Pad thai is quite possibly the reason many Americans have fallen in love with Thai cuisine. The sweet, sour, and salty noodles stir-fried with vegetables, dried shrimp, and oftentimes chicken is a good introduction to the basic and addictive flavors of Thai cooking.
This noodle dish is a basic stir-fry. The trick to just about any stir-fry is to prep everything you can in advance. In this recipe, for example, you'll need to add turnip, dried shrimp, and tofu in quick succession, so make sure to have everything in your work area organized and ready to go before you start cooking.
In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Set aside.
In a large bowl, soak the noodles in warm water and cover for 1 hour.
Place a wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil, coating the pan completely. When the pan starts to smoke, add the garlic and stir for 5 seconds, followed quickly by the turnip, dried shrimp, and tofu. Stir-fry until they begin to soften, for 3-4 minutes.
Add the chicken and stir-fry until no longer pink, for 1-2 minutes. Push the ingredients in the wok to the side and allow the oil to settle in the center of the pan.
Crack the eggs into the pan, making sure to break the yolks, then lightly scramble until half-cooked, for about 30 seconds. Combine with the remaining cooked ingredients in the pan.
Add the shrimp and cook until the chicken and shrimp are medium done, about 1 minute. Drain the noodles and add them to the wok. Cook until soft, for about 2-3 minutes. Add the sauce and paprika, if using, and fold together until the paprika evenly colors the noodles and all of the liquid is absorbed, for about 2 minutes.
Place the scallions in the center of the noodles, and then spoon some noodles over the scallions, allowing them to steam for 30 seconds. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the peanuts.
Transfer to serving plate and garnish with the bean sprouts and remaining peanuts and enjoy.