Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Chicken Pad Thai

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My daughter Lindsey and I just got back from a last minute spring break get away in Seattle. While we were there we ate at Wild Ginger which is my favorite Thai restaurant. One of the items that we had was chicken pad thai. It was so yummy that I decided to make up a batch for dinner so we could reminisce on our mini vacation.
Everything gets cooked in one wok. But the trick is to cook each item separately so they retain their individual flavor and texture. Also, home stoves can’t hold the heat and the wok will cool down pretty quick. So if you decide to take a short cut and cook everything together without cooking them in stages, be warned that your noodles will probably get mushy and your chicken will be less flavorful.
It is truly worth the extra steps to make a perfectly cooked pad thai at home.
*You will notice that my pad thai is yellow. If you prefer a red sauce, simply add ¼ of ketchup to your sauce.
CHICKEN PAD THAI
8 ounces dried rice noodles, the size of linguini
½ pound chicken breast, sliced
2 whole eggs, scrambled
3 – 4 sprigs green onions, cut into 1” pieces
3 cups bean sprouts
½ cup chopped peanuts
CHICKEN MARINADE
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 Tblsp. soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
PAD THAI SAUCE
1 ½ Tblsp. tamarind paste (see note below)
¼ cup hot tap water
3 Tblsp. brown sugar
2 Tblsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. chili garlic sauce
pinch white pepper

Soak the noodles in hot tap water for 20 – 25 minutes, drain and set aside.
Cut up the chicken and marinate in the cornstarch, soy sauce and garlic, set aside.
Make the pad thai sauce, break off a corner of tamarind paste (see note) to estimate 1 ½ Tblsp. and place it in ¼ cup of hot tap water to loosen the pulp (this will take about 10 min.). Place in a strainer and press out the pulp into a small bowl. Add the brown sugar, fish sauce, chili garlic, and white pepper to the tamarind pulp and mix well.
Heat a non-stick wok on med high. Add about 1 Tblsp. oil and scramble the eggs, remove from wok and set aside.
Turn up the heat to high and add 1 Tblsp. oil to the same wok and add the chicken. Spread it out but don’t move it for a couple of minutes so it will brown. Flip it over and cook for another 2 minutes on the other side. Then you can stir it around to brown evenly. Toss in the green onions (the heat from the chicken will cook them), remove from the wok and set on the side.
In the same wok, add 2 -3 Tblsp. oil and add the noodles. They will get very sticky and gummy in spots during this process. Don’t worry, they will loosen up and separate when you add the sauce and the rest of the ingredients. Just keep moving it around and shaking out the clumps to evenly cook all the noodles. Taste them to make sure they are cooked. Then add the sauce and the bean sprouts. Toss to mix, add the chicken and scrambled eggs. Toss to mix again and plate up. Sprinkle with the peanuts and serve with fresh coriander and lime wedges.
NOTE: I cut and paste this from the internet because it explains clearly how to prepare tamarind paste.
Recipe: Preparing Tamarind Pulp
1/4 cup warm water
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp without seeds
OR 1-1/2 tablespoons tamarind pulp (with seeds)
Soak the pulp in the water until soft, from 5 to 15 minutes. With your fingers, rub the pulp until dissolved and the seeds are free of pulp. Strain and discard the seeds and fibers; use the prepared tamarind as directed in recipes.
Kate Heyhoe
The Global Gourmet

MORE CHICKEN RECIPES

CHICKEN CACCIATORE

WHOLE BUTTERFLIED ROASTED CHICKEN

BARBECUE CHICKEN IN THE OVEN

BAKED GINGER GARLIC CHICKEN

SIMPLE ROAST CHICKEN BREAST

CHICKEN PAD THAI

DIJON CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE

LEMONGRASS CHICKEN SATAY

CHICKEN CHOW MEIN

CHICKEN SALAD

CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD ON TOAST

CHINESE MUSHROOM CHICKEN

CHINESE GINGER CHICKEN

CHICKEN KING THING

CHICKEN CORN SOUP

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