Do you have any tips when making pad thai?
I did a search and it seems a lot of you recommended using chez pim's site which doesn't work anymore. :( I had it bookmarked. It worked last week but has since stopped working on any computer I use, both at school and home.
If I cant get Chez's recipe, I may be using David Thompson's recipe from his book, "Thai Food" instead. Im just a bit worried because apparently, its not something you ace on the first try. Apparently it does not do well cooking in large quantities. I also bought some Thai chilies and was told to be careful and to protect my eyes and nose when making chili flakes. Do you have any other tips?
We tested and developed a pad thai recipe here in the CHOW Test Kitchen a few years ago: http://www.chow.com/recipes/28369-pad...
In our testing, we found that the key flavors were tamarind, fish sauce, and dried shrimp. If you can find it, the preserved radishes are a wonderful addition.
True about making in large quantities. Even with my commercial 130K BTU wok burner I don't get a nice result if I try to do more than one generous serving at a time.
The Chez Pim recipe/technique is really what got me rocking the Pad Thai at home. I think doing the sauce in advance is the biggest thing. Her sauce is palm sugar, tamarind and fish sauce only, proportions balanced to your liking--some recipes call for soy and other weirdness which is not what I know to be Pad Thai sauce. The second key for me is the pounded dried shrimp. They add a depth of flavor that you can't really get otherwise. I have not ever made it with the pickled turnip, and I almost never have garlic chives so I use scallion.
I use pepper flakes, not fresh chiles, but YMMV. I suspect it's going to be hella spicy with fresh Thai chiles.
So that plus what has already been said--full advance prep, plenty of oil, don't oversoak the noodle. It's easier to correct an underdone noodle by adding a little water to the wok and giving them an extra minute than the mess of mushy noodle from starting with them too soft.
That oily char on the noodle is a big thing for me, too.
She Simmers is a good source for pad thai instructions: http://www.shesimmers.com/2011/11/pad...
In my experience the keys to a good pad thai are pre-cooking your sauce, using a generous amount of oil and occasionally saucing ingredients as they enter the wok to aid in caramelization. As for the Thai chilies, are you dehydrating them on your own to flake them?
I'm not usually a mise-en-place fanatic (I tend to just jump into recipes with no planning at all), but it is absolutely essential for pad thai. I prepare every component beforehand and then line up my bowls in the order they are added to the pan. Beat your eggs before you start. Mix any saucy components before you start. If you have to do any chopping or soaking during the cooking time, chances are that something else will be overcooked by the time you're done.
I use this recipe with good results, but there are probably much better ones out there: http://www.templeofthai.com/recipes/p...
Both Chez Pim's site and David Thompson's book are good. Here are some really basic tips.
Rice noodles should be soaked until edible but a little too hard. Although many sites stress not oversoaking the rice noodles, I have been more apt to mess up pad thai by undersoaking them.
As is true for all stir fries, the wok or skillet needs to be really hot and needs to have a high heat capacity.
I think fresh Thai chiles are probably too hot for pad thai.