Seeking Suggestions: Substitutes for Tamarind in Pad Thai?

We have an unremitting and unapologetic love for pad thai. We’ve been having a lot of fun playing around with different recipes for making it at home.

One problem we keep running into, though: we have trouble finding tamarind paste where we live. Any suggestions for substitutes?

The taste of tamarind is completely unique. It’s that bright sour taste that lingers hauntingly in the background of a good pad thai and many other Southeast Asian dishes. Without it, pad thai just isn’t the same.

That said, it would be nice to have a quick-fix solution for those times when the pad thai craving hits and there’s no tamarind to be found. We’re wondering if another sweet-sour fruit like ripe mango, dried apricots or prunes, or even a splash of grapefruit juice might fool our taste buds for a little while. A few teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce might also work, since tamarind is one of the main ingredients in that condiment.

Any other ideas for tamarind substitutes?

Related: Technique: How to Use Tamarind Pulp

(Image: Flickr member laughlin licensed under Creative Commons)

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