Republished with permission of VeloPress from Feed Zone Table by Biju Thomas and Dr. Allen Lim. velopress.com
This is a light dish that balances fresh ingredients with a hint of heat and a subtle sweetness. Once you learn the timing of the different components, it’s easy to make pad Thai at home in as little as 30 minutes. Best of all, you can dial in a flavor all your own. I like mine mild, without a lot of fish sauce.
CHICKEN PAD THAI
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-sized strips
salt and pepper to taste
8 ounces firm tofu, cut into cubes (optional)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon sesame oil
8 ounces flat rice noodles
2 tablespoons chili paste or chili garlic sauce (Sambal also works well)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fish sauce
8 ounces bean sprouts, divided
1 jalapeño, sliced
3 green onions, sliced thin
½ cup raw peanuts
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Thai basil and cilantro
crushed red pepper to taste
2 limes, cut into quarters lengthwise
Begin by toasting the peanuts for the topping in a dry pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown. Set aside to cool, then coarsely chop for topping.
Lightly coat the bottom of a large, shallow sauté pan with vegetable oil and cook the chicken thighs over medium heat with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. (If you are using tofu, add it here.) In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs with the sesame oil. Once the chicken is nearly cooked through, add the egg mixture to the pan and scramble until dry. Set aside until you are ready to plate the noodles.
While the chicken is cooking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the rice noodles as directed on the package. Drain the noodles and toss them with a little sesame oil or water to prevent them from sticking.
Whisk together the chili paste or chili garlic sauce, soy sauce, and fish sauce in a large bowl. Add to the noodles along with half of the bean sprouts and the jalapeño and green onions and toss to coat.
Divide the noodle mixture between plates and top with the chicken and egg mixture. Finish with additional bean sprouts, fresh Thai basil and cilantro, toasted peanuts, crushed red pepper, and a couple of lime wedges.
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