Pad Thai Made Easy!

Pad Thai Made Easy!

padthai

Pad Thai is probably one of the most beloved Thai dishes, and is enjoyed around the world.  It is tangy, fresh and really delicious.  It is also one of the items that I love to order when I go to a Thai restaurant.

As I’ve begun to eat almost exclusively at home, I wanted to learn how to make my favorite dishes from scratch.  Pad Thai was definitely on my list.  I have made it in the past, but I used a recipe that I didn’t care for and the result was just ok.  Since then, I have searched and searched for different recipes and I think I’ve come up with a version that is delicious and not too difficult to tackle either.

One of the flavors that I like most in Pad Thai is the tamarind flavor.  Tamarind is a common fruit found in Southeast Asia. It has a tart and slightly sour flavor and is used in many dishes and candies.

Tamarind is also good for you.  It contains:

  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • B vitamins
  • Hydroxycitric acid

The Hydroxycitric acid has been known to be an appetite suppressant and might be useful to those who want to control their weight.  In addition to helping to control appetite, tamarind is also good for digestion.

If you have been interested in making Pad Thai at home, I’m going to give you a step-by-step guide that will make it a cinch.  This is also not a watered down version of the dish.  It is completely authentic made with all traditional ingredients.

Let’s get started!

You will need:

  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tbs or 30 grams of coconut oil
  • 2 cups or 260 grams of fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 1 package of pad thai noodles (at the grocery or Asian store they might also be called “pho” noodles)
  • 1/2 cup or 64 grams of quality fish sauce (I use 3 Crabs brand)
  • 2 tbs or 30 grams of palm sugar (palm sugar often comes in prepackaged discs.  One disc is sufficient) If you can’t find palm sugar then sucanat should be fine.
  • 1/2 cup or 64 grams of tamarind paste which will come from 2 tbs or 30 grams of minimally processed tamarinds with added water.
  • 4-7 fresh cloves of garlic minced (depending on your love of garlic)
  • 1 green onion cut into 1 inch or 2.5 cm strips
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp or 5 mg of paprika
  • Several sprigs of cilantro as garnish or to taste
  • 2 tbs or 30 ml water
  • A little sea salt to taste
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup or 32 grams of crushed peanuts

Step 1. Soak the noodles in warm water for 1 hour prior to cooking.  I just soak the noodles while I’m prepping everything else and by the time I’m done prepping they are ready to be cooked.

photo-2

Step 2. Make your tamarind paste.  Take 2 tbs or 30 grams of the tamarind from the package.  They come in a block that looks like this.

photo-1

Take about 1/2 cup of warm water and add it to the tamarind you’ve separated from the block – approximately 2 tbs or 30 grams.  You will now squish the tamarind inside the water and it will start to create the paste.

It will look like this.

photo-3

Remove all of the bits of tamarind that you have squeezed juice out of and discard. Check for bits that are left behind.  You now have about 1/2 cup of tamarind juice to be added to the sauce mixture.  Set aside for now.

You can buy paste that’s already made but I find this fresher and the taste much better using this method.

Step 3. Cook the chicken.  Heat your pan and when it’s hot put your coconut oil in. Then add your freshly minced garlic.  I use about 7 cloves because I *really* love garlic but you can use less than that in case you think it will be too overpowering.  Once your garlic is fragrant but not burned, add the chicken.  Cook the chicken all the way through adding some salt to taste.  Set the chicken aside.

Step 4. Prepare the sauce mixture.  This is the sauce that gives Pad Thai all of its flavor.  Add the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice, paprika and water to a sauce pan. Heat the mixture until it’s boiling.  After it has been boiling for a couple of minutes turn down to medium low.  Cook the mixture until it becomes syrupy in texture.  Set aside.

Step 5. In another large pan, get it ready to cook the noodles with some additional ingredients. Depending on how large your pan is or if you have a wok, this part may need to be done in batches.  I have a fairly small stock pot so I have to do it in several batches.  I add a little oil and then put the noodles in and start to cook them.  You may need to add a little water to help the noodles to soften more. If you have a wok, you can add all of the noodles and start to cook them down to soften them.  Add some of the sauce mixture to the noodles saving just a little sauce till the end.  Then add your chicken.  Keep stirring to soften the noodles and add the flavor of the sauce mixture throughout the noodles.  Now add the 2 beaten eggs to the noodles.  You can create a little reservoir in the middle of your cooking noodles to place the eggs in.  This will allow the eggs to cook a bit and then you can start to stir them into the rest of the cooking noodles.  Add the rest of your sauce so it stays nice and moist.

Step 6. Add the fresh ingredients – green onions and mung bean sprouts.  Stir them into the noodles mixture.

Step 7. You’re almost done.  Plate the Pad Thai on your serving dish and add the crushed peanuts to the top and garnish with cilantro or break into bits and add into the noodles. Add a lime wedge to each plate when serving.

padthaitada

Making your favorite dishes at home can be so satisfying.  You know exactly what is going into your food.  You never have to worry about rancid oils or questionable ingredients.

Here’s a printable version to make things a bit easier.

Pad Thai Made Easy!

Ingredients

  • You will need:
  • 2 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 tbs or 30 grams of coconut oil (find it here)
  • 2 cups or 260 grams of fresh mung bean sprouts
  • 1 package of pad thai noodles (at the grocery or Asian store they might also be called "pho" noodles) (find it here)
  • 1/2 cup or 64 grams of quality fish sauce (I use 3 Crabs brand) (find it here)
  • 2 tbs or 30 grams of palm sugar (palm sugar often comes in prepackaged discs. One disc is sufficient) If you can't find palm sugar then sucanat should be fine. (find it here)
  • 1/2 cup or 64 grams of tamarind paste which will come from 2 tbs or 30 grams of minimally processed tamarinds with added water. (find it here)
  • 4-7 fresh cloves of garlic minced (depending on your love of garlic)
  • 1 green onion cut into 1 inch or 2.5 cm strips
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1 tsp or 5 mg of paprika
  • Several sprigs of cilantro as garnish or to taste
  • 2 tbs or 30 ml water
  • A little sea salt to taste
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup or 32 grams of crushed peanuts (find it here)

Instructions

  1. Soak the noodles in warm to hot water for 1 hour prior to cooking. I just soak the noodles while I'm prepping everything else and by the time I'm done prepping they are ready to be cooked.
  2. Make your tamarind paste. Take 2 tbs or 30 grams of the tamarind from the package.
  3. Take about 1/2 cup of warm water and add it to the tamarind you've separated from the block - approximately 2 tbs or 30 grams. You will now squish the tamarind inside the water and it will start to create the paste.
  4. Remove all of the bits of tamarind that you have squeezed juice out of and discard. Check for bits that are left behind. You now have about 1/2 cup of tamarind juice to be added to the sauce mixture. Set aside for now.
  5. Cook the chicken. Heat your pan and when it's hot put your coconut oil in. Then add your freshly minced garlic. I use about 7 cloves because I really love garlic but you can use less than that in case you think it will be too overpowering. Once your garlic is fragrant but not burned, add the chicken. Cook the chicken all the way through adding some salt to taste. Set the chicken aside.
  6. Prepare the sauce mixture. This is the sauce that gives Pad Thai all of its flavor. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice, paprika and water to a sauce pan. Heat the mixture until it's boiling. After it has been boiling for a couple of minutes turn to down to medium low. Cook the mixture until it becomes syrupy in texture. Set aside.
  7. In another large pan, get it ready to cook the noodles with some additional ingredients. Depending on how large your pan is or if you have a wok, this part may need to be done in batches. I have a fairly small stock pot so I have to do it in several batches. I add a little oil and then put the noodles in and start to cook them. You may need to add a little water to help the noodles to soften more. If you have a wok, you can add all of the noodles and start to cook them down to soften them. Add some of the sauce mixture to the noodles saving just a little sauce till the end. Then add your chicken. Keep stirring to soften the noodles and add the flavor of the sauce mixture throughout the noodles. Now add the 2 beaten eggs to the noodles. You can create a little reservoir in the middle of your cooking noodles to place the eggs in. This will allow the eggs to cook a bit and then you can start to stir them into the rest of the cooking noodles. Add the rest of your sauce so it stays nice and moist.
  8. Add the fresh ingredients - green onions and mung bean sprouts. Stir them into the noodles mixture.
  9. You're almost done. Plate the Pad Thai on your serving dish and add the crush peanuts to the top and garnish with cilantro or break into bits and add into the noodles. Add a lime wedge to each plate when serving.
http://www.thenaturalsinger.com/recipes/pad-thai-made-easy/

I hope the instructions are clear and that you have as much fun making this at home as I do.  Let me know if it works out for you!

Live well and be happy!

TNS

6 Responses »

  1. This is wonderful! I love Thai food. Where can I find the Tamarind? Is it dry – would the Asian market sell it? I love that this is pretty much gluten free – would have to check sauces – but, on the whole – GLUTEN FREE and fresh! Awesome! Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Thanks! Yes, you can find tamarind at the Asian market. They sell whole tamarind and ones that are partially processed. Get that one. You will also be able to find the palm sugar there. There are some great Asian markets in Biddeford/Portland area. You should have any problem. I don’t believe there’s any gluten in the sauce. 🙂

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