You'll love this versatile and easy recipe for homemade chicken pad Thai. This recipe packs authentic flavor yet offers time-saving tips. Made with chicken breast or thighs, noodles, healthy vegetables and plenty of amazing sauce. This dish is a must try!
Chicken Pad Thai is a popular dish for good reason. This beloved street food staple is not only delicious but also easy to make at home.
The combination of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors, along with the satisfying textures of noodles and chicken, make this dish a true crowd-pleaser. Enjoy the taste of Thailand in the comfort of your own home, and don't be afraid to customize the recipe to suit your preferences.
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
This Chicken pad Thai recipe is delicious and versatile. If you're making this for the first time, you can save time and pantry space by starting with jarred pad Thai sauce.
If you've tried chicken pad Thai and your family loves, then you may want to invest in ingredients to make your own sauce. This cuts out some preservatives and offers fresh flavor.
It's up to you which way to go with the sauce, but the rest of the recipe remains the same and will produce a meal that full of flavor and ready in no time.
Everything cooks in one large skillet or wok, streamlining clean up so this is a great weeknight dinner for a family.
Leftovers store well and make a great lunch to take to work the next day.
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
This recipe includes a homemade pad Thai sauce. You can save time by using jarred pad Thai sauce. Totally up to you.
For the Sauce
- Soy sauce. I prefer low sodium soy sauce.
- White pepper. This is adds robust flavor and you don't need much
- Lime. You'll use the juice as well as the zest.
- Honey. You can also use brown sugar or regular sugar if you prefer.
- Oyster sauce. You can layer in fish sauce as well if you'd like a more complex flavor. Substitute half the oyster sauce with fish sauce.
- Tamarind paste. This is optional but highly encouraged if you want more authentic pad Thai flavor. This ingredient can be hard to find in store so you may need to plan in advance and order it from amazon.
- Garlic. To save time, i use garlic paste but you can use fresh or minced garlic as well.
- Peanut butter or cashew butter. This is optional but adds a thickness to the sauce and nice flavor.
- Sesame oil. Toasted sesame seed oil will add additional flavor.
- Chicken. Breasts or thighs can be used depending on your preference of light or dark meat. I prefer to buy pre-cut chicken breast to save time chopping. Pay dry before cooking to achieve a nice sear, locking in moisture.
- Rice noodles. These are natural gluten-free which can be easy on the tummy.
- Shallot. This is a subtle layer of flavor. It's okay to leave it out if you don't have it but does add a nice touch of that authentic Pad Thai flavor.
- Garlic. Again — fresh, paste or minced. You choose.
- Ginger. I prefer to use ginger paste to save time.
- Eggs. Large sized eggs.
- Mung bean sprouts. They are canned. Be sure to drain away the liquid.
- Green onion. These add crunch and a pretty green garnish to the finished dish.
- Red bell pepper
- Crushed peanuts. You can also use cashews to change up the flavor or if you have someone with a peanut allergy.
- Lime wedges.
- Fresh cilantro. Chopped. I like to buy this already chopped. It saves a lot of time!
- Red pepper chili flakes or chili powder. To taste for spice.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
This Chicken Pad Thai recipe comes together in 6 basic steps.
Here's a look at how to prep and cook this dish:
- Combine sauce ingredients.
- Cook chicken.
- Prepare noodles.
- Cook vegetables and egg.
- Toss vegetables with sauce, noodles and egg.
Very straight forward with awesome results!
★ Tips & FAQs ★
What is Chicken Pad Thai?
Chicken Pad Thai is a popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish that typically includes rice noodles, chicken, and a flavorful combination of ingredients such as bean sprouts, peanuts, eggs, and green onions. It is known for its sweet, savory, sour, and spicy flavor profile.
Is Pad Thai always made with chicken?
No, Pad Thai can be made with various proteins or even tofu to suit dietary preferences. Shrimp, beef, or a combination of different proteins are commonly used alternatives.
What gives Chicken Pad Thai its unique flavor?
The unique flavor of Chicken Pad Thai comes from the combination of ingredients in the sauce, including soy sauce, tamarind paste, oyster sauce, fish sauce, sweetener (honey or sugar), and chili powder for spice. This blend creates an appealing balance of sweet, salty, tangy, and spicy notes.
Can I make Chicken Pad Thai vegetarian?
Absolutely! You can replace the chicken with tofu and omit the fish sauce or use a vegetarian substitute. Ensure that other ingredients, such as sauces, are also vegetarian-friendly.
Can I use different noodles in Pad Thai?
While rice noodles are traditional, you can experiment with other types of noodles or even use spaghetti noodles if that's what you have. Keep in mind that the texture may vary, so adjust cooking times according to package directions.
How do I prevent the noodles from sticking together?
To prevent noodles from sticking, ensure they are well-soaked before cooking. Stir frequently while cooking, and adding a bit of oil to the noodles after draining can also help.
What type of pan is best for cooking Pad Thai?
A wok or a large, flat-bottomed pan works well for cooking Pad Thai. The wide surface area allows for even cooking and quick stir-frying.
Can I make the sauce ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the Pad Thai sauce in advance and store it in the refrigerator for convenience. Just give it a good stir before using to ensure all the flavors are well combined.
How do I adjust the spice level?
The spiciness of Pad Thai can be adjusted by varying the amount of chili powder, flakes or adding fresh chili according to your preference. Start with a small amount and taste as you go.
What are common garnishes for Chicken Pad Thai?
Common garnishes include chopped cilantro, lime wedges, and crushed peanuts. These add freshness, acidity, and extra crunch to the dish. They also create a dish that looks as good as it tastes!
Can I reheat Chicken Pad Thai?
Chicken Pad Thai can be reheated in a pan or the microwave. Add a splash of water or chicken broth to revive the noodles and prevent the chicken from drying out. Reheat just until warmed. Stop and stir as needed.
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Chicken Pad Thai
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 lime juice & zest
- ¼ cup honey or brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon oyster sauce sub 1 tablespoon of fish sauce if desired
- 2 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste optional (adds spice)
- 2 tablespoon peanut or cashew butter optional
- 4 tablespoon sesame oil divided
- 1 lb chicken breast or thighs cut into bite-sized chunks and pat dry
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 1 shallot thinly sliced
- 5 teaspoon garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 2 eggs whisked
- 14 oz can mung bean sprouts drains
- 5 green onion sliced in one inch pieces, reserve some garnish
- 1 red bell pepper seeded and thinly sliced
- ½ cup crushed peanuts or cashews
- 4 lime wedges
- 2 tablespoon fresh cilantro
- chili powder or red pepper chili flakes to taste, for spice
- Make the sauce. In a small bowl combine all sauce ingredients, cover and set aside.
- Make the noodles. Soak your dried rice noodles in very hot water for 10 minutes, until soft.* Drain and set aside.
- Stir-fry the chicken. In a large skillet or wok add 2 tablespoons sesame oil, and set to medium-high heat. Once hot, add in chicken pieces. Stir to brown all sides. Stir and cook about 7-8 minutes or until internal temps reads 165˚F then remove and set aside.
- Sauté aromatics and vegetables. Heat remaining 2 tablespoon sesame oil in skillet then add garlic, shallot, and ginger. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Then, add in red bell pepper, cooking another minute.
- Combine. Add in noodles, green onion, mung bean sprouts, and sauce. Gently toss to combine, careful not to break the noodles.Move noodle mixture to one side of the skillet. On the bare side, add eggs and whisk them in the pan. Let thicken for about 1 minute then cover with noodles and cook for one more minute.
- Serve pad Thai hot, topped with crushed peanuts (or cashews), cilantro and lime wedges.