Chicken Pad Thai
There are many pad thai recipes out there, but this one is mine.
Package of flat rice stick noodles
Raw chicken breasts
Corn starch or tapioca flour
Salt & pepper
Unsalted, unroasted raw peanuts
Green onion, chopped
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Large carrots, julienned
- Ingredient notes: for the flat rice noodles (also called rice sticks), any brand will do, so long as it's not Mamy. I prefer rice sticks that are about half a centimeter wide. Tamarind pods can be hard to find - tamarind paste works almost as well. Use a chunk about the size of a stick of butter.
- Roast the peanuts: Preheat your oven to 400, put a cup or two of raw peanuts in a foil boat or small pyrex container, and dry roast until the skin starts to blacken, about 20 minutes. Crush and set aside.
- Prepare veggies: Dice onions, skin the garlic, julienne the carrots, rinse the sprouts, slice the limes, slice the peppers, chop the green onions.
- Velvet the chicken: Cut chicken breasts widthwise, about a quarter inch thick. Crack two eggs, separating whites into a mixing bowl and discarding the yolks, add corn starch or tapioca flour, salt, and pepper. Whisk, add chicken slices, and toss.
- Prepare the tamarind: Separate the shell from the fruit on each pod. Set two cups of water to a boil, reduce heat, and add tamarind (or paste). Let sit on heat for about 5 minutes, then mush the tamarind into the water. Keep it on low heat until ready.
- Prepare the noodles: Rice noodles cook fast. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add about half a package (8 oz) rice sticks. Boil until toothy but not crunchy, pour over a colander, and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.
- Prepare the sauce: take tamarind goo and mush it through a mesh strainer into a bowl, discarding whatever doesn't get through. Add juice of at least one lime, soy sauce, fish sauce, brown sugar, salt and pepper.
- Scramble eggs (optional) in a separate pan.
- Cook the chicken: Ideally, you'd have a huge wok with a high heat source to cook the chicken with the noodles, but we're not all so lucky. Saute the chicken in a separate pan with a bit of peanut oil until almost cooked, and not yet brown.
- Cook the noodles: Heat a wok with a teaspoon or two of peanut oil. Add garlic, onion, jalapenos, and carrots and cook until the garlic just starts to brown. Turn heat to high, add noodles - if the noodles are a sticky bunch, rinse in cold water, shake off excess water before adding to wok. Stir.
- Add chicken, sauce, peanuts and scrambled eggs (optional), stirring and mixing. I add Sriracha while intermittently tasting at this point. Continue to stir and cook until chicken and noodles are well mixed and done.
- Add bean sprouts, green onion, cilantro, stir until bean sprouts start to turn transparent (it won't take long). Remove from heat, garnish, and serve.