Pad thai has many versions, with the ingredient list being debated and queried. It seems there are no two offerings the same with the really contentious element being the addition of soy sauce and tomato sauce/ketchup. Should they be in pad thai? If so, why? If not, why not? Maybe the only way around it is to give it another name: pad thai style rice noodles? Rice noodles with chicken and bean sprouts??
This is the pad thai version we make. It came from a recipe card handed out at a Thai cooking lesson held at a hotel in Phuket, Thailand. On that basis I can safely say it has authentic Thai origins. And the chefs at the cooking school were Thai. Maybe that makes it twice as Thai. But here’s the thing: the ingredient list includes tomato ketchup, but no soy in sight. The debate continues.
I have to confess I wasn’t a big fan of pad thai because I don’t like the egg that is in it. There’s something about the eggy flavour that doesn’t appeal. The benefit of cooking this at home is I can leave the eggs out, which I do, despite others not having the same aversion. The cook rules when it comes to matters of this kind, but to appease everyone who might be tempted to create this, the eggs as included in this recipe.
I love this version of pad thai. In fact, it’s made me a convert. It regularly graces our table, particularly when we just want noodles and not a whole lot of fuss. One thing I have to say though is that this is fast cooking that requires all ingredients to be prepped before you start cooking. Nothing takes long to cook, and ingredients are thrown in one after the other, with very little time in between. Despite it being super easy, the kitchen always seems to be a disaster area after. I think its because you don’t get the chance to clean up as you go. It’s definitely worth the mess. Enjoy!
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar
- 2 tablespoons white sugar
- 4 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons chilli sauce (we use Sriracha chilli sauce)
- 1 tablespoon tamarind púree dissolved in 4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
- vegetable oil
- 4 spring onions, sliced
- 1 (250g) chicken breast thinly sliced
- 250g pad thai rice noodles, soaked and drained (according to instructions on packet)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- ½ capsicum thinly sliced
- 1 small carrot julienned
- ¼ cup roasted peanuts, crushed
- 1 lime cut into wedges for garnish
- coriander to garnish
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the packet, then set aside.
- First make the sauce: combine the palm sugar, fish sauce, chilli sauce, tamarind puree/water, and ketchup, in a small saucepan. Simmer on a low heat until sugar has dissolved.
- Heat a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil in a wok over a medium heat. Add the sliced chicken and fry until just cooked through, stirring constantly. Add the sliced spring onions and stir through.
- Push the ingredients to one side and crack in the eggs, breaking them up just a little. Without letting them cook completely. (I leave this step out because I don't like egg)
- Add the noodles, carrot and capsicum; follow immediately with reserved sauce, stirring regularly to prevent the noodles from sticking.
- Add the ½ the bean sprouts and ½ the peanuts.
- Stir briefly then serve garnished with more bean sprouts, coriander, peanuts and wedges of lime.