Traveling the world through cuisine

Chicken Pad Thai

Thailand's familiar dish. Complicated to make, but the rewards are so worth it.

Chicken Pad Thai

Ingredients

Ingredients for Sauce

  • 1 tbsp of tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup of warm water
  • 2 tbsp of fish sauce
  • 3 tsp of chili powder
  • 2 tbsp of brown sugar

Ingredients for Pad Thai

  • 2 tsp of cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 3 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
  • 1 package (10-16 oz) of pad thai noodles or thin rice noodles
  • 4 tbsp of canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock
  • 1 cups of fresh bean sprouts
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Garnishes

  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup of chopped peanuts
  • 1 lime, sliced
  • Fresh coriander, diced

Instructions

  1. Combine the soy sauce with cornstarch and stir until well mixed.
  2. Place all the chicken into a food storage bag with the soy sauce/cornstarch mixture.
  3. Seal the bag and put into the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
  4. In a medium saucepan, fill halfway with water and set on the stove on high. Warm the water, but turn off the stove just before the water starts boiling.
  5. Place the noodles into the warmed water and leave to sit.
  6. In a bowl or container, combine the tamarind paste with 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir until the paste dissolves.
  7. Add in the fish sauce, chili powder, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined and set aside
  8. Place a skillet on the stove and heat up on medium with 2 tbsp of oil.
  9. Beat the two eggs well and add to the oil when it’s hot. Cook them scrambled until nearly done. Be sure to break them up into small bits as you cook them.
  10. Set the eggs aside and check the noodles. If the noodles are done, drain the pot and run cold water on the noodles to stop the cooking process. Set aside.
  11. In a large frying pan or wok, heat up 2 tbsp of oil on medium-high heat. Cook the garlic until fragrant.
  12. Pull the marinated chicken out of the refrigerator and dump the whole mixture (chicken and marinate) into the wok.
  13. Stir-fry the chicken until the pan becomes dry.
  14. Add in 1/3 of the chicken stock and continue cooking the chicken Slowly continue to add the stock in thirds until you have the chicken frying, but not boiling in liquid.
  15. Add in the cooked eggs and stir.
  16. If the chicken is done, add in the noodles.
  17. Pour the sauce over the whole mixture.
  18. Using two spatulas, toss the mixture like a salad, blending all ingredients together.
  19. Add in the bean sprouts along with salt and pepper to taste. Toss the mixture again like a salad.
  20. After a minute or two of tossing, serve the mixture with the garnish suggestions below.

Quick Notes

This dish doesn’t involve a long marinate. You’re welcome to do a long marinate of the chicken, but it’s not required. The marinate here is more to coat the chicken a bit and infuse it with the flavor of the soy sauce.

Do not boil the water for the noodles. If you happen to have it end up boiling, turn off the heat and let the water sit for 10 minutes to let the heat go down. Your goal in the end is soft, but sticky noodles. Too much and you end up with mush.

You’re welcome to try cooking the eggs in the wok with the chicken as Darlene Schmidt did, but I preferred separately.

Be careful when adding the chicken stock. It will reduce as you cook and combine with the marinate to form a nice gravy-like sauce. If you add in too much broth too quickly, then you’ll end up boiling the chicken as opposed to stir-frying it.

Variations

You’re not obligated to use the eggs. I actually used half a small carton of egg substitute that I had.

Some will add tofu. I attempted to try this, but my tofu cooked badly. If you can fare better, then give it a shot and add it in. You can also substitute the chicken for vegetables or shrimp.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this dish immediately. This is one dish that doesn’t do well if it’s left sitting, and it does horribly as leftovers. This is more a dish that’s best enjoyed freshly made.

You’re welcome to garnish the dish any way you like. I personally like to sprinkle some of the coriander on top with the green onions, chopped peanuts, and a squeeze of lime juice. Others will top this with peanut sauce or even the red Thai chili sauce you’ll find in the restaurants and Asian markets.

Tags: Asian, chicken, noodles, pad thai, Thai

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