A pattern developed of posting on Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays as opposed to haphazardly posting 2-3 times a week. And I find myself without a post on Tuesday Eve. So, I’m going to share a recipe I made on Sunday that is a favorite of mine and Mutti’s. It’s Pad Thai! I have tasted different versions in restaurants, and this recipe captures what I liked best about the ones I tried. I admit I tweak the recipe for convenience like not using cornstarch on the meat, using water instead of stock, and leaving out the chili sauce altogether. It still turns out really well with minor adjustments. I don’t change other ingredients though. For example, I keep fish sauce and tamarind around which not everyone has on hand. There are some recipes I’ve seen that suggest replacements for tamarind and I have not tried them so I don’t know how they taste in comparison. We also use fresh lime, and if anyone knows of a good dwarf lime tree that does well indoors please let me know.
Ingredients: 8 oz. rice noodle, 1-1.5 cup chicken (marinade in 3 Tbsp soy sauce and 1 tsp cornstarch dissolved), 4 cloves of garlic minced, 3 cups fresh bean sprouts, 3 green onions sliced, 1 cup fresh cilantro, 1/3 cup crushed chopped peanuts, 1/4 cup chicken stock, 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper.
Sauce: 3/4 Tbsp Tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water, 2 Tbsp fish sauce, 1-3 tsp chili sauce (depending on how spicy you want it), and 3 Tbsp brown sugar.
Also have oil for stir frying and a fresh lime for flavoring at the end.
- Boil noodles so they are soft but not too done and set aside. These will cook more in the pan later.
- Make sauce and set aside.
- Marinade the chicken and set aside.
- Warm the pan for frying 1-2 Tbsp oil with garlic for 30 seconds.
- Add chicken with marinade and stir fry about a minute and then add 1-2 Tbsp chicken stock at a time so enough so the chicken won’t stick. Continue until the chicken is done – in about 5-8 minutes.
- Add the noodles, pour sauce over, and lift the noodles like you’re tossing a salad. Do this 1-2 minutes. If it’s too dry in the pan, push the noodles to the sides and pour a little more oil but not too much or the noodles can get soggy.
- Add bean sprouts and sprinkle in the pepper. Toss one minute more or until the noodles are cooked. They’re done when they are not hard but chewy/sticky. If you like you can add more fish sauce and toss to incorporate. Top with cilantro, spring onion, and chopped nuts. Add a fresh lime wedge and squeeze some over the top.
I’ve made this recipe several times, including this past Mother’s Day at Mutti’s request. This past Sunday I doubled the sauce recipe because we had slightly more noodles in the pan. That turned out really well so I intend to double it again. We used fresh garlic and green onions from our garden. I would have used our cilantro but ours bolted and so we bought some fresh. Enjoy!