Well folks, I am here to tell you that those recipes are all lying to you. You need neither fish sauce nor tamarind paste to make pad thai. Here is how you make pad thai using nothing that they do not carry at the corner store:
Soak half a package of glass noodles in water for 10 mins. I was advised that it is better to undersoak than oversoak. I undersoaked and this turned out to be good advice.
Put oil in a pan and add whatever little bits of stuff you might find in pad thai. For example bean sprouts, green onions, shredded carrots, tofu, other proteins, chili, I don't know, etc. I put in some whole peanuts and that was sort of crunchy and interesting, although I wouldn't recommend picking them out of a trail mix like I did as I ate most of the pretzels and then had to wait til later to be hungry enough to eat my pad thai.
Put undersoaked glass noodles in pan with bits of stuff.
Add a generous splash of soy sauce and a generous splash of white vinegar. (If you happen to have some fish sauce and tamarind paste lying around, why, those might sub in fine. Haha.)
Add a blob of honey or a spoonful of sugar.
Taste. Add more soy sauce if not salty enough, more white vinegar if not sour enough, more honey/sugar if not sweet enough.
Squeeze lime on top. Enjoy.
|I almost finished eating my pad thai and this picture is not really close enough.|
Obviously, I make no promises that this is exactly like what you get in Thailand, but it is pretty much exactly like what you get at Yum To Take. And you have to admit that they have all this shit at the corner store.