Weeknight Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a delicious dish that’s easy to prepare.  Traditionally made with shrimp and tofu, I prepared this version with ingredients I had on hand.  As often happens in our kitchen, I tend to measure out ingredients by eyeball unless I’m following someone’s recipe.

I based this on the Inquiring Chef’s pad Thai recipe.  Written by a couple who lived for some years in Thailand before returning to the U.S., it’s a great resource if you’re interested in learning more about Thai cooking.  Where their recipe for pad Thai sauce calls for tamarind paste, I went for the concentrate because it prepares a little more quickly.  Why buy pre-made pad Thai sauce when you can make it yourself? 


             Pad Thai on a weeknight!

While we’re on the subject, the Asian Grandmothers’ Cookbook is another great book if you’re interested in learning more about Asian cooking.  Recipes from China, Thailand, the Philippines, you name it, they’re good.

Because I’m starting with chicken instead of shrimp and tofu, the order in which ingredients go into the wok is different.  But it comes out great.  It’s best to prepare al the ingredients ahead of time so you can add them to the wok quickly and nothing gets overcooked.

Pad Thai:  serves 4.

1.3 lb boneless chicken breast, sliced thin

2 tbs olive oil

6 cloves of garlic, minced

1 small fresh Chinese red pepper, minced, with seeds

1 sweet red pepper, sliced thin

2 carrots, peeled and julienned

2-3 cups of broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups bean sprouts

1/4 cup peanuts

8 oz rice noodles

3 tbs corn oil

Garnishes:  Lime wedges, chopped cilantro

1 cup Pad Thai sauce:

  • Combine 3/4 cup tamarind concentrate, 2-3 tablespoons of fish sauce, 2 tablespoons of light brown sugar, and 1 tbs of low-sodium tamari.  Stir together thoroughly.

Prepare the rice noodles according to the package directions.  Heat the olive oil in a wok and sauté the chicken.  While the chicken is cooking, prepare the vegetables.  When the chicken is cooked, remove it from the wok and set it aside.  Drain the noodles.  Add the corn oil to the wok and turn heat high.  Place the noodles and pad Thai sauce in the wok and stir.  After 30 seconds, add the garlic and Chinese red pepper, stirring for another 30 seconds.  Add the broccoli florets, carrots, and the cooked chicken.  If the wok seems to new drying out, add more of the pad Thai sauce.  When the broccoli is a bright green – cooked, but not mushy – remove from heat.  Add bean sprouts and peanuts, mix together and serve with garnishes.  Serves four.