2 tbsp tamarind paste
3/4 cup hot water (boiling)
3 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
3 tbsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper or to taste
4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil
8 oz dried rice stick noodles, about 1/8 inch wide (the width of linguine) (I used pad thai noodles)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp table salt
1 package firm or extra firm tofu, drained, pressed to release extra liquid, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press
1 medium shallot, minced
6 tbsp chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
3 cups bean sprouts (6 ounces)
5 medium scallions, green parts only, sliced thin
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped (optional)
- Soak tamarind paste in 3/4 cup boiling water for about 10 minutes, then push it through a mesh strainer to remove the seeds and fibers and extract as much pulp as possible.
- Stir fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons oil into tamarind liquid and set aside.
- Cover rice sticks with hot tap water in large bowl. Soak until softened, pliable, and limp but not fully tender, about 20 minutes. Drain noodles and set aside.
- Beat eggs and 1/8 teaspoon salt in small bowl; set aside.
- Put tofu in a bowl and add 2 tbsp of the fish sauce mixture to the tofu. Toss gently until the tofu has absorbed the liquid. (I put it in a covered bowl and turned it over a few times.)
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in 12-inch skillet (preferably nonstick) over high heat until just beginning to smoke.
- Add tofu sprinkle with remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 minutes on one side and flip over to cook on the other side. Place tofu on a plate with a paper towel to drain and set aside.
- Off heat, add remaining tbsp oil to skillet. Add garlic and shallot, set skillet over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until light golden brown, about 1 1/2 minutes
- Add eggs to skillet and stir vigorously with wooden spoon until scrambled and barely moist, about 20 seconds.
- Add noodles to the eggs; toss to combine.
- Pour the fish sauce mixture over noodles, increase heat to high, and cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are evenly coated.
- Add 1/4 cup peanuts, bean sprouts, all but 1/4 cup scallions, and tofu to the noodles.
- Continue to cook, tossing constantly, until the noodles are tender, about 2 1/2 minutes.
- Serve sprinkled with remaining scallions, 2 tbsp peanuts, and cilantro.