Cookbook: Thai Food by David Thompson
Wow, how time flies! It’s like I’ve barely blinked and five weeks have passed since I last blogged! I am so behind in the Cookbook Challenge and my posts, I almost don’t know where to begin blogging again! I guess that’s why I keep putting off starting to blog again – it seems like a chore now when I have so much to do. This post is a first step and hopefully I can keep the momentum up!
I feel rather embarrassed that the rice/noodles theme of the Cookbook Challenge was over more than a month ago and I am only posting now. I’ve already fallen behind so early in the challenge, but that’s okay… it means I have longer to catch up! 🙂
I chose to make pad thai/pat thai for rice/noodles week. I love eating pat thai but I have only made it at home once or twice… using ready made sauce! *prepares for death scare from Kat* Choosing a pat thai also gives me a chance to use my Thai Food cookbook for the first time. I saw this book at Borders for over a $100, but I would never spend that much on cookbook, so when I saw it at Book Depository for under $30, I bought it straight away (the price has since gone up). Needless to say, that is probably one of the major reasons why Borders was going under. Why would someone buy a book from Borders when they can buy the same identical book for one third of the price online?
Making the pat thai sauce is not difficult at all. It is only a mixture of tamarind water, sugar and fish sauce. The difficult part is getting the balance of flavours right. The sauce should have a balance of salty, sweet and sour. Even though you use the same quantity of ingredients, the flavour could vary according to the strength of your tamarind water or the saltiness of the fish sauce.
As I don’t like beanshoots I left them out and I didn’t bother with the crushed roasted peanuts, which some may say is a necessity!
3 tbsp tamarind pulp
5 tbsp warm water
3 tbsp (55g) packed shaved palm sugar
3 tbsp white sugar
6 tbsp fish sauce
1. To make the tamarind water, put the tamarind pulp in a bowl and add the warm water. Stir well with a spoon, or use your hands, to dissolve most of the pulp into the water. Strain and set aside 3 tablespoons of tamarind water.
2. In a small saucepan, add the 3 tablespoons of tamarind water, the two sugars and the fish sauce, and simmer for 1-2 minutes until sugar has dissolved.
130g dried rice stick noodles
16 raw prawns, shelled and deveined
5 deep fried beancurd puffs, each piece cut into quarters
2 tbsp shredded salted white radish (preserved vegetables or chai po), rinsed & dried
4 Asian shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Oil for frying
1. Soak the dried rice stick noodles according to the instructions on the packet. You may want to cut them into shorter lengths. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil in a wok and fry beancurd pieces for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
3. Heat more oil and fry prawns until almost cooked. Remove and set aside with beancurd.
4. Add more oil if needed and fry garlic and shallots with radish for 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Crack in eggs, turn down heat and stir to mix up eggs.
6. Add in noodles and turn up the heat. Add some of the sauce to taste, then add beancurd and prawns. Fry for a few minutes before serving.
Results: I had to tweak the sauce a bit (at first it was too sour, then too sweet) but still I couldn’t get it to taste like it does at a restaurant! The noodles I used also seem to have a different texture. The sauce was very salty so be sure to dilute it with some water. The noodles were pretty average as pat thai, but it did have a nice flavour anyway.
Would I make it again? No, I would still go out to a restaurant if I had a pat thai craving!
Check out my other Cookbook Challenge posts here.
Over & Out, April xx