Monday, March 1, 2010

Thai market and the Tamarind

Thai Market of Silver Spring is a wonderful little grocery store tucked into one of Georgia Ave's side streets.
(image from

I went to Thai Market for the first time on Saturday. While no great marvel if you've ever been to any other asian market or superstore, it suits me just fine. There you can find authentic versions of many asian ingredients for cheap, like monster bags of rice, spices in enormous jars, and huge blocks of tamarind:

Making tamarind paste for pad thai is just about as from scratch as it gets. Yep I 'discovered' this which is a nice way of saying it took way too long. It kind of looks like a cross between poop and a fruitcake when you start out. You have to boil the stuff then force it through a sieve. I am sure there is some nifty as-seen-on-TV gadget for this, but as I myself am not in that target demographic by about 50 years, there I was on Sunday evening, using the bottom end of a measuring cup to push boiled tamarind pulp through a sieve. You end up with a tangy rust-colored paste that is the base of the pad thai noodle sauce. About 20 more steps later, the delicious pad thai is complete...

For the recipe, check out Vegetarian Pad Thai.

No comments: