Our kitchen adapted this version of Bankok's Thip Samai restaurant's pad thai.
- 7 oz. dried flat rice stick noodles
- 1 piece seedless tamarind pulp, 3- by 1-inches (2 1/2 oz.)
- 3 tbsp. soft palm sugar or light brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. nam pla (Thai fish sauce)
- 1 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1 tsp. Thai chili powder
- 7 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 small shallots, peeled and sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 6 oz. medium shrimp, peeled, with tail intact, and deveined
- 2 oz. smoked or fresh firm tofu, cut in 2- by 1-inch strips
- 2 tbsp. tiny dried shrimp
- 1⁄2 bunch Chinese chives or 4 scallions, green part only, cut into 2" pieces
- 1⁄4 cup shredded salted radish
- 1 1⁄2 cups soybean sprouts
- 1⁄4 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped
- 1 lime, quartered
Soak noodles in a large bowl of hot water until pliable, about 15 minutes. Drain and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the tamarind pulp and 1 cup hot water. Set aside for 15 minutes, then squeeze to soften and break up the paste. Set a fine sieve over a medium bowl and strain the tamarind paste, pressing on the pulp with the back of a spoon to push most of it through, Discarding any fibrous bits that remain. Stir sugar, fish sauce, vinegar, and chili powder into the tamarind liquid and set the sauce aside.
Heat 1 tbsp. of the oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add eggs and swirl around skillet to form an even layer. Cook until set on one side, about 1 minute, then turn and cook on other side until set, about 20 seconds more. Transfer omelette to a cutting board, thinly slice, and set aside.
Heat the remaining 6 tbsp. oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat. Add shallots and garlic and stir-fry until soft, about 10 seconds. Add medium shrimp and stir-fry for 10 seconds. Add tofu, dried shrimp, chives, turnips, half the bean sprouts, half the peanuts, the noodles, the sliced omelette, and the reserved sauce and stir-fry, tossing constantly, until noodles absorb most of the sauce and sauce thickens, 2-3 minutes. Garnish each serving with the remaining bean sprouts and peanuts and serve with limes.