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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 dish

By Saphin Moore
Published 1 May 2019, 17:33 BST
Pad thai
Pad thai
Photograph by Stock Food

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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