Pad Thai

You could call this the national dish of Thailand. Different versions are sold by street vendors throughout the country. While you may use Pad Thai noodles, I like the dish much better with linguine. If using Pad Thai noodles, soak noodles according to package directions. There is no substitute for tamarind paste. If you can’t find it at your supermarket, order it online at Amazon.

8 oz linguine or Pad Thai noodles
1/4 cup tamarind paste
1/4 cup warm water
2 boneless, skinless chicken breast fillets
1 cup diced firm tofu
1/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts, crushed
3 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS brown sugar
2 TBS fresh lime juice
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
16 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup bean sprouts, cleaned
2 scallions, chopped
Cilantro leaves and lime wedges for garnish

Cook linguine according to package directions or soak Pad Thai noodles. In a small bowl, combine tamarind paste with water. Let soak 20 minutes. Cut chicken into bite-sized cubes.

Mash tamarind paste with water and place in strainer set into a bowl. Push tamarind juice through with a spoon until you have about 5 TBS tamarind juice.
In a small bowl, stir together tamarind juice, fish sauce, sugar and lime. Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large skillet. Add chicken and stir-fry until nearly cooked through, about 4 minutes. Add tofu and shrimp and stir-fry until shrimp are pink and curled, about 2 minutes. Push ingredients up sides of wok and pour eggs into bottom of wok. Cook until eggs are set, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in linguine or Pad Thai noodles and sauté 1 minute.

Stir in tamarind mixture and cook 2 minutes. Add 1/8 cup peanuts, 1/2 cup bean sprouts and all of the scallions. Stir-fry 1 minute. Transfer mixture to serving dish and sprinkle with remaining peanuts, sprouts and cilantro. Add lime wedges and serve.

Serves 2 as a main course or 4 as the noodle course.

Gary: Seafood, fish sauce and lime in the dish suggest a white with good acidity. You can continue on with the sparkler from the Peanut Satay or look for a pretty Albariño with its minerality, bright fruit and acidity. A Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris with its floral notes would be a lovely match, as would a Soave from the Veneto with its mellow, suave styling. Muscadet would be pleasant with its brightness and moderate acidity. Another crisp white that would work would be a Grüner Veltliner from Austria.

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