Me Oh My, I LOVE Pad Thai ▌Sierra Vista Photographer, Arizona

I craved Thai food all of the time while I was pregnant with The Bundle, I can't believe it never occurred to me to make it myself! I've mastered a handful of Asian dishes to keep me on speaking terms with my in-laws, and to sweet talk my husband into buying me more camera gear, so figuring out Pad Thai is by no means the most difficult of recipes. It just takes a little preparation. My husband declared that it was "authentic and if you open up a little stall on post you'd make serious bank!" Though I'm not quitting photography to open my own Thai Shack, here it is:

1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup "fish sauce" found in any Asian market
2 TBSP Tamarind Pulp or 1/4 cup water and 1 1/2 TBSP Tamarind Soup Base Powder, also abundant in any Asian Market
1TBSP lime juice

1lb boneless chicken thighs
1 (12oz) package of rice noodles (I found mine fresh in the refrigerator section of the Asian Market, had Pho recipes on the package). They should have a flat appearance similar to a fettuccine noodle.

1/3 cup of sesame or peanut oil
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
4 eggs
1 package firm tofu
1 TBSP soy sauce
1 1/2 TBSP white sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups finely chopped peanuts
1 1/2 tsp ground dried oriental radish (or 2 TBSP diced pickled radish, which adds a nice texture to the dish)
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives (optional)
1 tsp Paprika (you can add additional red pepper spices for a hotter dish)
2 cups fresh bean sprouts, rinsed
1 lime, cut into wedges

Prepare the following ingredients before you begin cooking:
-Chop 4-5 boneless chicken thighs into bite sized pieces
-Mince your garlic
-Beat the 4 eggs in a bowl
-Take the tofu out of it's packaging, wrap in three layers of paper towel or a cheese cloth, place underneath a heavy wooden cutting board for about 5 minutes, this drains excess water from the tofu. Dice the tofu into chunks.
-In a food processor, grind the peanuts until they are small but not dust. Add the 1 1/2 TBSP sugar and 1 1/2 tsp salt to the peanuts and mix together.
-Boil water in a small saucepan, take off of heat, add the fresh bean sprouts and cover, let stand 2 minutes and drain.

1. Begin by combining the first four ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a simmer and stir until the sugar dissolves, then remove from the heat. This is your "Pad Thai Sauce".
2. In a wok or very large pan with high sides, heat the oil and garlic for one minute, add the chicken, cooking thoroughly.
3. In the meantime, heat a medium pot of water over high heat in which to cook your rice noodles.
4. Leaving the oil in the wok, remove the chicken and place in the saucepan with the Pad Thai sauce for later.
5. Add to the oil the beaten eggs and scramble the eggs until cooked, they will look a little weird from the oil but that is okay. Next add the tofu to the eggs and fold to combine to avoid smashing the tofu. Sprinkle with about 1 TBSP soy sauce.
6. Turn off the heat under your wok momentarily.
7. If you bought fresh rice noodles, you are going to dip them in your boiling water and stir just long enough to break them apart from each other. Literally less than 5 seconds, transfer to a colander, rinse with cool water and drain and place directly into the egg mixture. If you leave them sitting in the sink they will stick to each other. If you bought dried rice noodles, follow package directions for cooking, rinse and add immediately to rice mixture.
8. Assemble all ingredients into the wok: chicken and Pad Thai sauce, noodles, sprouts, peanuts, chives, paprika etc. Turn the heat back on to medium, stir well to combine and heat through.
Serve garnished with lime and/or cucumbers.


Anonymous said... at June 13, 2010 at 7:31 AM

i'll have to give this a try! this is more in depth that the one i used but similar. I think the Tammarind and fish oil are absolutely essential. some recipes leave that out and that wouldn't be authentic at all! --Lauren

Julie Rivera Photography said... at June 14, 2010 at 8:37 AM

It looks delicious and if you are cooking it I bet it tastes delicious, but anything with that many ingredients and steps is out of contention for being cooked in my kitchen! :)