The recipe below serves two. I doubled it so what you see in my photos actually serves four.
- 8 oz. Thai rice noodles (or enough for 2 people), linguini-width
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups raw chicken breast or thigh meat, sliced
- marinade for chicken: 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp. soy sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- optional: 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced
- 3 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts (or other nuts, such as cashews)
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
- vegetable oil for stir-frying, and wedges of lime
Pad Thai Sauce:
- 3/4 tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water (look for tamarind at Asian/Chinese or Indian food stores)
- 2 tbsp. fish sauce, + more to taste
- 1-3 tsp. chili sauce, or substitute 1/2 tsp. or more dried crushed chili or cayenne, to taste
- 3 tbsp. brown sugar
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and remove from heat. Add your rice noodles and let them soak until they are soft but still have a tiny bit of a crunch to them. Drain and rinse with cold water, set aside.
Make the pad thai sauce by combining the sauce ingredients in a cup or bowl. Ok so here was my first mistake... I forgot the tamarind paste, but since tamarind is very sour, I substituted it for lime juice and it worked great.
Place chicken slices in a bowl and cover with marinade (1 tsp. corn starch dissolved in 3 tbsp. soy sauce). My next mistake... I cooked the chicken first! Clearly when you make a marinade, you're supposed to use it to soak uncooked chicken. I had a lot going on that day. I really don't know how this pad thai came out as tasty as it did. So I covered the cooked chicken in the marinade anyway. You would think this would make it too salty but it didn't.
So if you choose to do this correctly, unlike myself, your next step would be to warm up a large wok or frying pan and add 2 tbsp. oil and the garlic. Stir until fragrant. Now add the chicken (with the marinade) and stir fry for about 8 minutes, adding a little chicken stock every once in a while so it doesn't dry out. Your next step is to add the noodles.
If you pre-cooked the chicken you can simply combine it with the noodles in a large frying pan. Now pour the pad thai sauce over it. Using two wooden spoons or spatulas, gently stir fry this for a few minutes, making sure not to break the noodles. If it seems to become too dry, push the noodles aside and add a little bit of oil to the bottom of the pan.
Add the bean sprouts and pepper. Continue tossing for about 1 more minute. One last mistake... I forgot the bean sprouts, but I'm not a huge fan of them anyway. Now do a taste test, you might need a little more fish sauce.
Transfer to a serving plate. Add the lime wedges, cilantro, and crushed peanuts.
Despite the multiple mistakes, this pad thai was actually really delicious. I'll definitely be giving it another try soon.