I made pad thai tonight, and finally got the flavor right. Here is the key: don't fear the fish sauce. When you open it, it is stinky, but when used correctly, it is good (and not stinky)! I had to make the sauce twice cause the first time I put half fish sauce and half soy sauce, but I could tell it was not going to taste right, so I bit the bullet and used all fish sauce, and it tasted right to us.
Here is the recipe:
2-3 carrots, julienned
3 radishes, julienned
half a cucumber, julienned
3 green onions, sliced
2 eggs, beaten
10 oz raw shrimp
1/2 cup dry roasted peanuts, chopped
8 oz dried rice sticks
3 Tbs fish sauce
3 Tbs tamarind concentrate
2 Tbs sugar
1 tsp chopped cilantro (I used frozen)
1 Tbs oil
1 Tbs garlic-chili sauce
1 lime, sliced
1.first make the sauce: add the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind concentrate, and cilantro; set aside
2. Now the noodles: boil some water, pour it over the noodles, and soak noodles for about five minutes. Then drain, rinse with cold water, and drain again
3. Meanwhile, stirfry the shrimp until cooked through, remove and set aside. Wipe out the wok, and add the eggs, cook like scrambled eggs, remove.
4. Add oil, and heat over med-high, then add the chili-garlic sauce, and cook for 1 minute. Add the noodles, the sauce, and the carrots, stir around and cook for a couple minutes.
5. Add the shrimp, eggs, radishes, cucumbers, green onions, and peanuts, mix well.
6. Garnish with lime slices, add hot sauce or sriracha (rooster) sauce if you want it spicier.
7. Ta dah! enjoy