Mastering Pad Thai

Thailand and I got along very well because we both share a special love for food. So much that I even took a cooking class with Adam.

I have wanted to share some of the recipes we learned, but I figure it’s not fair to do it until we make them at home. Although the class was super fun, the chefs made it really easy for us to cook because they prep everything and we simply followed instructions.

Therefore, Adam and I made a pact to nail down the famous Pad Thai at our apartment in Thailand. For your information (and encouragement), our apartment has a very simple Thai kitchen which consists of a magnetic induction stove, very few cooking utensils, all placed on our balcony.

Our market trip was very entertaining; we couldn’t understand the labels and many of the ingredients are packed in little bags with no names. We were a bit lost until I asked: Pad Thai? That was the magic word! Everything made sense from there to the cheery lady helping us. It was even more entertaining for her since she never stopped laughing at us.

Our First attempt was a total fail. The second attempt was much better. Third attempt, a success!

Below is a detailed recipe to make Pad Thai from scratch. Give it a try!

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Let start with the Ingredients:

-Rice Noodles (100g)

-Sliced Chicken (50g)

-Cooking Oil (2-3 tbsps.)

-Chives and bean sprouts (50g chopped)

-Egg (1)

-Garlic (1-2 tbsp. minced)

-Hard Tofu (30 g cubed)

-Oyster Sauce (2 tbsps.)

-Fish Sauce (1 tbsp.)

-Soy Sauce (1 tbsp.)

-Tamarind pulp (2 tbsp.)

-Palm Sugar (2 tbsps.)

-Ground peanuts (2 tbsp.)

-Lime (1)

– *Chili powder (optional)

– *Dry little shrimps (1 tbsp. optional, I prefer it w/o)

Now the method.

Make sure to prepare only one to two servings a the time. 

Start with the sauce: soak the tamarind pulp in warm water for 30 minutes (2 parts water to one part pulp). Squish it until the juice gets dark-red and strain out the pulp. Then add the oyster, fish and soy sauce. Add the palm sugar to the sauce, bring all of this to a simmer and leave it on the side for now.

Getting this sauce to taste right is one of the keys to success. Feel free to add more or less of any of the ingredients to get it just right. The amounts listed above are just guidelines, we adjusted ours on the fly every time. If you have leftover sauce it stores well for next time.

Quickly (5 seconds) blanch the noodles and put them to the side.

Now the fun part! Remember throughout the cooking process to constantly keep stirring and mixing.

Get your pan as hot as it can go (preferably use a wok and wok burner) and add the cooking oil.

Add the garlic until it’s a little fried (don’t burn it!), add the tofu and chicken.

When the chicken is almost cooked through, add the egg off to the side. After the egg is just about cooked, stir the mess together.

Mix for 10 seconds and add the noodles and sauce. The mixing and time you have the noodles in the pan is tough. You don’t want to overcook the noodles or they will clump together and you don’t want to undercook them either. Around 1 minute total time for noodles in the pan is about right.

After 30 seconds add the bean sprouts, long bean and chives. Squeeze in half a lime and sprinkle with chili powder. Cook for 30 seconds more and turn off the burner.

Finally, add some ground peanut, chili powder (if you like it a little spicy) and half a lime as extras. Every Thai has his or her own tastes for Pad Thai and can adjust the final version with the extra lime and chili.

Now the best part, let’s eat!

Related posts:

Monkeying around
Exploring Lombok Island
Wonderland Scuba Diving
Huay Xai to Luang Prabang: Travel Guide

Map Location