Easier Weeknight Pad Thai (Sen Chan Pad Pu)

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  • Soak the noodles in room temperature (not cold) water for 30 mins – 1 hour. Timing will vary between brands and temperature of your water. Check doneness by lifting the noodles up with your fingers and they should be completely limp, have no resistance to gravity, and no longer retain their old shape. If you’re in a rush, you can use warm water and it’ll shorten the soaking time, but be careful not to over-soak (see more noodle soaking tips in the blog post above).

    6 oz dry rice noodles

  • Remove seeds from the chilies by using scissors to cut them into chunks and allowing the seeds to pour out. No need to remove every last seed, whatever comes out is fine. Grind the chilies in a coffee grinder into a fine powder. If you don’t have a coffee grinder, you can cut and soak the chilies in room temp water until rehydrated (about 30 mins), then pound in a mortar and pestle into a paste.

    0.3 oz dried chilies

  • In a mortar and pestle, pound the garlic into a paste, then add the shallots and the ground chilies and pound into a rough paste.

    2 cloves garlic, 3 Tablespoons finely chopped shallots

  • Combine the tamarind paste with the fish sauce and ⅓ cup (80 ml) of water and stir to combine.

    3 Tablespoons Thai tamarind paste, 2½ Tablespoons fish sauce, ⅓ cup water

  • Before you turn the stove on, keep a cup of water nearby. Heat a wok or a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and the chili paste and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly.

    2 Tablespoons neutral oil

  • Add the palm sugar and cook until mostly dissolved, about 30 seconds. Then add the tamarind sauce mixture and bring to a boil.

    1.6 oz palm sugar, about 3½ tablespoons packed (or sub brown sugar)

  • Add the shrimp (if using) and cook them in sauce for 1 minute, flipping them halfway through, just until they are done. Turn off the heat and remove the shrimp, leaving all the sauce behind.

    10-12 medium size shrimp

  • Turn the heat back on medium high and add the soaked noodles. Keep tossing the noodles with tongs until all the sauce has been absorbed. Turn off the heat and taste the noodles, and if they are still too chewy, add a splash of water, and turn the heat back on and keep cooking until all the additional water has all been absorbed. Keep checking and adding water until the noodles are cooked through but still maintain a slight chew. (There are many factors that affect how much water you need to add, so it’s okay if you end up adding a lot more or none at all, as long as the noodles are properly cooked.)
  • Once the noodles are cooked, add the beansprouts, garlic chives, cooked shrimp and most of the crab (if using), leaving a bit of crab behind for garnish. Turn off the heat and toss everything until just until the beansprouts are wilted.

    1½ cup 85 g beansprouts, plus extra for serving, 4 stalks garlic chives, 3.5 oz crab meat

  • Plate the noodles, top with more crab (if using), more beansprouts, cucumber, and a lime wedge on the side.

    2 baby cucumbers, Lime wedges for serving

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