I had never had Thai food before Scott and I started dating. It is now solidly up there with my favorite cuisines. It is actually pretty easy to find good Thai food in New Zealand, and we ate it regularly when we lived there. Still, nothing compares to actually getting to eat Thai food *in* Thailand, and in our pre-kid years, we were able to do just that. I have such a love for Pad Thai and it’s a dish that I can honestly say we’ve eaten all over the world. When we moved to the States and Thai restaurants were harder to come by (at least in the places we’ve been), we decided that we needed to make our own Pad Thai. Scott was able to “Americanize” it so that we could use easier to find ingredients than truly authentic Pad Thai, but it is comfort food, just the same.
Soak the noodles in cold water for 2-3 hours. In a pinch, you can do it in hot water for 30-45 minutes. If you do go the hot water route, check your noodles every few minutes and switch the water to cold when they get to be opaque and tender enough to bite through easily.
While the noodles are soaking and you’re getting ready to cook, do your mise en place (that’s Food Network speak for do your prepwork 😉 ). This includes slicing the spring onions thinly, cracking the eggs, crush or coarsely chop the peanuts, thinly slice the chicken, and cut the lime into eights. Roughly chop the cilantro and rinse the bean sprouts. Finally, when you’re ready to go, drain the noodles.
Mix your sauce ingredients together. The sour comes from the vinegar, the sweet from the sugar, and the salty from the soy. It should be as sweet as it is sour as it is salty, so if it isn’t, add a little bit more of the missing ingredient. We make this for the family and the girls don’t eat much spice yet, so we just use a teaspoon of sriracha. Anyone who likes it spicier (Scott!), can add it to their own bowl. All told, you should end up with 2/3 cup of sauce.
Scramble the eggs over medium heat with a little oil in a nonstick skillet or wok.
Remove the eggs and wipe out the skillet. Add a bit more oil and stir fry the chicken over medium high heat until it’s cooked through (about three minutes).
Remove the chicken and add more oil. This time you want enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. We used 4 tablespoons of oil. It will seem like a lot, but the noodles need to be coated or they will stick.
Stir fry the noodles for about a minute and then add the sauce and about half the bean sprouts. Stir fry for about two minutes until the noodles are al dente and slightly chewy.
Throw in the eggs and chicken. Toss them around for about half a minute to warm them back up.
Add the cilantro and spring onions. Mix them in and cook for about thirty seconds.
We like to serve Pad Thai with extra bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and a lime wedge that should be squeezed on top before eating.
We eat Pad Thai regularly, just as we always have. The only difference is that these days, we mostly make it ourselves. It does get us dreaming about going back to Thailand, though! It was definitely a favorite adventure.
Our porch isn’t quite the same as Thailand, but with a bit of color and a nice breeze, we can daydream!