Pad Thai / Kuaytiaw Phat Thai

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1 lb. rice noodles (the dry, flat kind that’s about 1/4- to 1/3=inch thick)
1 1/2 cups large shrimp, peeled, deveined and butterflied
1/4 cup tamarind puree (If you don’t have access to tamarind puree, you can make it by dissolving a 4-inch square of tamarind block/paste in some hot water, then straining the seeds out through a sieve)
4 tablespoons Thai fish sauce, or to taste
3 tablespoons palm sugar (brown sugar is an acceptable substitute), or to taste
4 tablespoons canola oil or other vegetable oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 eggs, beaten well
1/4 cup chopped garlic chives, also known as Chinese leeks (the flat kind, with or without buds)
1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste (a pinch or so of cayenne may be substituted)
3 tablespoons ground dried shrimp (or pounded to a coarse powder)
2 tablespoons minced preserved turnip
1/4 cup chopped roasted peanuts
up to 3/4 cup water
2 cups mung bean sprouts, rinsed and spun dry
1/4 cup chopped green onions/scallions
Additional fish sauce and palm sugar, if needed
1 long hot red pepper, seeded if desired (to decrease heat) and sliced into thin slivers or 1/8-inch thick rounds
fresh cilantro/coriander leaves for topping
lime wedges for serving

Soak the noodles according to package directions (I’ve had best results with soaking the noodles for 10 minutes, draining, then soaking again for 10 minutes, at which time it should be drained and cooked).

In a bowl, combine tamarind puree, fish sauce and sugar.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add garlic and stir for 5 seconds, then add shrimp, continuing to stir-fry, until shrimp is just barely cooked and has turned pink, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to wok/skillet, then the eggs, and cook, folding and stirring, to scramble, about 1 minute. Remove to a bowl or plate, chop roughly or slice into shreds and keep warm.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to wok/skillet, then the noodles and the garlic chives/Chinese leeks. Stir-fry for about 3 minutes. Add fish sauce mixture, the chili powder, dried shrimp, preserved turnip and half of the peanuts. Stir-fry another 3 minutes, then test for tenderness. If noodles are too dry, add water, 1/4 cup at a time, continuing to stir-fry for a few minutes, until noodles are almost done. Keep testing noodles before adding more water to prevent overcooking. When noodles are almost at the al dente stage, adjust seasonings to taste with fish sauce and palm sugar, then add half of the bean sprouts and half of the green onions/scallions. Return shrimp and eggs to the skillet and toss together with noodles for 3 minutes or so, until eggs and shrimp are heated and noodles are completely cooked.

Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts, bean sprouts, green onions and hot pepper shreds/slices. Serve hot with lime wedges on the side.

reposting from an old aboutweblogs.com/asianfood post of mine

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