Pad Thai

Recipe serves 2; double for extra helpings.
  • 8 oz semi-fresh rice noodles or 4 oz dried rice noodles / sticks
  • ½ lb boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced thinly
  • 3 to 4 oz large/jumbo peeled & deveined shrimp, OR dry shrimp (from Asian store) that’s been rehydrated in warm water
  • 3 oz pressed, fried or extra firm tofu (If you are using extra firm tofu, wrap with paper towel to get rid of excess moisture)
  • ½ shallot (approximately 2 oz)
  • 2 oz Thai preserved sweet radish (Radis salees cu cai muoi) (or chai po daikon radish) (approximately 2 Tbs). NOT the salty kind! Need the SWEET kind.
  • 2 oz garlic / Chinese chives, plus more for garnish. Substitute green onions if needed.
  • 4 oz bean sprouts, plus more for garnish
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, plus more for garnish
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbs cooking oil, plus more if needed
  • Lime wedges

For the sauce:

  • 3 Tbs fish sauce (less if using Chinese fish sauce)
  • 2 Tbs palm sugar (you can use regular sugar)
  • 1 tsp tamarind concentrate / juice
  • ¼ cup cold water, plus more if needed
  • 1 to 2 tsp Thai sriracha or dried Thai chili powder (optional)

Fresh garnish: lime wedges, sprouts, garlic chives, peanuts, and hot pepper powder.

Action plan:

Soak dried rice sticks / noodles in warm water for 10 to 15 minutes until softened and drain completely. If you are using semi-fresh noodles, skip this process.

Chop shallot and preserved sweet radish finely. Cut tofu into small bite sizes and chives into 2-inch long pieces.

Chop roasted peanuts finely. Set all vegetables a side.

In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the sauce and mix well until tamarind and sugar have dissolved.

Heat a wok over high heat and add 1 Tbs of cooking oil; add sliced chicken and shrimp and cook until they are ¾ of the way cooked and have golden edges, about 1 minute each side. Remove from wok and set aside.

In same wok, add 1 Tbs cooking oil; add tofu and cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until golden edges. If you are using extra firm tofu, cook a little longer to get more hardened outer skin- that will prevent it from breaking.

Add chopped shallot and radish. Stir fry everything together about 1 to 2 minutes. Add noodles and the sauce that was made earlier. Stir fry until noodles absorb the sauce completely and there’s no more liquid on bottom of wok, about 2 to 3 minutes.

If noodles are cooking slowly, add more water 2 Tbs at a time. If they are sticking together too much, add 1 Tbs oil at a time.

Push everything to one side of the wok to make room for the eggs. Add a bit more oil and crack 2 eggs right into the wok. Don’t scramble yet, let them cook half way though.
Then break yolks and start scrambling them.

Now mix scrambled eggs and noodles together by tossing and stirring.

Add bean sprouts, garlic chives, peanuts, chicken and shrimp. Toss everything together for about 1 minute. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Serve with extra fresh bean sprouts, garlic chive, chopped peanuts, dried Thai chili powder and lime.

Photo and cinematography by smboro

During World War II, Thailand suffered a rice shortage due to the war and floods. To reduce domestic rice consumption, the Thai government promoted consumption of noodles instead. His government promoted rice noodles and helped to establish the identity of Thailand. Pad thai has since become one of Thailand’s national dishes.

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