This recipe sounds really complicated, not gonna lie it is! However, to get really good authentic tasting pad thai takes work. This really does taste like the stuff you get at the restaurant. Its on the spicy side, so if you are not a fan of spice go easy on the red chilies. I made mine with tofu, however the marinade can easily be used for chicken, shrimp or beef.
For the sauce:
6 tbsp brown sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
1 1/2 tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in ¼ cup warm water
1 tsp. or more cayenne, to taste
1/8 tsp. black pepper
For the pad thai:
8 ounce package dried rice noodles
1-2 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 (12 ounce) package firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch strips MAKE SURE YOU DRAIN IT!!
(Marinade for Tofu: 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp. soy sauce)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 head broccoli chopped
4 cloves garlic minced
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika or 1-2 fresh red chilies minced
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
3/4 cup crushed peanuts
1/2 lime, cut into wedges
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
To prepare Pad Thai sauce: In a medium sized bowl whisk together brown sugar, fish sauce, tamarind, cayenne and pepper.
To prepare the noodles: Pour hot water over the rice noodles and let soak until no longer hard.( soft enough to be eaten, but still firm and a little "crunchy". ) This is important so that they do not come out gummy. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking then toss with a tbsp of sesame oil (or other oil if you don't have any)
To prepare the tofu (or meat of choice): Place tofu in small bowl. Stir together marinade and pour over tofu. Stir well and set aside.
To prepare the pad thai: In a large skillet or wok over medium heat, warm oil and add garlic, chili and broccoli. Stir fry until fragrant 30 sec. Then add in the eggs and scramble in the pan. Add tofu and stir until well mixed; when wok becomes dry add a little chicken stock (1-2 tbsp at a time to keep tofu frying nicely 5-7 min until cooked)
Add the noodles to the pan, and pour the Pad Thai sauce over (start with less and add to taste). Using two utensils, use a gentle "lift and turn" method to fry noodles (like tossing a salad). Stir-fry in this way 1-2 minutes. If you find your wok/frying pan too dry, push noodles aside and add a little more oil to the bottom of the pan.
Add the bean sprouts and continue frying 1 more minute, or until noodles are cooked. Noodles are done to perfection when they are no longer "hard" or crunchy, but chewy-sticky wonderful!
Lift noodles onto a serving plate. Top with generous amounts of fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts and spring onion. Add fresh lime wedges to squeeze over each portion.