Leah Cohen's Pad Thai

by Leah Cohen 3:00 AM, February 26, 2018

Aired February 26, 2018

Serves 4

The tamarind sauce can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.


½ cup tamarind paste
½ cup warm water
2/3 cup fish sauce
½ cup, plus 1 tablespoons palm sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
¼ cup rendered pork fat or canola oil
8 shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg
1 shallot, sliced
½ cup smoked tofu, cubed
1 (8-ounce) package pad Thai noodles, soaked in warm water and drained
1 cup beans sprouts, plus more for garnish ​
¼ cup chopped peanuts, plus more for garnish
A handful of Chinese chives, cut into 1-inch pieces, plus more for garnish
Pinch chili flakes
½ lime, plus wedges for garnish
A handful of cilantro, chopped


In a small bowl, combine tamarind paste and warm water. Massage to break up the tamarind paste, and then pass through a sieve to remove any seeds. In a small saucepan, combine the tamarind mixture, fish sauce, palm and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Lower to medium-low heat and cook 15 minutes more, then let the sauce cool.

In a large pan, preferably cast-iron, heat pork fat until almost smoking. Sear shrimp on both sides and them remove from pan. Add the egg on one side and then shallot on the other. Once the white begins to set, scramble the egg and mix with the shallots. Next add the smoked tofu, noodles and ½ cup cooled sauce. Add bean sprouts, peanuts, chives and chili flakes, and cook until noodles are soft. Remove from the pan, squeeze in ½ a lime and mix. Garnish with more bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, chives, cilantro and lime wedges.


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