Chef Ludo Lefebvre Squid Pad Thai Recipe
Peanut Compound Butter 2 garlic cloves, peeled 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1/3 cup shelled toasted peanuts 1 Stalk lemongrass, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 kaffir lime leaf, very finely chopped 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh galangal 3 tablespoons finely chopped peeled fresh ginger 2 teaspoons peanut oil 1/4-teaspoon ground coriander 1/4-teaspoon ground cumin A couple drops of pure coconut extract 4 ounces unsalted butter
Spicy Tofu Puree:
4 ounces firm tofu, cubed
1/4-cup whole milk2 dried Thai bird chilies1/2-teaspoon xanthan gumKosher salt Pad Thai Salad:
12 red seedless grapes, sliced into thin discs
1 cup bean sprouts, washed1/2-cup thin julienned peeled black radish2 green onions, sliced thinly on a sharp bias4 raw large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces2 teaspoons peanut oilKosher salt and freshly ground white pepper Squid:
2 tablespoons clarified butter or peanut oil
12 cleaned squid tubes, cut lengthwise into 1/4 inch stripsKosher salt and pepper, to tasteGround Thai bird chilies (optional) To make the compound butter:
Place the garlic in a small sauce pan and add enough water to cover the garlic. Bring the water to a boil, then strain. Repeat 2 more times. Place the garlic in a small bowl and add the white wine vinegar and 3 tablespoon of water. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 3 weeks. Remove the garlic from the vinegar mixture and add it to the food processor along with the peanuts, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaf, galangal, ginger, peanut oil, coriander, cumin, and coconut extract. Blend to form a paste-like consistency, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping the bowl. Gradually blend in the butter.
To make the tofu puree:
Blend the tofu, milk, and chilies in a blender until smooth. With the blender running on medium-high speed, slowly stream the xanthan gum into the vortex. Increase the speed as needed to maintain the vortex, and continue to blend until no vortex appears on high speed. Season to taste with salt. Transfer the tofu puree to a container, then cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
To make the pad Thai salad:
Just before serving, combine all the salad ingredients in a medium bowl and toss until combined.
To prepare the squid and serve:
Melt the clarified butter in a heavy large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the squid, season with salt and pepper, and saute until the squid begins to turn opaque, about 45 seconds. Add 6 tablespoons of the peanut compound butter and toss until the butter melts and coats the barely cooked squid, about 2 minutes.
Divide the barely cooked squid and peanut sauce among 4 bowls. Top with a mound of the pad Thai salad, dividing it equally among the bowls. Using a small metal spoon, scrape about 1 tablespoon of the Spicy Tofu Puree onto the rim of the bowl. If desired, garnish the rim of the bowl with a light sprinkling of ground Thai bird chilies.