And when I say "my new favourite thing", I'm talking about it being right up there alongside Nasi Goreng and Shepherd's Pie. Now THAT is high praise indeed.
I don't mind admitting that I was a wee bit intimidated by this recipe. You see, I had attempted a Pad Thai a very long time ago - before I started blogging, so around seven or eight years ago - and it was a singular failure. Having just cooked the dish again, I can see that first go didn't work because I didn't understand the first thing about any of the ingredients. However, without the benefit of getting a good one under my belt, I was a bit worried that it would fail again.
Coming out the other side of having completed an outstandingly successful rendition of Pad Thai, I now haven't a clue what I was worried about as it was incredibly simple to make. However, you do need to have your mise en place done before you begin to cook, as you cook at such a pace that you really have no time in which to turn around and chop a spring onion, for instance. That, and overcooking the noodles in a big way, are much of the reason why the first one didn't work.
Having everything chopped, squeezed, measured out and ready to go is essential. You almost need to put everything in order, the cooking goes that quickly. However, once you've got everything ready, the cooking is fabulously simple and the results spectacular.
I've seen lots of different Pad Thai recipes, some ask for tamarind, some for coconut milk. This one doesn't ask for any of those things, it keeps things clean and simple with just fish sauce, oyster sauce and gorgeous lime juice to stitch all the other flavours together.
I used John Torode's recipe from BBC Good Food as the guide for this recipe but several things are different and because of that things happen in a slightly different order, so I decided to blog the recipe so as not to lose it. The original recipe is here if you are curious. I think my version just simplifies things a little bit further.
The only Cook's Tip I have for you is what I have already stated - get your chopping, peeling and squeezing done before you start cooking!
So, onwards to major, serious, deliciousness and clean, wholesome eating.
PRAWN PAD THAI (serves 2-3)
200g rice noodles, the white, vermicelli style
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
2 eggs, beaten
pinch of sea salt & black pepper
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
6 spring onions, sliced diagonally
1 red chilli (leave the seeds in for additional heat)
15g coriander, chopped to include the stems
250g cooked coldwater prawns, drained
100g dry roasted peanuts, chopped slightly.
To begin, set a saucepan of water to boil. Once boiling, add the rice noodles and remove from the heat. As soon as the noodles have softened, but before being fully cooked - around a minute and a half - drain well and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside to drain fully.
Add a pinch of sea salt & black pepper to the beaten egg and stir through. Heat the oil in a wok over a moderate heat and once the oil appears to shimmer slightly, add the beaten egg and stir gently to form an omelette. Reduce the heat to low, so as not to burn the underside of the omelette and once formed and set, remove from the pan with a slotted spoon so as to keep the majority of the oil in the pan, onto a plate to keep warm.
Still over a gentle heat, add the chopped garlic to the wok and stir fry it very gently until the pieces have turned a gentle golden colour. Don't rush this process, or the garlic will burn and become bitter. Slow and steady wins the day.
Next, add the sugar, fish sauce, oyster sauce and lime juice, along with the spring onions, chilli, beansprouts and three quarters of the coriander. Increase the heat to moderate and stir regularly as the onions soften and cook. This should take no more than around 4-5 minutes.
Add the cooked prawns, the drained noodles and a third of the peanuts and stir and toss to combine and heat through. Keep the contents of the pan moving, so that nothing catches on the underside and the noodles combine well with the other ingredients.
Once well mixed, serve into warmed bowls and garnish with the remaining peanuts and chopped coriander.
Tuck in and enjoy!