Friday, February 18, 2011

Chicken Pad Thai

Pad Thai is the dish that got me hooked on Thai food.  A few months ago, I made pork pad Thai from Martin Yan's Feast, and it was definitely good.  But, this version from Quick and Easy Thai was better!  I think that to make it the best pad Thai ever, I'd add a little sliced red Thai chili and a tiny bit of Sriracha sauce.  The Quick and Easy recipe had more lime in it and the noodles spent more time in the wok, both of which I think improved the taste.  Since this was the second batch of pad Thai I've made, I think I was more comfortable with the idea of putting noodles in the wok and not having them dry out. 


I definitely like a little kick in my pad Thai, but not everyone does.  So, I just add Sriracha sauce to mine later.  As much as I like Thai food, I admit that I can't stand the smell of fish sauce!  I cringe a little every time I use mine.  I find that the smell goes away when it's mixed with other things and heated.  When I first started using recipes that called for fish sauce, I would put in significantly less than the recipe wanted because I didn't think that something so foul smelling could taste good.  But, I got over it.  Last night's recipe called for 3 tablespoons of fish sauce, which is a lot for me.  I was a little nervous about it, but I sucked it up and dumped the 3 tablespoons in.  The original recipe also called for bean sprouts and shrimp, both of which I omitted.  I don't like bean sprouts very much and my husband isn't a fan of shrimp.  I'd love to hear suggestions of what I could do to bulk this up, I'm thinking maybe some cabbage. 

Chicken Pad Thai
from Quick and Easy Thai
The book says it serves 2 to 4, I don't think it was enough for 2 people.  I'll make extra next time.

1/4 pound dried rice noodles, linguine or fettuccine width.
1 boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped into bite sized bits
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp soy sauce (I used low sodium)
3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup coarsely chopped scallions
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts (I used an extra handful)
1 lime, cut in wedges

1) Boil a pot of water.  Put the rice noodles in the water, turn off heat, and let the noodles sit for 5 minutes.  Drain, and rinse with cold water.  Drain them again and set aside.
2) Heat 1 Tbsp oil in the wok over high heat.  When wok is hot enough, add the garlic and stir until fragrant (only a few seconds).
3) Add the chicken and stir fry for 2 minutes or until chicken is cooked.
4) Add noodles to the wok and toss until they begin to soften, whiten, and curl (about 2 minutes).  Add fish sauce, soy sauce, and sugar and cook for another 1 to 2 minutes.  Toss occasionally and add a splash of water if things get sticky.  
5) When noodles are tender, push the noodle and chicken mixture up to one side of the wok.  Add the other tablespoon of oil and pour the egg into it.  When it's almost set, scramble it and push it aside.
6) Put the scallions in the middle of the wok and cook them for about a minute.  (This is where the bean sprouts would be added)
7) Pour the lime juice and sprinkle the peanuts over the chicken and noodle mixture and then mix everything together.
8) Serve in bowls w/ lime quarters and sriracha sauce on the side. 


Anonymous said...

If I omitted the fish sauce, do you think the flavor would suffer tremendously?

Scienter said...

I think that the noodles had a tang to them that was due to more than just the lime juice. That said, if you don't like fish sauce, I think it would be completely fine w/o it. It's such a distinct smell, if you hate it a lot, it might ruin the dish. I'd add some extra liquid to make up for leaving it out. I <3 sour foods, so I'd opt for more lime juice. But water or chicken broth would probably work just as well.

Michelle said...



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