This dish can be made with any meat instead of tofu if you are not vegetarian. Adjust the Pad Thai sauce ingredients to your personal taste.
Great recipe. Did mine with chicken. If you really are into authenticity, do not leave out the tamarind and substitute fish sauce for soy sauce. Leave out the white vinegar (what's that all about?), instead put 2 TBS lime. Instead of Paprika use 1 TSP (TEASPOON) chili powder (make sure you read TEASPOON correctly or else it will become EXTRA spicy). Definitely substitute PEANUT OIL (or canola) for the vegetable oil. Make sure the peanuts are unsalted, dry roasted. Chop the peanuts instead of grinding. For the tamarind, use tamarind concentrate, about 2 TBS mixed with 1/4 cup water (making tamarind juice). Substitute FISH SAUCE (I use the THAI brand) for SOY SAUCE. Soy sauce should be used for the tofu while it's frying. And it should be used as coloring for the noodles while they are in the pan/wok. Use pickled oriental radish (about 1/2 cup) this adds a great taste to the noodles. These changes were all from researching over 10 pad thai recipes. Tried these changes and it was stunning. Also, if you have shrimp paste lying around somewhere, it would be nice to add a teaspoon of it to the mix. It's great but optional. - 28 Apr 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
The first time I tried it, I found this dish to be quite good, though not 100% authentic. On my second attempt I substituted rice vinegar for white vinegar, peanut oil for the vegetable oil, fish sauce for the soy sauce, and added a dash of sesame oil. I also omitted the paprika and added a quarter cup of coarse chopped cilantro along with the lime wedges and sprouts. The type of noodles used is also very important. I've found that the wide rice sticks give the best results (avoid the "angel hair" type noodles). In my opinion these changes improved the dish. - 01 Apr 2003 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)
I used this recipe only for the phad thai sauce based on BES review. Then I combined it with the peanut sauce from the "vegetarian phad thai" submitted by Sarah Kai. Anyway, from trials and errors, this is how I make the really good authentic phad thai. Phad thai sauce: 1/2C white sugar, 2 TBSP lemon/lime juice, 1/4C fish sauce, 2 TBSP tamarind pulp soaked in 1/4C water. (stir all and cook in the stove) Peanut sauce for phad thai: Mix together 2 Tbsp peanut oil/sesame oil, 1 1/2C peanut butter, 1/3C water, 1/3C soy sauce, 1C coconut milk, 1 1/4C brown sugar, 1/3C lemon/lime jice. Season with 2 Tbsp garlic powder, 1 Tbsp pprika powder, and cayenne pepper to taste. (when you make the phad thai, just put in as much as you need, which depends on how much noodles you make and store the rest on the fridge/freezer). How to: Stir fry chopped garlic and chopped shallots on the wok/skillet until slightly browned, put in minced dried shrimp, chopped salted radish/turnip, and finely chopped thai chilli peppers. Then, just put in your choice of meat, combined all. Put in the noodles, and then the phad thai sauce until all mixed, then the peanut sauce. After this point, you just set it aside, and make room to fry the eggs. Put the noodles mixture on top of the eggs until it's slightly cooked, and combined. Throw in the chopped unsalted peanuts, garlic chives, bean sprouts and julienned carrots. Garnish with beansprouts and lime wedges. - 26 Oct 2006 (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)