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I love going out for Thai food, but my budget for eating out is only so big, so sometimes I make our favorite foods at home. I found this great recipe for Chicken Pad Thai that tastes delicious, just like my favorite restaurant. Plus, I am sharing some tips on how you can save money on many of the ingredients found in the recipe.
- Thai rice noodles, linguini-width (16 oz) (available at Asian stores)
- 2 to 3 cups chopped chicken breast or thigh
- Marinade for Chicken thighs: (2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 6 TBLS soy sauce)
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 fresh red chilies, minced (optional)
- 6 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 6 green onions, sliced
- 1 cup fresh coriander/cilantro
- 2/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts (or other nuts, such as cashews)
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- vegetable oil for stir-frying
- lime wedges
Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients:
- 1 1/2 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in 1/2 cup warm water (look for tamarind at Asian/Chinese or Indian food stores)
- 4 TBSP fish Sauce + more to taste
- 4-6 tsp chili sauce, or substitute 1/2 tsp. or more dried crushed chili or cayenne, to taste
- 6 TBSP brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
I would highly recommend going to an Asian/Chinese store for many of these supplies, it is will worth the special trip. You will pay so much more if you pick these items up at your regular grocery store. Just to prove the point, here are two different options one bought at local grocery store, one at Uwajimaya.
Uwajimaya-16oz rice noodles = $1.39
Local grocery store – 8oz rice noodles 3.45 x 2 = $6.90
That is a $5.51 difference on just the noodles!
Bring large pot of water to boil and dunk rice noodles. Turn down the heat to low and cook slightly, do not cook them all the way through you want them to be crunchy, because you will fry them later. Drain and rinse with cold water to prevent sticking.
Make pad Thai sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Stir well to dissolve tamarind and brown sugar, and set aside. Place chicken slices in a small bowl, pour the marinade over the over chicken. Stir well and set aside.
Warm up a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 TBSP oil , garlic and minced chili, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant (about 30 seconds) and add the marinated chicken. When pan becomes dry, add a little chicken stock, 2 TBSP at a time, to keep the chicken frying nicely (5-7 minutes, until completely cooked).
Add the noodles, and pour the Pad Thai sauce over the top. Using two utensils, use a gentle “lift and turn” method to fry noodles. Stir-fry in this way 1-2 minutes.
Add the bean sprouts and and continue frying 1 more minute.
Serve pad thai, top with fresh cilantro, green onion, and chopped nuts. Squeeze a little of lime on top of noodles and serve with a lime slice.
Recipe by: Darlene Schmidt