weeknight gourmet

Thai Tuesday: Chicken Pad Thai

I found this recipe on Food & Wine’s website today.  I was surprised how little time was required to make this Thai classic.

The key to the dish is Asian fish sauce.  For those of you who have not smelled Asian fish sauce, it does NOT smell good — it’s made from fermented fish.  But chances are you’ve had a dish made with fish sauce, since it is a key ingredient in Thai, Vietnamese, and Cambodian cuisine.  Fish sauce may not be available in your regular supermarket, but most specialty stores and Whole Foods will carry it.

The only addition to the recipe was that I added some scallions to the dish when I was cooking the garlic.

The dish was super tasty!  Tim and I both loved it.  Beware, there is a little heat from the cayenne!

Chicken Pad Thai
Food & Wine

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
  • 1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 3/4 pound linguine
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped fine
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves

In a small bowl, combine the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In another bowl, combine the tofu with another 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the remaining 5 tablespoons fish sauce with the water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne.

In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until done, about 12 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until just done, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove. Put another tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

Add the pasta and the fish-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, tofu, and 1/3 cup peanuts. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, the bean sprouts, and half the cilantro. Top with the remaining peanuts and cilantro.

 

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