Fried Rice Sticks with Shrimp

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Fried Rice Sticks with Shrimp
(Pad Thai Goong Sod)

Pad Thai - Can any other Thai food be more loved worldwide? This Pad Thai recipe is how you actually find it in Bangkok and comes from testing hundreds of different versions from food cart around the city. In Bangkok, where Pad Thai originated, it is street food that you buy from a food cart; the cook has been making and perfecting it for years, cooking the same dish, day after day. Compared to the red, oil coated version you normally find in western restaurants, this one is drier and more tastes fresher and more complex. I've never seen oily, red pad thai in Thailand.

The ingredients listed below can be somewhat intimidating but many are optional. If you would like to make authentic Pad Thai, just like in Thailand, use all the ingredients.

Pad Thai is another perfect vegetarian dish, just omit shrimp and substitute soy sauce for fish sauce. Add more
Ingregients (serves 4-6)
5 tablespoons oil
1 cake pressed bean curd, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon dried shrimps or prawns, soaked for 5 minutes in warm water and drained,lightly pounded or processed
1 tablespoon chopped pickled Chinese radish
10 oz (300 g) dried rice-stick noodles, soaked in warm water to soften, drained well
1 tablespoon dried chili flakes or ground red pepper
3 eggs
2 cups bean sprouts, cleaned
1/4 cup garlic chives or spring oinons, sliced into 1-in (2 cm) lengths
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
5 oz (150 g) fresh prawns or shrimps, peeled and deveined, and grilled

3 tablespoons shaved palm sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons tamarind pulp soaked in 1/2 cup water, then strained to remove seed and fibers

1 Place all the Sauce ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2 Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large pan and stir-fry bean curd till lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.
3 Stir-fry garlic and shallots over high for 2 minutes. Add dried shrimps and pickled radish and fry for another 3 minutes. Add noodles and bean curd and stir-fry to mix, then add Sauce and dried chili flakes. Continue to stir-fry over medium heat.
4 Push moodles to one side. Add 2 tablespoons oil, break the eggs into the pan and scramble till cooked, then mix eggs and noodles together.
5 Add half the bean sprouts and garlic chives or spring onions. Mix together thoroughly and remove from heat.6 Serve garnished with the remaining bean sprouts and chives, crushed peanuts and grilled shrimp, if using. Pad Thai is normally garnished with a heaping portion of uncooked beansprouts on the side as well as a sprig of cilantro on top.

Tips -- Fried noodles require a lot of oil; however, it is possible to use a minimum amount by adding small amounts from time to time to keep the noodles from drying out instead of adding all the oil at once.
Preparation time: 15 mins