One of my favourite memories in life involves hiding from the sun under a patio umbrella in Downtown Bangkok. My husband and I were people watching. I was holding an ice cold bottle of Chang Beer and snacking on some Pad Thai. I don’t know what I loved more at that moment; the cold condensation on the outside of my beer bottle or the perfect chew on the noodles.
I’ve yet to find Pad Thai in Canada that compares. I don’t know if it’s a technique issue, a lack of access to ingredients, the dramatic change in the ambiance, or a combination of all three. Despite my best attempts, I also haven’t been able to replicate it at home. But, I’ve managed to develop a couple of recipes that will hold me over until we get back there!
Pad Thai is the perfect combination of flavours. It’s sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and savory. The combination of fresh herbs and acidic lime juice make it a favourite in our household.
A note: Making Pad Thai is a quick process! Make sure you have all of your ingredients ready and prepped. When I first started trying Pad Thai at home I had the tendency to overcook my noodles while I diced up vegetables and limes. While I’m still not perfect, I’ve improved by having all my ingredients prepped and within arms reach.
Pad Thai Recipe:
Stir Fry Ingredients:
1 Chicken Breast (Thinly Sliced)
4 – 5 Jumbo Shrimp (Peeled and Deveined)
1/4 Cup Diced Extra Firm Tofu
1 Large Egg (or 2 Small)
A Handful of Diced Green Onion (Diced)
A Handful of Diced Cilantro (Diced)
Fresh Bean Sprouts
Birds Eye Chillis (To Taste)
2 Limes (In Wedges)
8 Oz of Rice Noodle (Dried)
2-3 Cloves of Garlic (Minced)
1/4 Cup Toasted, Salted, Smashed Peanuts
1/4 White Onion (Thinly Sliced)
Peanut Oil (For Wok)
Optional: Chili Flakes
2 Tablespoons of Tamarind Paste
2 Tablespoons of Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon of Chilli Sauce
3 Tablespoons of Brown Sugar
A Sprinkle of Peanut Oil
(Make Extra Sauce of You Like Your Noodles Heavily Coated)
Instructions for Pad Thai:
1: Mix all ingredients for your Pad Thai Sauce together in a frying pan and heat over medium-low. Swirl your pan until the sugar has dissolved. Taste your sauce, and adjust with additional sugar or acid if needed. Remove and set aside.
2: Place your dried rice noodle in a large bowl of warm water and set aside for approximately 15-20 minutes. Do not let them get too soft, they should remain flexible, but slightly firm. While noodles soak, prep your chicken, tofu, shrimp, herbs, and vegetables.
3: Preheat a large metal wok over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in Peanut oil. Careful: it will most likely sizzle. Drop your proteins into the pan and saute until cooked. Chicken first, followed by tofu, and shrimp. Set aside once cooked through.
4: Add more oil to the pan. Drop in onions and minced garlic, stirring constantly.
5: Add your noodles to the pan. Sprinkle additional oil if needed, and stir-fry quickly. Do not allow them to stick to your Wok. Add your sauce to the wok, 2-3 tablespoons at a time, until all of your noodles are coated (but not soaked). Add your protein back to your pan, and toss.
6: With a spatula, push your noodles and protein to one side of your Wok. Crack 1 – 2 eggs into the frying pan. Scramble your egg and allow them to cook for about 30 seconds. Toss it back in with your noodles, protein, and sauce.
7: Add some bean sprouts, diced green onion, and diced cilantro to your noodles. Sprinkle with lime juice and diced birds eye chili.
8: Noodles should be soft and flexible. Remove from your Wok, and serve garnished with fresh bean sprouts, cilantro, green onion, lime wedges, and crushed peanuts.