One of my favorite dishes is Pad Thai; whenever I go to a Thai restaurant and am at a lost for what to order, I will get Pad Thai. I feel like I can’t go wrong with this dish. So I attempted to make it myself at home. I thought this would be a pretty easy dish, I mean come on, it’s just stir fried noodles right? So while researching some authentic Pad Thai ingredients, I never realized how much went into it. The sauce itself can be made before hand and refrigerated until ready to use. One really handy tip, make sure all your ingredients are ready to go and within reaching distance; this dish needs to be prepared quickly, so you want everything near the stove and ready to be tossed into the wok.
Pad Thai Sauce
1 cup tamarind juice
1 cup palm sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup fish sauce
2 teaspoons salt
Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over low heat and let the mixture cook for about 60 minutes until it is well mixed and syrupy. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remove from heat after 60 minutes and let cool.
Serving Size: 2
Cook Time: 20 minutes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 cup sliced chicken
1/2 cup sliced fried tofu
1 tablespoon shredded preserved radish
1/4 pound medium-size dried rice noodles, soaked 60 minutes in cold water and drained
5 tablespoons Pad Thai sauce
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon ground hot chili pepper (or 1 teaspoon if you prefer spicy)
2 tablespoons ground roasted unsalted peanuts
1/2 cup sliced green onion
2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed, plus more for garnish
1 lime wedge
Heat the oil over medium heat in a wok until hot. Add the garlic and stir fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken and keep stirring until the chicken changes color, about 5-7 minutes. Add in the fried tofu and preserved radish, cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the chicken/tofu/radish mix to prevent overcooking and set aside.
Add the noodles to the wok. They will stick together so stir fast and try to separate them. Add a little water to help loosen the noodles and stir a few times. Then add the Pad Thai sauce, and keep stirring until everything is thoroughly mixed. The noodles should appear soft and moist. Return the cooked chicken/tofu/radish to the wok and mix well.
Push the noodles and chicken up around the sides of the wok to make room to fry the eggs. If the pan is very dry, add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add the eggs and spread the noodles over the eggs to cover. When the eggs are cooked, about 3 minutes, stir the noodles until everything is well mixed; this should result in cooked bits of eggs, both whites and yolk, throughout the noodle mixture.
Add chiles, peanuts, garlic, green onions and bean sprouts. Mix well. Remove to a platter. Serve with raw bean spouts and a few drops of lime juice.
The final result should be a soft noodle consistency; the sauce should be a great combination of sweet and salty, with a slight spicy hint. The lime juice adds a bit of freshness. I loved Pad Thai and was very happy with my first attempt. And on the plus side, I have a lot of Pad Thai sauce left, so I’ll be sure to refrigerate and make another version with shrimp!