A popular and well-loved street food in Thailand where it is considered one of the national dishes, pad Thai is a sweet, sour salty and spicy stir fried noodle dish that’s good for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Surprisingly, pad Thai is not a traditional Thai dish. The sauces and spices give it a distinctive Thai flavor but the noodles and cooking method are Chinese.
Noodles had been introduced by Chinese traders and immigrants centuries ago, but pad Thai was not born until after the second world war.
Story has it that the war brought serious rice shortage and, in an effort to made rice supply last in a rice-eating country, the Thai government encouraged the consumption of noodles. And pad Thai was born.
Chicken Pad ThaiRecipe by
For the pad Thai sauce
- 3 tablespoons palm sugar
- 4 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
For the stir fried noodles
- 125 grams dry rice noodles soaked in warm water for 30 minutes then drained well
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil (this is stir frying so oil with a high smoking point is required)
- 2 shallots peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- ⅓ cup chopped pickled daikon (available in Asian groceries)
- 1 bird's eye chili finely sliced
- 150 grams firm tofu cut into half-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimps chopped if large
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 3 to 4 cups bean sprouts
- 2 cups scallions
- roasted peanuts roughly chopped (we used salted)
- Prepare all the ingredients before you start cooking. This is important.
- Make the sauce by mixing together all the ingredients with 3 to 4 tablespoons water until smooth. It should be thick but pourable.
- Heat the cooking oil in a wok or frying pan.
- Saute the chopped shallot, garlic, chili and pickled daikon until aromatic.
- Toss in the tofu and dried shrimps. Cook, stirring, just until heated through.
- Turn up the heat and add the drained rice noodles.
- Pour in the sauce.
- Toss the noodles to distribute the sauce evenly.
- Pour in a quarter cup of water (if you skip this, the noodles will be too chewy) and keep tossing the noodles until the liquid has been soaked up.
- Push the noodles to the edges of the pan to make a well in the center.
- Crack the eggs directly into the well.
- Stir the eggs in a circular motion to scramble lightly. When the eggs are partially set, slowly gather the noodles to incorporate the eggs.
- Finally, add the scallions, bean sprouts and cooked chicken. Toss just until everything is heated through.
- Serve the chicken pad Thai immediately with lime or lemon wedges on the side.