Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai

I have perfected Pad Thai. Now before you turn way from what you think is some empty claim, hear me out.

Pad Thai was something I thought you just threw together. Much like any other stirfry. Nothing to it, right? Fry a few things, add some sauce, mix with noodles. Oh but there's so much more to a good Pad Thai! Let me be clear about it though - It.Is.Not.Difficult. Or time-consuming. Or even complicated. But there's a certain order to a proper Pad Thai. You're aiming for the perfect mix of crunchy sprouts and nuts, succulent chicken, fresh green herbs and saucy, glistening noodles. For you to sluuuuurp up.

Chicken Pad Thai

For this recipe you have to be quick. This is not the time for a leisurely glass of wine and an occasional peek into the pot to see how things are doing. The entire thing will come together in about twenty minutes. And this is one time that you absolutely must have everything ready prepped beforehand. No compromises. I like to pretend that I'm a celebrity chef on television, so it feels less food-geeky.

The verdict? I think I have a new favourite meal. As for TheHusband? He likes the flavour, but "The noodles have a weird texture". Eh, what does he know. I think the pictures speak for themselves on this one!
Chicken Pad Thai

I'm submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging #226, hosted by Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs).
Chicken Pad Thai
Adapted from Chez Pim
Makes 2 generous servings

1 1/2 tbsp (22.5 ml) sunflower oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (approx 250g), thinly sliced into strips
2 small carrots, julienned
100g rice vermicelli noodles 
1/2 cup Pad Thai sauce*
a handful (approx 40g) beansprouts
1 egg
2 tbsp roasted and salted peanuts, roughly crushed using pestle & mortar
a handful fresh chives, snipped into pieces
a handful fresh coriander (cilantro)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil over high heat in a large wok. 
2. Add chicken and cook briefly, stirring vigorously, until just starting to brown.
3. Meanwhile set your noodles in a bowl of warm water to soak. The noodles should just start to become pliable and lose their crispness, but should not be soft before you add it to the wok.
4. Add carrots to the wok and again cook briefly, stirring all the time to keep the food moving, until carrots starts to soften slightly - note it should still be mostly crisp!
5. Now add your (not entirely soft) noodles to the wok, along with the remainder of the oil, stir briefly to coat with oil, then add sauce and stir, cooking for a few minutes until the noodles are cooked. This shouldn't take more than 2 - 3 minutes. Add beansprouts as well during this time.
6. Move the noodles up to the sides of the wok and crack an egg into the bottom of the wok. Leave to solidify slightly for approx 30 seconds, then stir the egg so that it scrambles and cooks through. This will take another 1 - 2 minutes. The egg should still be slightly soft and not cooked dry.
7. Stir again to mix the egg into the noodles, then add peanuts, chives and coriander. Stir everything one last time to combine, then serve at once, accompanied by lemon wedges and little bowls of soy sauce, chillies, peanuts and coriander.

*You can make your own Pad Thai sauce using a combination of fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind pulp and chillies or cheat and use store bought.

PS: Do check out Chez Pim's post on Pad Thai for beginners - she does a great job of explaining the whole process in great detail.

Nutritional info (per serving): Calories 563.5, Total fat 24.4 g, Saturated fat 3.3 g, Polyunsaturated fat 11.1 g, Monounsaturated fat 6.2 g, Cholesterol 178.8 mg, Sodium 1,029.6 mg, Potassium 540.0 mg, Total carbohydrate 47.1 g, Dietary fiber 2.8 g, Sugars 28.4 g, Protein 35.6 g

Good source of: Vitamin A 196.4 %, Niacin 78.1 %, Selenium 47.5 %, Vitamin B6 41.3 %, Vitamin E 41.2 %, Phosphorus 34.9 %


nina on March 23, 2010 7:32 pm said...

Marisa this is a great post. Did you use natural light? You will get the hang of it soon!!! Keep it up!!!

Joanne on March 23, 2010 7:37 pm said...

Good pad thai recipes are hard to come by! Thanks so much for sharing this, it looks delicious!

Marisa on March 23, 2010 7:45 pm said...

Thanks Joanne - hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Nina - yes natural light and lots of fiddling with the ISO, aperture & shutterspeed. I actually think the light was a little bit harsh, was taken just before sunset with the sun literally pouring into our flat. Bought a piece of white cardboard for reflection - need to play around a bit more with that...

TS of eatingclub vancouver on March 23, 2010 10:29 pm said...

We got our Pad Thai tips from Chez Pim as well! We think our pad thai is better than any we can get in restaurants here in Vancouver. ;) Authenticity of Thai food here is not very great.

Marisa on March 24, 2010 8:05 am said...

Chez Pim's tips are really good - a big eye-opener for me.

Graziana on March 25, 2010 12:33 pm said...

I always love all thai recipes, I think I will try your recipe very soon.
Thank you for joining to Weekend Herb Blogging

Heather on March 25, 2010 7:59 pm said...

I love pad thai! Looks delish.


Kitchen Butterfly on March 25, 2010 11:39 pm said...

I so agree with you.....For me, the key to Pad Thai is having the sauce ...and a lot of it, to hand. I made this a few weeks ago and we gobbled it up.........kids and husband!!!!! This looks lovely!

Homemade Heaven on March 26, 2010 12:26 pm said...

I have said it before - stir-frys are great, only when you take lots of time to prep first.
I am saving this recipe for after lent, when I can have meat again.

Pres on March 28, 2010 4:03 am said...

Mmmm...That looks so delicious!

Keep up the great work!

Cynthia on March 29, 2010 6:58 pm said...

This looks great! Pad thai is always a very popular dish. My fiance loves it and always asks me to make it, so I think I might have to make it now since I'm inspired by your delicious looking dish!

elrieta on April 12, 2010 7:46 pm said...

CREATIVE (foties) ... i like, i like..!

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