Chef Kanawat Ladnuch (better known as Yao) sure knows how to keep us coming back for more. Wherever you find yourself in the sprawling compound of Ani Villas in Koh Yao Noi, he'll find a way to feed you. By the poolside, he'll tempt you with traditional desserts such as kanom krok, steamed coconut mini-pancakes topped with strips of taro and spring onion. For pre-dinner cocktails, he'll bring a makeshift charcoal grill to the bar to make kanom jak, sweet morsels of black glutinous rice flour with coconut and palm sugar wrapped in Nipa palm leaves.

But the real feast reveals itself when the former professor enrolls you in his cooking class to make pad thai — a dish that might initially overwhelm with its number of ingredients, but eventually wins you over with its bold, comforting flavours. Here's how to whip it up at home.

 

Here's what you'll need
Serves 2 

50g Yellow tofu
20g Shallots
25g Chinese chives
2 Eggs, beaten
250g Thin rice noodles
1 tbspn Light soy sauce
½ tbspn Dark soy sauce
A pinch of white sugar
20ml Vegetable bouillon
50g Bean sprouts
1 tbspn Roasted ground peanuts, crushed
1 Lime, sliced
1 tbspn Special sauce (recipe below)
Chili flakes (optional)

 

Special sauce

60g Peeled tamarind
100ml Water
50g Long dried chili
5 pcs Coriander root
60g Garlic
50g Pickled garlic
75g Shallots
30g Soy bean paste
150g Palm sugar
110g Roasted ground peanuts
50ml Fish sauce
5ml Lime juice

 

How to make it

1. To prepare the sauce, soak tamarind in water for 20 minutes. Knead it through water and press it through the sieve using the back of a spoon. Cut dried chilies and de-seed. Blend the remaining solid ingredients in a food processor. When the mixture becomes smooth, mix the liquid ingredients in.

2. Dice yellow tofu, chop shallots, and coarsely slice chives.

3. Deep-fry tofu until crispy. Set aside. 

4. Heat some oil in a wok over high heat. Stir-fry shallots. Add eggs into the wok, making sure to keep stirring. Add noodles, vegetable bouillon, special sauce, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and white sugar. Stir-fry and mix well. Add tofu, bean sprouts and chives. Continue stir-frying for one more minute.

5. Serve with roasted peanuts, lime slices, and chili flakes if you like your noodles spicy. 


For last week's Saturday Sessions, click here. To view more recipes, click here