Pad Thai

If you’ve eaten your fair share of pad thai in the US you’ve either had the “peanut butter” version or the “ketchup” version.  Although those are two of my favorite things in the world, they have NO place in Pad Thai. (Serious face).

I’ve discussed a jizzillion times that balancing sweet, sour, salty and spicy is a part time job for me; I do it every day.  It’s so easy (and tasty) in Thai food.  Palm sugar, tamarind and lime, fish sauce and fresh and dried chilies, respectively, get the job done.  I’ve perfected this recipe by cross-referencing several authentic recipes and (sorta) listening in culinary school.

Let’s cook bitches.

Yield – 4-6 servings


1 package bahn pho rice noodles

1 egg, scrambled but not cooked yet

2 T peanut oil

7 oz extra firm tofu (about half a package), cut into small cubes

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, minced

2 chicken breasts, cut into strips

3 T tamarind paste

4 T fish sauce

1 lime, 1/2 juiced and half cut in slices for garnish

2 T palm sugar

pinch ground white pepper

1 thai chili, sliced thin (2 if you’re nasty)

1 tsp dried chili flakes

1/2 cup sliced scallion or Chinese chives, separated into two equal parts

1/2 cup toasted peanuts, cut through with a knife or ground in a mortar/pestle, then separated into two equal parts

1 cup bean sprouts, separated into two equal parts

cilantro, for garnish




1. Soak noodles in warm water while prepping other ingredients.  They will need about half an hour.

2. Heat a large saute pan on very high heat.  Add a bit of oil or cooking spray and pour the egg in a thin layer.  It will cook quickly into what looks like a huge thin pancake.  Dump onto a cutting board and set aside.

3. Heat peanut oil in a wok over high heat.  Pat the tofu cubes dry and fry them until golden.  Set aside.

4. Add garlic, shallot and chicken to the wok and stir to cook evenly.

5. Combine tamarind paste, fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, white pepper, thai chili and dried chili flakes in a bowl and whisk together.

6. When chicken is almost done cooking pull off of heat.  Add combined ingredients.

7. Add half peanuts.

8. Roll the “omelet” and cut in into thing strips and add them.

9. Drain and add noodles.

10. Return wok to heat and stir/toss to incorporate everything and heat through.

11. Add the tofu.

12. Taste and adjust as necessary.

13. If it seems dry and a BIT of water.  Pad Thai should not be too wet!

14. When finished pull from heat and toss in the other half of sprouts, peanuts, scallion.  This will make it seem nice and fresh.

15. Plate and top with cilantro.


**migrated from my old food blog originally posted 11/2/11

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