Pad Thai

MAKES: 4 servings

TIME: 30 minutes

Though you probably first fell in love with pad Thai in a Thai restaurant, it’s easy to make at home, with a fast-paced stir-frying process that’s perfect for either week-nights or entertaining, as long as you have all the ingredients ready to go before you start cooking. Cucumber Salad with Soy and Ginger, Asian-Style Steamed Mushroom Salad, and Edamame Salad with Seaweed Mayo all make great accompaniments.

12 ounces dried flat rice noodles, 1/4 inch thick

5 tablespoons peanut or neutral oil, like grapeseed or corn

3 eggs, lightly beaten

4 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces pressed tofu or extra-firm tofu, prepared by any of the methods or simply blotted dry, then sliced

2 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths

1 cup bean sprouts

2 tablespoons Fishless Fish Sauce or soy sauce

2 teaspoons tamarind paste or ketchup (to make your own, see Homemade Ketchup)

2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 chiles, preferably Thai, stemmed, seeded, and sliced (optional)

1 lime, cut into wedges

Put the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them to cover. Soak until softened, at least 15 minutes; if you want to hold them a little longer, drain them, fill the bowl with cold water, and return the noodles to the bowl.

Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a wok or large skillet, preferably nonstick, over medium heat. When hot, add the eggs and scramble quickly for the first minute or so with a fork almost flat against the bottom of the pan; you’re aiming for a thin egg crepe of sorts, one with the smallest curd you can achieve. Cook just until set and transfer the crepe to a cutting board. Cut into 1/4-inch strips and set aside.

03.png Raise the heat to high and add the remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, tofu, scallions, and half the bean sprouts and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate.

04.png Put the drained noodles, eggs, fishless fish sauce, tamarind, and sugar in the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the noodles are heated through, then add the stir-fried tofu mixture. Toss once or twice and transfer the contents of the pan to a serving platter. Top with the peanuts, cilantro, chiles, and remaining bean sprouts. Serve with the lime wedges on the side.