How to make it: Saiphin Moore’s prawn pad thai recipe

The founder of Rosa’s Thai Café shares her recipe for Thailand’s most famous dishWednesday, 1 May 2019

Pad thai is among the most famous Thai exports, with deliciously pungent tamarind its key ingredient. This recipe comes courtesy of Rosa’s Thai Cafe, in London.

Serves: 2
Takes: 20 mins


4 eggs, beaten
300g rice noodles, soaked in warm water for 20 mins, then drained
8-10 prawns, shelled, deveined and heads removed
2 tbsp dried turnip (available from Asian supermarkets)
2 handfuls bean sprouts chilli powder, to taste (optional)
bunch Chinese chives or 2 spring onions, chopped
4 tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed lime wedges, to serve

For the sauce

3 tbsp tamarind pulp
3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp palm sugar
1 tbsp nam pla (Thai fish sauce)


1 First, make the sauce. Soak the tamarind pulp in 6 tbsp warm water, then stir until it becomes a thick liquid.
2 Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a wok, then add the shallots and stir-fry until almost golden brown. Carefully add the tamarind (in case it spits) and cook for 1 min to reduce slightly.
3 Add the palm sugar, stirring to break it up, then stir in the fish sauce and continue to cook over a high heat for 1 min until slightly thickened. Transfer the sauce to a bowl and set aside. This recipe makes enough sauce for about four servings; store any leftover pad thai sauce in an airtight container and use within four weeks.
4 To prepare the noodles, scramble the eggs in a hot wok with the remaining oil, then add the noodles and stir-fry until the egg breaks up and the noodles are soft. Add the prawns and dried turnip and stir-fry until the prawns are nearly cooked.
5 Mix in 8 tbsp of the reserved pad thai sauce and continue to stir-fry until the noodles take on a golden brown colour. Add the bean sprouts, chilli powder (if using), Chinese chives (or spring onions) and crushed peanuts and keep stir-frying for another 2 mins. Transfer the noodles to two serving plates, garnish with lime wedges and serve immediately.

Saiphin Moore is the founder of Rosa’s Thai Cafe and author of Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Cookbook (£20, Mitchell Beazley)

Published in Issue 5 of National Geographic Traveller Food (UK)

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