Saturday, January 21, 2012

Fresh salsa

Mix:
3 cups chopped tomato
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
3 Tbsp. minced cilantro
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
Combine all ingredients. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours to blend flavors.

Pad Thai

Unlike the other recipe I posted some time ago, this is intended to be an authentic Pad Thai. We really like it! You'll need to get tamarind and Thai chili powder from an Asian market, but the other ingredients should all be available at a normal grocery store. If your tamarind comes in a different form than concentrate, then please refer to the link at the bottom of this post for instructions on how to prepare various forms of tamarind.

Begin by preparing sauce. Mix the following and heat together:
2 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate diluted in water to 1 cup
1 cup light soy sauce
2/3 cup brown sugar
4 tsp. Thai chili flakes (if you use powder, you might need less!)
Adjust to taste, bring to a boil, then remove from heat, and set aside. Prepare the following ingredients as follows:
Tofu: Cube tofu, pour some of the above sauce over, and let it marinate for about 1/2 an hour. Then saute tofu cubes in some oil with some minced garlic. Save marinade sauce to use in the Pad Thai.
Rice stick noodles: Soak the noodles in hot water until almost soft enough to eat. Drain.
Roasted, unsalted peanuts: Coarsely chop.
Green onions: Chop in 1-2 in pieces. To be more authentic, you may want to use garlic chives, also called Chinese chives.
Bean sprouts
Prepare the Pad Thai one serving at a time. Heat about 3 Tbsp. oil over medium-high heat in a wok or frying pan. Then add (amounts are approximate):
1/3 pound of tofu
2 cups rice noodles
1/3 cup sauce
1/4 cup water
Stir continuously and keep everything moving to keep the noodles from sticking together. If they want to stick together, add a little more oil. If the sauce evaporates too quickly and the noodle isn’t cooked yet, add some more water. Keep cooking and stirring for a couple minutes until the noodles are done. Taste one to be sure it is cooked.
Then add the following (approximate amounts):
2 Tbsp. peanuts
1/3 cup green onions
1 cup bean sprouts
Continue cooking for a minute or two until the bean sprouts are done. Place on plate and start over with the next serving.

Serve with lime wedges (or have lime juice available) and extra peanuts for garnish.

For more detailed instructions and variations, please refer to this website where I got the original idea from: http://chezpim.com/cook/pad_thai_for_beginners.