As Panee Muncharoen, from Panomsarakham villiage (3 hours east of Bangkok) in Chacheongsao province, Thailand, taught Lindsay Sterling, in Brunswick, ME. My photo didn't come out. This one is from a street food stall in Thailand taken by Takeaway.
Notes: Pad Thai is stir-fried rice-noodles with various ingredients in a sauce that's equal parts sour, sweet, and salty. There are so many variations of this dish. You can feature tofu, shrimp, or chicken; use Thai basil instead of cilantro, add pea shoots -- or not. Please beware, the mung bean sprouts I see in supermarkets are not the same as the super-fresh, crunchy, bright ones you find in Asian markets. Either get the fresh ones from the Asian market or skip that ingredient.
Cooking Time: 1 hr
- 5 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
- 1 medium yellow onion, sliced thinly
- 6 scallions, sliced into rounds (keep green and white parts separate)
- 1 cup sliced cabbage (pieces about 1/4 inch thick)
- 1 chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
- 6 raw eggs, scrambled with a fork in a bowl
- 1 lb. rice sticks (wide, translucent fettucini-sized noodles made out of rice)
- 1/2 cup oil
- 1/2 cup fish sauce (She used Oyster brand)
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar (5% acidity recommended)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper or more as you wish
- 1/2 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts, crushed to 1/8th inch by rolling over them with a rolling pin
- 1 bunch cilantro, leaves picked from stems
- large bag fresh mung bean sprouts, washed and drained twice
- 1 lime, cut into 8-10 wedges
- 7 small prep bowls
- 5 cereal bowls for prep
- lettuce spinner (handy but not necessary)
- medium bowl
- cutting board
- chef knife
- rolling pin
- cooking tongs or stirring utensil
- 12 inch iron skillet or wok or two smaller saute pans
1. Gather and prepare all the ingredients in the list and put them each in individual bowls near your stove. You’ll need these items ready for the stir frying part (you're timing will be off if you're hunting for things). You can do all this prep the day before and store the bowls covered in the fridge for really easy cooking the next day.
2. Boil rice sticks just as you would spaghetti, only cook them for just one minute before straining and running cold water over them. You want the noodles to still have some stiffness at this stage. They will finish cooking in the liquids we add to the dish later.
3. Now do the stir fry. Heat ½ c. canola oil in large iron skillet on medium high. When the pan is hot, add garlic, yellow onion, and the whites of the scallion. After a minute, add the cabbage. After another minute, add the chicken and cook and stir until chicken is opaque all the way through the pieces. Then add the eggs and scramble them right in with everything in the pan. When the eggs are cooked (opaque light yellow), add the noodles and stir in one after the next: ½ c. fish sauce, ½ c. distilled white vinegar, and ½ c. sugar. Sprinkle entire top surface lightly with cayenne, scallion greens, peanuts and fresh mung bean sprouts and stir. When noodles are cooked, but not soggy or mushy, take off heat.
4. Top pad thai with a handful of fresh cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges, and condiment dishes of more crushed peanuts, extra cilantro, and cayenne for individuals to increase heat.