After a Google search, I settled on this recipe (which I adapted), mostly because I was very curious about the tamarind paste (which I easily found at the local Asian market). I don't have a wok so I used my cast iron skillet, knowing I could safely get it very hot and that worked well. I am now convinced this will be a regular dinner in the rotation. And did I mention how amazing it is as a leftover?
Prep Time: 15 minutes, Cook Time: 12 minutes, Total Time: 27 minutes Yield: Serves 4
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups raw chicken breast, cut into 1 inch pieces
- Marinade for Chicken: 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 13 oz. package of Thai rice noodles, linguine-width
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Chili flakes, to taste
- vegetable oil for stir-frying
- 1/4 cup chicken stock
- 3 cups fresh bean sprouts
- wedges of lime
- 3 spring (green) onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
- 1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts (or other nuts, such as cashews)
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. tamarind paste (Author recommends dissolving in 1/4 cup warm water - I didn't do this, I think the sauce would be too runny)
- 4 Tbsp. fish sauce
- 1 tsp. or more dried crushed chili or cayenne, to taste
- 6 Tbsp. brown sugar
- Place chicken slices in a small bowl. Stir together the marinade and pour over chicken. Stir well and set aside. I let this marinate for about 5 hours, but even 30 minutes would be good.
- Bring a large pot of pot to a boil and remove from heat. Dunk in your rice noodles. Allow noodles to soak while you prepare the other ingredients. Note: you will be frying the noodles later, so you don't want to over-soften them now. Noodles are ready to be drained when they are soft enough to be eaten, but are still firm and a little "crunchy". This only took about 10 minutes, maybe less. Keep tasting them. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Make the Pad Thai Sauce by combining the sauce ingredients together in a cup. Stir well to dissolve the tamarind paste and brown sugar. Set aside.
- Warm up a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil plus garlic and chili flakes, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds).
- Add chicken together with the marinade. Stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute. When wok/pan becomes dry, add a little chicken stock, 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, to keep the chicken frying nicely. Continue stir-frying in this way until the chicken is cooked (5-8 minutes).
- Add the noodles, and pour the Pad Thai sauce over. Using two spatulas, wooden spoons, or other utensils, immediately stir-fry the noodles. Use a gentle "lift and turn" method (like tossing a salad) to prevent noodles from breaking. Stir-fry in this way 1-2 minutes. If you find your wok/frying pan too dry, push noodles aside and add a little more oil to the bottom (but no more broth, or the noodles will become soggy).
- Add the bean sprouts. Continue "tossing" 1 more minute, or until noodles are cooked. Noodles are done to perfection when they are no longer "hard" or crunchy, but chewy-sticky wonderful!
- Taste-test for seasoning, adding more fish sauce until desired flavor is reached. Toss well to incorporate.
- Lift noodles onto a serving plate. Top with generous amounts of fresh coriander, spring onion, and crushed/chopped nuts. Add fresh lime wedges.