Chicken Pad Thai
with broccoli / bean sprouts / peanuts
Master the well-loved Thai take-out dish in your own kitchen with this classic recipe for Pad Thai! The combination of textures, flavors and colors make this a dish that's easy to love and worth a special trip to buy the star ingredient - tamarind concentrate.
Smarts: Pad Thai sometimes has a red-ish hue. In Thailand it comes from shrimp paste, but elsewhere, it's often a bit of ketchup added to the sauce. If you want that red color, add a tablespoon of ketchup (for 4 servings) to your sauce.
- Broccoli, florets - 4 oz, chopped
- Bell peppers, any color - 1, sliced
- Peanuts, roasted and unsalted - 1/4 cup, chopped
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lb, chopped
- Cilantro - 4 Tbsp, leaves torn
- Limes - 1, wedges
- Rice noodles - 8 oz
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Water - 2 Tbsp
- Tamarind sauce (ingredients listed separately) - ~1/2 cup
- Bean sprouts (op) - 1 cup
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
- Tamarind concentrate - 2 to 8 Tbsp (find this at an international market or on <a href="https://amzn.com/B000UWKMDI" target="blank">Amazon</a>)
- Stock, any type - 1/3 cup
- Soy sauce, low-sodium - 2 Tbsp
- Sugar, brown - 2 1/2 Tbsp
- Cornstarch - 2 tsp
- Make tamarind sauce - Double if making Thursday's meal. Combine tamarind concentrate (start with the low end of the range), stock, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Place pan over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 1 minute until sugar and cornstarch dissolve. Taste sauce and adjust to your preference, adding more tamarind concentrate, more sugar, some salt or some red pepper flakes if you'd like (note: commercial tamarind concentrate can vary widely in flavor, so add as much as you would like up to the upper end of the range provided). Simmer until sauce thickens slightly, 2 to 3 minutes more. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Broccoli / Bell peppers / Nuts - Prep as directed. Combine vegetables in one container. Store nuts separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Slice against the grain into strips (i.e., look for the grain of the meat and slice perpendicular to it). Tenderize with a fork and season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Cilantro / Lime wedges - Prep as directed. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
- Soak noodles in warm tap water (it should feel quite warm but not hot) until tender and pliable but still have a bite, 8 to 10 minutes. (To test if they are ready, twist a single noodle around your finger. It should wrap easily but not break.)
- While noodles soak, heat a wok or saute pan with first part of cooking oil over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and saute until chicken is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes. Set chicken aside and return pan to heat.
- Add second part of oil to heated pan and then add broccoli and bell peppers with some salt. Season with some salt and pepper and saute for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Pour water over vegetables and reduce heat to medium. Cover with a lid or foil and steam vegetables until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.
- When vegetables are cooked, add noodles and sauce (remember to save half if doubled for Thursday) to pan and saute until noodles are heated through and tender, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Remove pan from heat and add bean sprouts and chicken to vegetables. Toss until ingredients are well combined.
- Divide noodles between serving bowls and top with peanuts, cilantro, lime wedges and red pepper flakes. Enjoy!
The noodles did not cook enough with this method. They need hot water!!0 Helpful
I did not have tamarind so I used red curry paste. Family loved it0 Helpful
This was definitely not pad thai. Too sweet, too sticky. I even added fish sauce to counteract the cloying sweetness of just 2 TBS of the tamarind concentrate, to no avail. The noodles also required more soaking than the recipe advises - were I to make it again, I'd consider boiling them. Swap out the tamarind entirely, add some garlic and fish sauce and green onions, and this might be a good recipe. It would be great if Cooksmarts offered another version of pad thai, as it's definitely a favorite.0 Helpful
I had to make a substitution - my store didn't have tamarind so I had to buy the Kroger Brand Pad Thai sauce. It was very delicious! I really liked the bell peppers steamed. In the future I would let the noodles soak a little longer because they were a little tough, but I added a little water and let them steam a little bit i the pan and it worked out ok.0 Helpful
This was a hit with the family. We will make it again with a few adjustments. We will make half of it with no spice and with chicken and the other half with shrimp and spice. Also think will will add some lightly scramble egg since that is how we often see it at restaurants here. Yum!0 Helpful
This was my least favourite cooksmarts to date (albeit this is only after a few weeks). It was a lot of effort and I found the sauce not great. However I think this may have been caused by a few errors on my part. I used vermicelli rice noodles (much thinner) and I think thicker ones would've been better. The rice thin rice noodles were difficult to stir everything together. Also at my store, all we could find was basically like a "brick" of tamarind - not tamarind concentrate. While it was neat to buy something I have never even heard of before, it was hard to figure out how much to use (I think I used too much), I have no idea how I am going to use the rest of the brick up, and I have no idea how using this kind instead of the concentrate in the recipe may have messed up my sauce. Next time I attempt I will use the thicker noodles, and I think I may just cop out and buy pre-made pad thai sauce...0 Helpful