Chicken pad thai made with an authentic tamarind sauce, tons of veggies and meets all the requirements of a good Thai dish. Sweet, sour, a bit salty and a little kick of spice. Quick and easy and so much better than take out.
Pretty sure I’ve mentioned before how much I love Thai food. I love it for a couple of reasons. One because its so damn tasty, but also because its fresh and clean food that’s full of veggies and really healthy.
I ate a ton of chicken pad thai in Thailand. Street cooks had a little cart with a big hot wok and all their ingredients around the edge of the wok. They would whip up a dish for you in a min or two and sell a plate of it for about $1! So freeking delicious!
At first I was nervous about eating food from carts on the street, but after about a week, I gave into the temptation and ate whatever I wanted. I never even had the slightest bit of an upset stomach the whole time I was there.
I have tried a couple recipes for chicken pad thai since my visit to Thailand and I haven’t found one that worked for me until now. Its all about the sauce…! I’ve seen lots of pad thai sauce recipes using soy or peanut sauce. Neither of those cut it for me. They just don’t taste like the pad thai I had in Thailand.
The sauce in this recipe uses tamarind paste, fish sauce, palm sugar, lime, and garlic chili sauce. It meets all the taste requirements of a good Thai dish. Sweet, sour, salty, and spicy.
It tastes pretty dang close to the chicken pad thai I got in Thailand.
In Thailand, the pad thai I got in the streets and in the restaurants had bean sprouts and maybe a couple slices of peppers for veggies only, but I like to eat mine with a lot more veggies than that.
My favorite combo is red peppers and bean sprouts for veggies in this dish, but I have made it before with broccoli and carrots too. It just depends on what you feel like. Any and all taste great, but I think the crunchy and slightly sweet bean sprouts are a must.
If you use broccoli, I find that its best to cut the florets quite small. And remember, if you add carrots, they need a little longer than most veggies to cook so add them to the wok first and stir fry for a bit before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Don’t forget to squeeze a fresh lime over your plate and spoon a bit of crunchy peanuts on top before you dig in.
A tip to make chicken pad thai quicker:
I always make a bunch of my perfect baked chicken breast at once, usually on the weekend, and keep it in the fridge for the week. Then when I make salads for my lunch or dinner for my family I just have to chop it up and throw it in.
Its very handy and allows you to make dishes like this (and many others) much quicker as one step is already done for you.
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FOR THE SAUCE
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 3 tbsp palm sugar
- 2 tbsp garlic chili paste
- 1/2 - 1 lime
FOR THE PAD THAI
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 large eggs , beaten with a fork
- 2 chicken breast , cut into small cubes
- 3 cloves garlic , minced
- 2 tbsp ginger , minced
- 2 red Thai chilis , minced
- 1 bunch green onions , cut in 1" strips
- 2 red peppers , cut into thin strips and then cut in half
- 2 cups been sprouts
- 3 cups rice noodles
- 1/2 bunch cilantro , roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup peanuts , roughly chopped and divided in half
- lime wedges
- To make the sauce, add the tamarind paste, water, fish sauce, palm sugar and garlic chili paste to a bowl. Whisk it up till its all mixed well and set aside. Chop up the chicken and pour about 1/4 cup of the sauce on it and mix well.
- Get out a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Once its boiling, turn it off and leave it.
- Get out the rest of the ingredients and chop them all up so they are ready to throw in the wok.
- Heat up a wok or a large pan on medium high heat.
- Add the rice noodles to the pot of water and let them sit there. They will need only about 5 - 8 mins to get soft.
- Add 1/3 of the coconut oil to the wok or pan and when its melted, throw in the beaten eggs. Scramble them until just cooked and take them out and set aside. Chop them up a bit so they are smaller pieces.
- Add a little more coconut oil and add the chicken next. Stir fry until cooked. Take them out and set aside with the eggs.
- Add the last bit of coconut oil to the wok. Throw in the ginger, garlic, chili, and green onions. Stir fry for about 1 min. Next add the peppers and bean sprouts. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the chicken, egg, the softened noodles, and the rest of the sauce. Stir fry around for a couple of mins till they are mixed well. Add the peanuts and cilantro and stir quickly again.
- Divide between 4 plates, sprinkle with a bit more peanuts and cilantro on top. Serve with a lime wedge.