This is one of the most famous dishes in Thailand. Everyone who visits should try it, otherwise they have not really been there at all. To make it, you need to use small white noodles of the dried sen lek variety. You can substitute meat for prawns.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 6 oz (150 g) dried noodles (sen lek)
- 11 oz (300 g) raw large prawns (shrimp)
- 3 tablespoons tamarind purée
- 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar (jaggery)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 3 oz (85 g) Chinese chives (1 bunch)
- ¼ teaspoon chilli powder, depending on taste
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimp, ground or pounded
- 2 tablespoons preserved turnip, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
- 7 oz 2 cups (180 g) bean sprouts
- 3 spring onions (scallions), slivered
- 1 long red chilli, seeded and shredded, for garnish
- a few coriander (cilantro) leaves, for garnish
- lime wedges, to serve
How to Make It
- Soak the noodles in hot water for 1–2 minutes, or until soft, then drain.
- Peel and devein the prawns and cut each prawn along the back so it opens like a butterfly (leave each prawn joined along the base and at the tail, leaving the tail attached).
- Combine the tamarind purée with the fish sauce and palm sugar in a bowl.
- Heat 1½ tablespoons oil in a wok or frying pan and stir-fry the garlic over medium heat until it is light brown. Add the peeled prawns and cook for 2 minutes.
- Using a spatula, move the prawns out from the middle of the wok. Add another 1½ tablespoons oil to the wok. Add the eggs and stir to scramble for 1 minute. Add the noodles and chives and stir-fry for a few seconds. Add the fish sauce mixture, chilli powder, dried shrimp, preserved turnip and half of the peanuts. Add half of the bean sprouts and spring onions. Test the noodles for tenderness and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
- Spoon onto the serving plate and sprinkle with the remaining peanuts. Garnish with shredded chillies and coriander leaves. Place the lime wedges and remaining bean sprouts and spring onions at the side of the dish.