Chicken Pad Thai – delicious recipes for the classic dish from Thailand

by Kremy

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Chicken Pad Thai is one of the most popular quick recipes and is served in every Thai restaurant. Pad Thai is considered to be one of the national dishes of Thailand, although it is also popular in Vietnam, India and China. It is believed that the recipe was imported into Thailand by Vietnamese merchants in ancient times and for several centuries has undergone changes that are in accordance with the tastes of the Thai people. The use of palm sugar along with tamarind can create an excellent balance of sweet and sour.

Pad Thai became hugely popular in the thirties and forties of the last century when Thailand suffered a rice shortage but noodles were widely available and the government encouraged the Thai people to substitute rice with noodles. Mixing rice noodles with a variety of vegetables and meat created this new and inexpensive dish and it has become one of the most popular in Thailand and a national classic.

In general, Thai cuisine is characterized by the balance of five flavors: sour, sweet, salty, bitter, and spicy. Each one is complemented by others and clearly felt in each dish. A real Thai dish is not only easy to prepare, but pleasant to look at and taste, and is also very beneficial for health.


Tips and tricks for cooking the best Chicken Pad Thai


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The most important thing in Pad Thai is the sauce in which noodles are fried. If you master the recipe for this delicious sweet and sour sauce, you can cook anything in it. The rest of the ingredients are the most ordinary and most likely will be found in the refrigerator of every housewife. The classic version has three main ingredients – fish sauce, tamarind paste and coconut sugar. You can buy the sauce from Asian or Thai food stores or prepare it in advance and keep it in the refrigerator. Of course, homemade Pad Thai sauce is much better than the one which you buy from a supermarket and it is really easy to prepare. You can add some rice vinegar, hot chili or soy sauce to adjust the sauce to your personal taste.

The second important ingredient in Pad Thai is noodles. What noodles are best for Pad Thai? The best noodles for Pad Thai are flat noodles made from rice flour. When cooked, the noodles should have al dente texture, so do not overcook them. You can find rice noodles in in the Asian section of grocery stores. Look for flat noodles that look like fettuccine. Here are some useful tips how to cook rice noodles to perfection:

Rice noodles are thin and translucent and they are not boiled but soaked in hot water. Usually, the different brands have different soaking time, so read the instructions on the package. However, the general method for cooking rice noodles is the same. Bring a large pot of water to boil and then remove it from heat. Add the noodles and let them sit in the water for about 8 minutes until soft, but slightly crunchy (al dente) as they will cook more in the sauce. Drain the noodles and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process. Add a spoon of vegetable oil and toss to prevent sticking.

The third classic ingredient for Thai Pad is Fish sauce. It is available in Asian grocery stores and gives the authentic Pad Thai flavor. Many people do not like the smell of Fish sauce and if you are one of them you can substitute it with Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce. Pad Thai has numerous variations and recipes vary in ingredients. However, you should try at least one to enjoy the tatse of this quick and flavorful dish.

Chicken Pad Thai is an instant dish so you need to have all the ingredients ready before you start cooking. Have the chicken and vegetables chopped because the cooking process is very quick. Prepare the sauce and taste it. Adjust a balance of sweet, sour and salty flavors. Make sure your skillet or wok is very hot before you start cooking. Crunchy peanuts and cilantro are the garnishes for Chicken Pad Thai, so have them ready to garnish your dish before serving. Now, that you know all the basics, here are some recipes to test and enjoy!


Authentic Chicken Pad Thai recipe, serves 2

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Pad Thai Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons (about 35 grams) palm sugar, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons water

Pad Thai

  • 4 ounces (100 g) rice noodles
  • 4 ounces (100 g) boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 small head shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ½ tablespoons of chili flakes, or to taste
  • 2 eggs
  • 2.5 cups bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime
  • cilantro


  • Soak the noodles in hot water until they turn from translucent to completely white. Drain.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or a large pan. When the pan is very hot, add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook for 5 more minutes or until meat is fully cooked. Remove and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add another 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots, garlic, and chili flakes. Cook until the garlic starts to brown.
  • Add the noodles and the sauce. Keep stirring until the noodles absorb all the sauce.
  • When all the sauce has been absorbed, push the noodles to one side of the pan and add the eggs. Scramble gently and let the eggs set about half way. Put the noodles on top of the eggs and let the eggs set completely for another 15 seconds. Flip the eggs over and break them up.
  • Add the beansprouts, the chicken meat and half of the peanuts. Turn off the heat and toss to mix.
  • Plate, sprinkle the remaining peanuts and cilantro. Serve with lime wedge.


Easy Chicken Pad Thai recipe – serves 4

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  • Pad Thai Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or light brown sugar)
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • 1/2 to 1 full teaspoon Sriracha or hot chili flakes (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 to 1-1/4 pound (about 4 breast halves) boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced thin

For the stir-fry:

  • 10-12 ounces (250-300 g) of wide rice noodles
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or grape seed oil
  • 4 – 5 cloves of garlic
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup rinsed bean sprouts
  • 1/3 cup chopped lightly salted, roasted peanuts
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro


  • Combine sugar, pepper, tamarind, Sriracha, fish sauce and chicken broth and whisk until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in the noodles, stir and turn off the heat. Allow the noodles soak for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft but still firm in the center. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Heat a large wok or skillet. Add in the olive oil and garlic. Stir-fry for one minute and add the chicken in an even layer. Cook for 5 minutes, flip and cook for 5 more minutes or until fully cooked. Add in the light green onion slices, cook for 30 seconds before adding the noodles, bean sprouts and sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until noodles are perfectly tender.
  • Serve immediately topping with green onion slices, cilantro, chopped peanuts and a squeeze of fresh lime.


Healthy Chicken Pad Thai – serves 3

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For Pad Thai Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 to 1 tsp Sriracha

For the fry-stir:

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large chicken breast, sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 4 oz (100 g) rice noodles
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 tbsp chopped green onions
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • For garnish – sliced limes, chopped peanuts, cilantro leaves, chopped green onions.


  • In a bowl mix together all sauce ingredients.
  • Chop the vegetables and garnishes and slice chicken.
  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, drop in the noodles, stir and turn off the heat. Allow the noodles soak for 5 to 8 minutes or until soft but still firm in the center. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  • Heat sesame oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok
  • Add chicken to heated oil and cook until chicken is cooked through, about 5-8 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  • Add carrots and cabbage to wok and cook about 3 minutes. Push to side and add eggs to other side of the pan. Stir eggs until cooked.
  • Add chicken, noodles, and sauce to the wok. Stir, add bean sprout and stir to combine.
  • Plate, garnish and serve.





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