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pad thai

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Everyone on this board gives such great advice to struggling cooks. I need some of your collective wisdom regarding pad thai.

When I make pad thai I usually boil the noodles for the specified time on the package--usually 4-5 minutes. I drain the noodles and toss them with 2 tbs. of peanut oil to keep them from clumping. This is a suggestion from one my cookbooks. I then go ahead with the stir-fry part of the recipe.

My frustration is that the noodles always clump into a big, tangled ball anyway and I have a heck of a time incorporating them into the rest of the ingredients. Is there some secret to dealing with the rice noodles so I don't end up with egg, scallion, and shrimp all over the floor?

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  1. I never boil my rice noodles. I let them soak in warm water for about an hour and then stir fry w the rest of the ingredients per the recipe I'm using that day. My noodles never clump. Try that and let me know how you make out.

    5 Replies
    1. re: shaebones

      Yes, that's how I was taught in my cooking classes in Chiang Mai -- presoak dried rice noodles in room temp water for at least two hours before frying them up. Even when using fresh rice noodles, I was taught to soak for at least 30 minutes. Good luck!

      1. re: Dennison

        You don't have to soak the noodles. Just use a sturdier noodle. You can tell a sturdy noodle because they take longer to soften when boiling. Or just ask a thai clerk/cook for the sturdier, slightly wider brands that hold up for frying. Fresh noodles get too mushy for my taste.

        Use 2 parts white vinegar and 2 parts Squid Brand Fish Sauce. You can add a squirt of ketchup and a little peanut butter if you like wetter version.

        1. re: tubalard

          Forgot to say slightly undercook the noodles, rinse and drain them well.

          1. re: tubalard

            True...if you slightly undersoak the noodles, then chill in refrig after coating with oil, you will get better results. They do get "recooked" in making the pad thai.

      2. re: shaebones

        Thanks. I'll try soaking the noodles next time. I wasn't doing this because the cookbook I use said that they didn't get good results from this method.

        I'll also try the hot noodles/cold water method that was also mentioned.

      3. Did you toss the cooked noodles in cold water and cool it completely? Try that. And if that doesn't work, try doing it right before you put it in to stir fry. The water will loosen up the whole bit and that should give you sometime to incorporate the noodles to the other ingridents.