Pad Thai seems to always be a favorite among Thai dishes. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s so tasty, or simply because it’s the most well known. But in any case, the stuff is good. Like, crack good.
Despite being obsessed with Pad Thai for a while now, I haven’t made it at home for 2 reasons. First, I have searched high and low for tamarind paste (an ingredient in most recipes), and it just does not exist. I can’t find it anywhere. Second, rice stick noodles. Not to be found in Meridian. I have found other types of Asian noodles, but Pad Thai just wouldn’t be Pad Thai without the signature noodles.
A month or two ago, I actually stumbled upon a recipe for Pad Thai without tamarind in it! I was so excited, but still couldn’t find the noodles. Then on our last visit to Pensacola, there they were, sitting on the shelf at World Market. YES!! I should mention that even though they had an entire aisle of weird Asian foods (including tamarind soda), there was still no tamarind paste. Seriously. Does this stuff exist?
Chicken Pad Thai
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 package (8 oz) rice stick noodles
- 4 tbsp peanut or canola oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup sliced green onions
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/3 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
In a small bowl, mix lime juice, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and red pepper flake. Set aside. Place noodles in a large bowl or pot. Pour boiling water over top and let sit according to package directions (about 5-10 min) until soft. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in wok or large saute pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken and soy sauce and cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside.
Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the pan over medium-high heat. Add the eggs and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until scrambled and firm. Add softened noodles, sauce and chicken. Cook 2 minutes. Add the bean sprouts and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring frequently, until noodles are tender and sprouts are no longer crisp.
Serve sprinkled with peanuts and cilantro.
This dish was a surprise success! I didn’t expect it to be bad per se. But I also didn’t expect it to live up to restaurant quality Pad Thai. But you know what? It did! Not as sweet as what I am used to, but otherwise super flavorful and delicious! I’m sure having a few authentic ingredients (rice stick noodles, sketchy ass bottle of fish sauce) really helped. Sadly we only bought 2 bags of rice stick noodles. Once I can get my hands on an unlimited supply, I’m sure this recipe will become part of the regular rotation!