For much of the book, when Claire is hunkered down painting (either her own work or her copies), all she eats is Pad Thai. While during her romance with Markel there were some additional food inspirations (he makes her a gourmet mac and cheese and gourmet grilled cheese), for me the Pad Thai captured better the spirit of the book - the obsessed starving artist. This recipe is an amalgam of a few I found on the web though it is mostly from original Top Chef winner Harold Dieterle's recipe in Food and Wine. It came together very easily though there were some unusual ingredients (some which I couldn't find and I improvised, as reflected below) and I will not be leaving this to only take out orders anymore!
1 package Pad Thai noodles
2 tablespoons raw sugar
1 teaspoon Tamarind paste (in Asian/Indian food section)
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced shallot
1/2 tablespoon minced lemongrass
peanut or canola oil
2 large eggs
2 ounces cooked shrimp
1 cup diced extra firm tofu
2/3 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup chopped peanuts (unsalted)
1/2 cup bean sprouts
- Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain.
- Combine the sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and rice vinegar in a small bowl and stir until mixed.
- In another small bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, shallot and lemongrass.
- In a large wok or skillet heat a couple of tablespoons of oil until hot.
- Add eggs and stir fry until just barely cooked through.
- Push the egg to the outer edge of the skillet, then add the shrimp, tofu, ginger mixture and noodles and stir fry until the shrimp are cooked, about 3 minutes.
- Add the sauce and stir until all the noodles are evenly coated.
- Add the scallions and stir to incorporate.
- Serve with chopped peanuts and bean sprouts on top and lime to taste.