The paste you make for this pad thai is key; for best results use a pestle and mortar or blitz in a food processor. Do try and source coriander roots (i.e. not just the stalks) – they have a fresh aromatic taste, which will transport you to the streets of Bangkok and sing through this humble noodle dish.
• pestle and mortar or food processor
• wok or large non-stick frying pan
• kitchen tongs
• 2 tbsp sunflower oil
• 1 courgette, spiralised or finely julienned
• 1 green pepper, very thinly sliced
• 1 large carrot, spiralised or finely julienned
• 6 spring onions, thinly sliced
• 100g beansprouts
• 250g packet of ready-cooked flat rice noodles
• 3 tbsp fish sauce
• 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar
• 2 large free-range eggs, beaten
• Good handful of salted peanuts, roughly chopped
• Good handful each of coriander
• Thai basil and Thai mint
• 25g roasted salted peanuts, finely chopped
• Lime wedges, to serve
For the pad thai paste
• 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
• Good handful of coriander, leaves and roots or stalks
• 1 red chilli, deseeded and roughly chopped
• Zest and juice of 2 limes
1. Using a pestle and mortar or food processor, make a paste from the garlic, coriander, red chilli and lime zest (reserve the juice).
2. Heat the oil in a wok or a large non-stick frying pan over a high heat. When the oil is just at smoking point add in the paste and fry for about 1 minute until it becomes aromatic. Add the vegetables and half the spring onions and beansprouts and stir-fry to coat in the paste for 5 minutes, or until just tender.
3. Add the noodles and mix through. Add the reserved lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Pour in the beaten egg and mix through the noodles until just cooked – the trick here is to allow the eggs to slightly set before mixing.
5. Using tongs, twist the noodles onto plates and garnish with the remaining spring onions and beansprouts, herbs, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.