So the uncorking*–after a period of time in back-of-the-cabinet confinement that I don’t care to disclose at this juncture--of my tamarind concentrate has led to a massive fixation on the sour sweet flavor, and, consequently, all foods even anywhere approaching the classification of Asian.
*There was no actual cork.
(Yes, I was responsible for the dinner choice during The Bachelor last week.)
There was the Tamarind Glazed Mahi Mahi inspired by this recipe–although I used it as a marinade because once I made the actual glaze it was a bit of a salt bomb–
–accompanied by the Health magazine recipe for Roasted Vegetables in Miso Vinaigrette (To which I wanted to add tamarind , but restrained myself. This time.)
And, of course, the shredded local brussels sprouts in an ginger orange tamarind broth that turned out even better than I guessed.*
*And without the normal GI issues of eating a similarly massive quantity of actual sprouts. Just saying.
Then, my many googling attempts led me to the realization that tamarind is a key flavor in Phat Thai (but maybe not Pad Thai, Americanized?)
Inspired by this recipe for Phat Thai, specifically the Tamarind Sauce, I visited my good friend Mr. Chen (who, in addition to providing the Chinese take-out shown above, has a small little Asian market in his purveyance) for a giant bottle of fish sauce, a heap of bean sprouts, and some fresh cilantro.
Then, I got to work.
And even I can’t believe how
terrifically Thai-rifically I managed to convey the flavor of Pad Thai into a broth.
The broth is the star, and a vehicle for perhaps anything you would like. I stuck with bean sprouts because
that’s what I had for simplicity’s sake, but shrimp or tofu would also be amazing.
Perhaps I should be embarrassed by the quantity I can consume in one sitting.
But I’m really, really, not.
Pad Thai Broth with Bean Sprouts
- 1 cup very finely chopped onion*
- 2-3 Tbsp. very finely chopped fresh ginger (about 2″ from a fresh piece)*
- 1 giant clove of garlic, minced*
- 8 cups water
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. tamarind concentrate
- 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. peanut flour (or 1 Tbsp. peanut butter)
- 2-3 tsp. chili paste (sambal oolek)
- 4-5 cups fresh bean sprouts, coarsely chopped
- 2-3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- tofu, shrimp, or other protein of your choice (optional)
- peanuts, fresh cilantro, scallions, for garnish (optional)
*I put the onion, garlic, and ginger into my mini-chopper for a SUPER fine chop, which I recommend.
- Saute onion, garlic, and ginger in a bit of vegetable oil over medium heat in a large stock or soup pot.
- Once beginning to soften and become fragrant, add water.
- Stir in vinegar, tamarind, sugar, peanut flour (or butter), and chili paste.
- Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes to help flavors develop.
- Stir in cilantro and bean sprouts. Cook until softened.
- Just before serving, add lime juice and optional garnishes.
Note: I think this would taste great with tofu or shrimp, which could be added after the bean sprouts.