Pad Thai with whole prawns and fried tofu

This noodle stir-fry has a rich cultural background – each family makes it slightly differently, depending on where their ancestors come from. It’s a good example of how the Thais use the fundamental flavours (sweet, sour, salty, spicy) to create that delicious ‘fifth’ taste: umami. Feel free to add veg such as beans, broccoli and spring onion for extra nutrients.

Serves 6

Ingredients

200g rice noodles

200g tofu, cubed

¾ cup cornflour

Vegetable oil, for deep-frying

5T peanut oil

1 onion, sliced into wedges

2 garlic cloves, grated

1 green chilli, finely chopped

12 king prawns, deveined and rinsed

1 cup Pad Thai sauce (store-bought)

2 eggs, whisked

1 cup bean sprouts

8T roasted peanuts, chopped

½t white pepper

3 limes, quartered 

1t chilli flakes

Method

Soak the noodles in a litre of just-boiled water until soft (about 10 minutes).

Roll the tofu cubes in cornflour and deep-fry in medium-hot oil until golden. Drain on paper towels to keep them crisp.

Heat a wok to medium heat, add 4 tablespoons of peanut oil and stir-fry the onion, garlic and chilli for 3 minutes.

Add the prawns and stir-fry until they become pink (about 2 minutes).

Add the noodles and half the Pad Thai sauce. Stir for about 20 seconds to coat the noodles.

Using a spoon, move the noodles to one corner of the wok. Heat the remaining tablespoon of peanut oil in the wok and add the whisked egg. Stir until cooked and golden.

Add the tofu cubes and toss everything together.

Stir in the rest of the Pad Thai sauce along with the sprouts, 3 tablespoons of peanuts and pepper.

Serve with a squeeze of fresh lime and sprinkled with chilli flakes and the rest of the peanuts.

Recipes and styling by Chiara Turilli, images by Gareth van Nelson

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