Did you know that you can easily made pad thai at home, and have it taste just as good as it does at a Thai restaurant? We have been using this recipe for years, and it is a winner! It took a few tries to get the consistency of the noodles just right (not too firm, not too soggy), but even the trial and error phase was delicious.
Vegetable oil (for frying)
12 ounces uncooked, skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
4 cloves minced garlic
1 lb. (500g) rice noodles
1 lb. peeled, raw shrimp
3-4 cups bean sprouts
1 cup green onions, chopped (garnish)
Fresh limes (garnish)
Cilantro leaves (garnish)
1 cup ground peanuts (garnish)
1/2 cup tamarind paste
1/2 cup fish sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
Chili powder to taste (optional)
Soak the noodles in warm water to soften (we flash them in boiling water for about 1 minute, then pour the water off).
Make the sauce: Over low heat, heat the tamarind, fish sauce, and brown sugar in a small pot until the sugar is dissolved. Stir in the chili powder (if using) a little at a time until desired spiciness is achieved. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then turn off the heat. Leave the sauce in the pot while you prepare the other ingredients.
Make the Pad Thai: [The key is to cook just 1-2 servings at a time rather than preparing all portions at once]. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large frying pan over high heat. Add 2 ounces of chicken and stir-fry until half cooked. Add 1-2 tablespoons of sauce, and a pinch of garlic. Stir, then add about 2 cups (a big handful) of loosely packed rice noodles plus 1/4 cup of sauce and stir vigorously. If your pad thai dries out, you can add some water. Push the noodles to the side of the pan, then crack an egg into the pan. Let the egg cook for 10 about seconds, then toss the noodles and egg together in the pan. Drop 4-6 shrimp and 1/2 cup of bean sprouts into the pan. Stir fry until the shrimp are cooked (very fast – about a minute). Toss in the green onions, stir quickly, then remove from heat.
Serve hot with more sprouts, ground peanuts, lime wedges, and cilantro leaves for garnish.
Recipe adapted from Chez Pim.