Chicken Pad Thai

I’m always commenting on the plethora of Thai food in my neighborhood. There are so many really fabulous Thai restaurants (Khao Sarn, Rod Dee, Zenna Noodle Bar, etc.), that I could basically eat at a different Thai restaurant every night of the week. But still, I’ve been wanting to try cooking my own Thai food for a while now. And I decided to start with Pad Thai, seeing that it’s a classic that’s hard not to love. There are tons of various Pad Thai recipes, but I finally found one that sounded good to me and claimed to be nice and spicy.

Lucky for me, Sara is a Chinatown expert and was happy to take me to all the Asian grocery stores so I could get the ingredients I needed. I could have gotten them at a grocery store with an international section, but Chinatown is more authentic and cheaper. Yes, the recipe calls for a lot of ingredients, but don’t let them overwhelm you. The directions mostly involve mixing them together and it’s not complicated at all. And if there’s anything you can’t find, chances are you don’t really need it and you can just add more of one of the other ingredients. Also, I used chicken, but feel free to use shrimp, tofu, or beef!

Chicken Pad Thai:

  • 1 (8 oz) package dried flat rice noodles (I think even Trader Joe’s sells these)
  • 3 T fish sauce
  • 1/4 C fresh lime juice
  • 1 T white sugar
  • 2 T oyster sauce
  • 1 1/2 T Asian chile pepper sauce
  • 1/4 C chicken stock
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 T chopped garlic
  • 12 oz. skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 T tamarind paste or juice
  • 3 C bean sprouts
  • 6 green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 T peanuts

If you want to know what Asian chile pepper sauce, also known as sriracha, looks like:

Yup, the stuff you see on the tables at Asian restaurants all the time.

These are the dried flat rice noodles I used:


Also, while the original recipe didn’t call for tamarind, lots of people commented on it saying you can’t make Pad Thai without either tamarind paste or tamarind juice. I had a bit of trouble finding this in the Asian market because I was looking for it where all the other bottled and canned pastes are. When I finally found it, it looked like this:

I only used a tablespoon and have a lot of leftover, so now I’m on a search for other recipes using tamarind paste.

Anyway, on with the recipe! First I put my noodles in some water warm water and soaked them for about 20 mins, so they were nice and soft but not overly so. Then I heated my wok and added in some oil and garlic. I cooked it for about 10 seconds before adding in the chicken.

While the chicken was cooking, I made my sauce. I did this by mixing together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, oyster sauce, chile sauce, and chicken stock. You can taste the sauce and add more of whatever you think it needs. I added more chile sauce to mine because it wasn’t quite spicy enough. Then I set the sauce aside. I cooked the chicken until it was cooked all the way through and moved it to the sides of the wok to add in the eggs I had beaten.

Once the eggs were firm (a few minutes), I added the noodles to the wok. And…promptly realized I didn’t have a big enough Wok and transferred everything over to a frying pan.

I poured my sauce into the pan and cooked until the noodles were a bit more tender. It was at this point I added in my tamarind paste too. If I had the juice, I probably would have included it in the sauce, but the paste cooked well just thrown into the pan. Then I added my bean sprouts and green onions and stirred everything all together.

I served the Pad Thai and topped it with some chopped up peanuts and lime slices. You can also top with cilantro if you like.


I was actually surprised by how authentic the Pad Thai tasted, especially considering how easy it was to make. Now I’m all kinds of excited to cook other Thai recipes or Asian-inspired dishes! Definitely give this a try if you’re into Thai food. I think it’s a really good starting point…and once you’re done, you’ll have a nice little stock of some Asian ingredient necessities!

[Sues]

24 Comments

  • Megan said:

    That looks sooo good! I’ve been meaning to do the same thing, but getting takeout is soo much easier than stocking up on all those ingredients. But you’re right, once you have them, you have them. I guess I should stop stalling. Thanks for the recipe!

    April 3, 2009 12:38 pm
  • MRhé said:

    Looks tasty. I’ll have to try making this – I need to broaden my Asian cuisine repertoire.

    Sriracha is awesome. It’s become my condiment of choice over the last few months.

    April 3, 2009 1:57 pm
  • Darius T. Williams said:

    Where’s the cilantro? Looks mighty good though!

    April 4, 2009 5:59 am
  • Sara said:

    darius, i like where your head is at! i love cilantro, too!

    sus, this looks so awesome! i’m impressed! the random chinatown trip was obviously worth it :) yummy!

    April 4, 2009 4:59 pm
  • Amanda said:

    I’ve been looking for a pad thai recipe that isn’t too complicated, so I’ll definitely be trying this out! Thanks!

    April 4, 2009 6:43 pm
  • themanhattantransfer said:

    This is my favorite thing to order at Thai restaurants- I have no idea why I have never tried making it myself. Looks delicious (I’m also a cilantro fan though)!

    April 5, 2009 3:44 pm
  • Kelly said:

    I love making my own Thai, Vietnamese, and Chinese food. It makes it so easy to customize the flavors to your liking. That looks delicious.

    April 6, 2009 8:12 am
  • Lexiloo said:

    that looks so good! I must try it sometime!

    April 6, 2009 1:37 pm
  • Julie Q said:

    ooo i’m totally sending this link to my mom for her to try.. better yet, i should probably cook this FOR her. lol!

    April 6, 2009 5:33 pm
  • Maris said:

    This sounds so good! Pad Thai is definitely one of my absolute favorites but I’ve never made my own.

    April 7, 2009 1:15 pm
  • Hamster said:

    Try this Thai cooking website.
    http://www.thaifoodtonight.com
    It’s got about 30 recipes each one with a cooking video to go along.

    April 8, 2009 11:14 pm
  • RebeccaC said:

    I just love making my own pad thai…sometimes it even better than restaurant versions b/c you can add whatever you want. My recipe is almost the same as yours except I prefer tofu to chicken for some reason. I also add in a little cilantro for garnish because…well, cilantro rocks.

    April 9, 2009 7:52 am
  • Ryan Rose said:

    Aww, I miss Rod Dee. Thanks for the tips!

    April 9, 2009 11:53 am
  • Dish This! said:

    YUM! Looks so good, I definitely wanna try this. I made some Tom Yum soup that was pretty tasty if you like that soup! http://dishthisboston.blogspot.com/2009/01/thai-tom-yum-soup-recipe.html

    April 9, 2009 12:45 pm
  • Kevin said:

    That pad thai looks really tasty!

    April 10, 2009 4:58 pm
  • Aunty Em said:

    If you are looking for ways to use up the tamarind paste I would highly recommend making a shrimp laksa. Laksa is a southeast asian soup with ginger, coconut milk and lemon grass. So yummy!!!!!!

    April 11, 2009 11:58 am
  • Anonymous said:

    nasty!!

    April 20, 2009 5:30 am
  • Latoya said:

    this was definitely an easy recipe.. it came out good (my husband is on her 2nd plate).. i’m bummed because i didn’t get the right noodles and i can definitely tell the difference.

    September 9, 2009 5:44 pm
  • Tiffany Ford said:

    I love you girls. I cannot even remember how I found your site. But believe me, it is bookmarked. I have been looking for a pad thai recipe because I love the stuff but this one looks simple enough and the accompanying pictures are great. Thanks and keep livin’ your life like it’s golden.

    September 10, 2009 12:56 pm
  • Joanna said:

    Found this recipe through a google search, I cheated and used a storebought sauce, it turned out really really well! Thank you!

    November 6, 2010 11:46 pm
  • Sarah said:

    this was delicious, my only suggestion is to use grated carrot to add color and more vegetable. Thanks for sharing.

    January 17, 2011 10:58 pm
  • Alessandra said:

    I just made this like 30 mintues ago and it was awesome! my boyfriend and dad both devoured it and it tasted incredibly like our favorite thai restaurant

    July 20, 2011 8:43 pm

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