It’s a Pad Thai Party all!
LOVE Pad Thai!
Never heard of it?
I hadn’t either until Mr. Wonderful got me hooked on Thai food. Pad Thai is a great starter dish if you haven’t tried Thai food. Most people will experiment and appreciate Pad Thai, while the more finicky ones won’t eat the curries or more exotic dishes.
Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes, and consists of stir-fried noodles, tofu, and chicken or shrimp tossed with a sauce that’s a little sour, a little sweet, and depending on how hot you like things, a little kick of heat. It’s served topped with a squeeze of lime, some chopped peanuts and a sprinkle of cilantro. Take my word for it -this dish is such a kick up from chicken and noodles.
And it’s a great party food. Prep ahead of time and have your “mise en place” or your little bowls full of prepped ingredients alongside your wok, and it’s fun and fabulous!
The most important thing to remember when making Pad Thai is do your prep-work ahead of time.
The cooking is done very quickly and if you don’t have it all laid out before you, your noodles will overcook and become mushy.
Let me show you the prep-work.
DISCLAIMER!!! Mr. Wonderful is what you’d call the “guest photographer/chef” on today’s post. You will notice randomly placed bags and bowls of Cheetos in pictures today…on account of he’s a hopeless Cheeto addict! You can pretty much make a gourmet meal of 5 star quality, and he will still bring a bag of Cheetos to the table. It’s the perfect side dish for him.
In heaven, Mr. Wonderful will have nothing in his cupboards but Cheetos.
Okay – here we go!
Ingredients of Love: Vegetable, canola or peanut oil, chicken breasts, firm tofu, rice noodles, eggs, garlic cloves, tamarind paste, fish sauce, palm or brown sugar, chili pepper, peanuts, limes, green onions or chinese garlic chives, cilantro, bean sprouts
These are rice noodles. They are pretty much available at your larger grocery stores now in the asian section. They are noodles made out of rice flour and have a chewier texture than egg noodles.
Measure portions of this the same way you’d use fettucini noodles for volume/person.
You want to soak these a good 30-40 minutes before you’re ready to cook your Pad Thai in COLD water. The first time we did ours, we used hot, and they came out way too mushy.
Cover them with cold water and let them set while your prep your other ingredients.
Take one-half to one chicken breast per person. I would say one for guys and 1/2 for women. I used frozen chicken breasts and de-thawed them only about half way. This really helps you cut them nice and thin. If you buy the breast tenders, it’s even easier. I cut the chicken breast in thirds lengthwise and then in thin slices across.
When you’re done with your chicken, put it in a bowl.
Prep your tofu. When Tori saw the tofu, she crinkled up her nose and made a disgusted sound …”Ewwww”. I told her tofu takes the flavor of whatever you cook it in and she’d love it. When she was eating her Pad Thai, she couldn’t tell the diference between the chicken and the tofu. Of course we made fun of her…because that’s how we do things in our family.
You want to slice your tofu in nice, thin rectangles -about an inch long.
Put Put your tofu in a bowl.
Chop up your green onions and cilantro.
Using one clove of garlic per person, chop it up, or press it into a bowl with a garlic press.
Slice your limes into wedges.
Now you need to make your sauce. We tripled this recipe and it made enough for 8 good size portions. I’m going to give you the single recipe here that would comfortably feed 3 or 4.
Tamarind paste or pulp – this ingredient will almost have to be found at your asian market. Tamarind is often used in asian dishes as a sour additive to many sauces.
If you can’t find tamarind, use lime juice. It’ll work but it won’t be authentic. But hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.
Mix together 1/3 cup of Tamarind Paste, 1/3 cup of fish sauce, and 1/2 cup palm sugar or use 2/3 cup of brown sugar in a small saucepan.
To this mixture, add crushed red chili pepper to your spicy taste. We use about a teaspoon to start, and then let people who like it hotter add their own to their dish while cooking it, or at the table. Mix all of this together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves.
Please stop immediately and eat some Cheetos. It will make your life balanced and all better.
Thank you. Signed…Mr. Wonderful.
Mr. Wonderful commented that having Cheetos nearby is a great thing for “after taste testing this sauce”…it erases the funk from fish sauce and tamarind right out of your tastebuds.
I’ve lost control of my kitchen…HELP!
Pour this into a bowl and have a 1/4 cup measuring cup nearby. We’ll use this to measure the sauce per serving when we stir-fry. Also have a tablespoon on-hand.
Drain your noodles and place one serving on each dinner plate – about 2 cups. Now everything is ready to go in the wok.
Set up your small and large bowls of ingredients next to your wok (or large frying pan). Your pan should be smoking hot.
Get your first guest guinea pig and have them step up to the plate, bringing their plate of noodles. Remember speed is your friend here. Do things quickly and aggresively. This is your time to be aggressive. I give you permission!
On you mark, get set. GO!
Start by adding 2 tablespoons of oil to the wok.
Toss in a handful of chicken. Stir this for a minute.
Now add a pinch of garlic. Stir fry about 15 seconds and add 1 Tablespoon of the sauce.
Stir all of this around well, letting the sauce coat the meat and tofu.
Add your plate of noodles and 1/4 cup of the sauce. Toss quickly until noodles are coated and turn brown, about 1 minute.
After a minute, push the noodles up one side of the pan or wok and crack one egg into the bottom.
Let the egg just sit for about 15 seconds. Then take your wooden spoon and bust up the yolk and stir the yellow and white part together until it’s all cooked.
Toss everything together. Then add one cup of brean sprouts.
Excuse me Mr. Wonderful? What were you drinking when you took these pictures?
Toss in your green onions. Stir and throw everything onto a plate.
Squeeze a lime over top. Sprinkle on some cilantro and chopped peanuts.
This is so fun to do with guests. Have a list of the order how you add things posted near your wok. Let each person prepare their own. Your friends will really get a kick out of it.
Katie’s Printable Recipe – Pad Thai
I am giving you an easy guide to put up for your guests and you to follow as you cook. It’s following!
Katie’s Printable Guide for Party – Step by Step Instructions for Cooking Pad Thai