Homemade Chicken Pad Thai

Thursday, January 23, 2014



Some of the best pad thai I've ever had in my life was, oddly enough, in Germany.  I was studying abroad in Heidelberg and living in a house with 45 other Pepperdine sophomores.  We lived in a four story mansion and every day on our way to school we got to walk the same streets that Mark Twain walked.  We fell in love with the city and grew obsessed with each other and with gluhwein and never ever wanted to leave.  It was an absolute dream.


Where was I? Oh yes, pad thai.  So our dinners were all served to us in this restaurant that was about a 15 minute walk downhill from the house.  Which isn't really a big deal unless it's snowing and the restaurant is serving currywurst yet again and you've grown plump from the excessive amounts of German beer and schnitzel you've been consuming and you're 19 years old and dramatic and just can't fathom walking alllll the way up that hill with a full belly after dinner.  And in that case, you order pad thai.  There were nights when 90% of the house would skip dinner and order Thai takeout from Supan's.  We had it on our Skype speed dials (it's still on mine... I can't bear to take it off.) They knew us by name.  Words can't express the sheer delight that came when that doorbell rang and bags upon bags of styrofoam boxes were delivered and we all sat on the floor with our plastic forks and agreed that, yet again, this was a very good decision.


The other night Ty & I decided to take a stab at making our own pad thai and that, too, was a very good decision.  The consistency of the noodles was a little off because we accidentally overcooked them (oops!) but it tasted fantastic.  Some of these ingredients may be found in your local grocery store but others might require a trip to a Thai market.


Homemade Chicken Pad Thai
Adapted from Darlene Schmidt
Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 8 oz thai rice noodles
  • 1.5 Cups chopped chicken breast
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 Cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 Cups fresh bean sprouts
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1/2 Cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/3 Cup finely chopped unsalted peanuts

Pad Thai Sauce:

  • 1 Tbsp Tamarind paste
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1-3 tsp Sriracha, depending on how spicy you want it
  • 3 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp ground pepper

Instructions
1.  Place chicken breasts in a shallow bowl.  Dissolve the corn starch in the soy sauce and pour over the chicken.  Set aside.

2.  Next mix up your pad thai sauce.  Whisk together all ingredients and adjust for taste.  Fish sauce will make it saltier, and tamarind will make it a bit more sour.  Set it aside.

3.  Heat a large pot of water on the stove until small bubbles begin to form at the bottom.  Blanch the rice noodles in the water for until they are soft enough to be eaten, but still firmer than "al dente" noodles- about six minutes.

4.  While noodles are cooking, heat up 2 Tbsp vegetable oil over in a wok over medium high heat.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add chicken pieces but do not pour in the soy sauce marinade.  Cook for a few minutes on all sides until chicken is white all the way through.

5.  Push chicken to the sides of the pan and add the beaten eggs to the middle.  Scramble until cooked through, then stir to incorporate all the ingredients.

6.  Once noodles are done drain and add to the wok immediately.  Pour the sauce over and use two wooden spoons or a pair of tongs to gently toss all ingredients as you would a salad.  Stir fry for 2 minutes, then add bean sprouts and green onions and cook for 1 minute more.

Serve immediately topped with peanuts and fresh cilantro.

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