Probably the most well-known Thai noodle dish, pad Thai is really easy to make at home even though it has lots of ingredients.

The balance of sweet, salty and sour is very important, and I suggest that you use the amount of chilli you prefer. Some people worry about the quantity of dried shrimp, but don’t leave it out, because not only is it key to the flavour, it also provides protein.

150 g dried thin rice stick noodles 
¼ cup (60ml) vegetable oil 
6 raw king prawns, shelled, veins removed 
1 small red shallot, sliced 
80 g firm bean curd (tofu) diced 
50 g dried shrimp 
¼ cup (60ml) fish sauce 
2 tablespoons soft palm sugar 
2 tablespoons tamarind puree 
1 teaspoon white vinegar 
2-3 teaspoons chilli powder, to taste 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 
45 g roasted unsalted peanuts, finely ground 
150 g bean sprouts 
small handful garlic chives, cut into 2cm lengths 
1 teaspoon white sugar 
lime wedges and trimmed spring onion, to serve 

Place the rice noodles in a bowl, cover with cold water and set aside for 1 hour, then drain. 

Heat two tablespoons of the vegetable oil in a wok or large heavy-based frying pan over medium heat.

Add the prawns and stir-fry for two to three minutes or until they just change colour, then remove and set aside. Add the shallot and stir-fry for two to three minutes or until tender, then add the bean curd and dried shrimp. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind puree and cook for one to two minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. 

Add the drained rice noodles and stir quickly so they don’t stick to the bottom of the wok or pan. Add the vinegar and stir briefly. Add 1 teaspoon of the chilli powder and stir for two to three minutes. Reduce the heat to low, then carefully move the noodle mixture to one side of the wok or pan and add the remaining oil and egg, stirring to spread the egg over the base of the wok or pan. Fold the noodle mixture on top of the egg and stir well, scraping the egg off the base of the wok or pan until scrambled and cooked through. 

Add half of the ground peanuts and stir, then remove from the heat. Add most of the bean sprouts and garlic chives and toss gently.  Top the noodles with the prawns and transfer to a serving plate or platter. Mix together the white sugar and remaining chilli powder. Place the remaining bean sprouts, chives, ground peanuts, sugar and chilli mixture, lime wedges and spring onion to the side of the noodles, then serve.