Tamarind is found in the seed pods of the tamarind tree. We eat the fleshy pulp surrounding the seeds that tastes somewhat like a date with a delicate citrus note. Although tamarind is often used in Southeast Asian cooking, the Tamarind trees is in fact originally native to Africa. It is used in all sorts of sauces, curries, soups and marinades. In this dish, we use it to make a pad thai sauce accompanying stir-fried veggies, peanuts and spring onions.
Ingredients: 2 tamarind pods, 2shallots, 1 clove of garlic, 1 small head of pak choy, 70g chantenay carrots, 1 small courgette, small bunch of coriander, 1 spring onion.
From the larder: 175g rice noodles, 3tbsp soy sauce, 1tbsp brown sugar, oil, juice of half a lime (optional: 1 egg, handful of peanuts).
- Before you do anything, crack the tamarind pod open and pull out the fleshy inside. Place in a small bowl with 1/8 C warm water and let sit for 10 minutes while you prepare the veg.
- Bring a saucepan of water to the boil for the rice noodles and prepare all your veg.
- Mince garlic, chop shallots and slice the stalk and leaves of the pak choi. Slice the carrots and courgette into batons, slice the spring onion and chop the coriander.
- After 10 minutes, with your fingers, rub the flesh of the tamarind off the seeds pour into a bowl straining the seeds. Push as much flesh through a sieve so that you have tamarind-muddied water. Add soy sauce and sugar to the water and stir to combine. Taste and adjust portions so that it is a strong sweet and salty sauce.
- Add noodles to the boiling water and cook for 4-6 minutes. Drain and then run cold water through them.
- Meanwhile, heat a wok on a med-high heat and add a glug of oil. Add the carrots and courgette, followed by shallots, garlic and pak choi. Stir-fry for 3-5 minutes and then push veg aside, crack an egg into the wok and scramble. Mix in to the stir-fry and then stir in the sauce and the noodles.
- Serve with peanuts, spring onion and chopped coriander on top.