantro and lime wedges.