Only a few weeks after having left London I was presenting with withdrawal symptoms. The only cure – book flights. There are a few things I have to do on each trip to LDN. Besides the obligatory dose of culture (this time round I saw The 39 Steps and went to a rather disappointing photography exhibition), being the crazy foodie I am, I always test a new restaurant. The most recent location choices were successful – for those of you who have already tasted their way through my previously posted secret list, I present you with a few more options worth trying:
The Shed – Notting Hill Gate, excellent british cuisine with a modern twist, but beware of the aubergine caviar…. seems like the chef has a slight garlic obsession
Banh Mi Bay – Vietnamese near Holborn, their vietnamese spring rolls are to die for
The Lodge Cafe – Hyde Park Corner, opened only 3 weeks ago in a former information office, nice sandwiches, salads, yoghurts, perfect for an afternoon in the park
Madison Rooftop Tapas & Cocktail Bar – great views of St.Pauls, I don’t know why I never came across this venue before
Moving on to today’s recipe. Pad Thai is an asian classic and unless you’re allergic to peanuts, you can’t go wrong with this dish. With a lack of good and affordable asian cuisine in my city, I took it upon myself to attempt making Pad Thai. It’s actually quite simple and sooooooo rewarding. Bean sprouts, scrambled eggs, peanuts and limes….. mhhmmmmm!
Pad Thai Gai
140g rice noodles
300g chicken, diced
5 tbsp tamarind puree
3 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp palm sugar (I used brown sugar instead)
180g bean sprouts
4 tbsp roasted chopped peanuts
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 spring onions, silvered
1/2 tsp chilli powder (or more, depending on how spicy you like it)
1 red chilli, sliced, to garnish (optional)
- For the noodles, follow the instructions on the packet but be sure to not cook completely but only until just firm. Drain and set aside.
- In a small bowl stir together the tamarind puree, fish sauce and palm sugar. Do not smell this, it will put you off your food and does definitely not resemble the final taste.
- Meanwhile, heat some oil in a wok and cook your chicken with the crushed garlic . When almost done push to one side of the pan and crack the eggs into the pan to scramble them.
- Once scrambled, add the spring onion and stir fry for a minute or so.
- Add the noodles, sauce, chilli powder, juice of 1/4 lime and stir fry for a few minutes. Finally, toss about 3/4 of the bean sprouts and 1/2 of the peanuts. Cook for another minute before serving.
- Serve in deep plates with the remaining bean sprouts, lime wedges and chopped peanuts on the side.
So the best pad thai I have ever had was from a local street food stand in Vientiane, Laos under the Patuxai. It cost something like 50 cents and was AMAZING.