Thanks all I'm headed to our local Asian Market now. I,m doing shrimp and firm tofu. Sort of a combination of what all of you suggested. We eat it at a local place here and the chef fries wonton strips and serves the pad thai on them is is addictive. The sauce is a little on the sweet side and I really like that. I will post after dinner tonight and let you know.
This is from a 1988 book, "Great Thai Cooking for My American Friends". It is not hard, but you do need fish sauce (a.k.a. nam pla & nuoc mam) and rice noodles. The dried salted radish, another Asian grocery specialty, is, IMO, optional.
16 oz pkg medium thread rice sticks (rice noodles), soaked in warm water for an hour, then drained
Preheat a large wok or deep fryin pan on high heat 1 minute. Add 1 T oil. When sizzling hot, add 6 beaten eggs and fry until set on one side, flip, and do the other side until light brown. Remove and slice into thin strips.
Heat additional 1/4 c oil till sizzling, add 8 cloves minced garlic, stirring, then 1 pound bite-sized slices of pork, beef, chicken, shrimp, tofu, or combination, stirring about 2 minutes untildone. Add rice noodles and 1/4 c white vinegar, cook until noodles are soft. Add the scrambled egg plus: 1/4 c sugar, 1 c sliced salted radish, 1/4 c fish swauce, 1 c ground roasted peanuts, 2T chile powder or paprika. Stir to blend. Remove to serving platter. Add 2 c bean sprouts to pan and stir 30 seconds. Pour over noodles and garnish with 1 c sliced scallion and 1c chopped cilantro.
greygarious, I just posted on another thread about whether it was possible to make pad thai without tamarind sauce, and I see from your recipe that it is. So the white vinegar is obviously what subs for the the sour taste of the tamarind. Thanks. I will definitely try this substitution!
For the sauce which is key use tamarind paste or concentrate, fish sauce and palm sugar. There are many combinations of these 3 key ingredients. You should adjust it so it has a nice balance that you like. Sweet, salty and sour. Outside of that it's pretty much standard stir fry.
Soak the rice noodles in warm water but not to the point of being edible. If they get too soft while soaking they will get gummy when added to the pan.
For the tofu, get firm tofu and wrap in paper towels and place a heavy weight on it to squeeze out the water. Squeeze out the water and re-wrap. Do this a couple of times to remove as much water as you can. Cut in logs or cubes and fry till golden brown. I like a firmer texture on my tofu. Your tastes may differ. If you can find little dried shrimp grind them up and toss in at the end. Salted radishes are also good in there. It's really not complex just a lot has to be done at the last moment.