Pad Thai is one of my all-time favourite dishes. I love that the flavours are subtle and that you can taste every single ingredient in the dish. I used free-range chicken thighs for this recipe, because let’s face it, thighs are way better than breasts.
If you don’t feel like making the sauce or if you can’t find tamarind, then I’d suggest buying the best ready-made pad Thai sauce you can find, an Asian supermarket is your best bet.
2 tbsp groundnut oil/olive oil
7-8 free-range chicken thighs, skin off & boneless
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 free-range eggs
4 garlic cloves, crushed
5cm thumb of ginger, grated
5 spring onions
1 cup shelled peanuts
100g mung bean sprouts, washed
250 g pad Thai rice noodles
For the sauce:
4 tbsp tamarind paste
1/4 cup fish sauce
3-4 tbsp palm sugar OR brown sugar
1/8 tsp ground white pepper
2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
Preparation 15 minutes
Cooking time 15 minutes
On a plastic chopping board, cut the chicken thighs into bite-sized pieces, remove extra fat. Place in a marinating bowl and add 2 tbsp of soy sauce, cover and place in the fridge.
Out of the 5 spring onions, roughly chop 3 of them, and julienne the other 2 for serving. Grate the ginger and crush the garlic and place by the stove. Place a small frying pan on high heat and toast the peanuts, toss them occasionally, set aside to cool.
To make the sauce:
Place all ingredients in a cup and stir to dissolve both tamarind paste and sugar.
Important tip: When taste-testing, keep in mind that in order to achieve the best results, your sauce should taste sweet first, followed by spicy-salty and sour last. Add more sugar if it tastes too sour to you, or add more chilli for more intense spiciness. Also note that the sauce will taste almost too strong at this point, but once cooked and distributed throughout the noodles, the flavour will be perfect.
Boil the kettle and place the noodles in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, until they are just cooked, be careful not to overcook them!
Place a wok on high heat, add the oil and heat for 30 seconds. Then add the garlic, ginger and spring onions; fry for 1 minute. Then add the chicken, if you are using a small wok do the chicken in batches. Cook for 5-6 minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, transfer the toasted peanuts into a pestle and mortar and bash until the most of the peanuts are crushed.
Once the chicken is cooked, push to one side of the wok, then crack the eggs and break up the yolk, let them cook for a few seconds until they start to set. Then scramble them with a chopstick. Mix the chicken and eggs together and pour in the sauce. Turn up the heat and let the sauce simmer for a couple of minutes. Then add the noodles, half the mung beans, half the peanuts, a squeeze of lime and toss.
To serve, garnish with the leftover mung beans, crushed peanuts, the spring onions and a lime wedge.
For more information on Pad Thai then you have to visit theroyalbudha.com, they give you an extensive background on what Pad Thai is, how to spruce up your dish and much more.