For someone that never really enjoyed Asian cuisine much, I really have been feeling inspired to make Thai and Chinese dishes recently! I think it’s something about summer – I start craving fresh crunchy vegetables and fragrant spiciness.
This time I gave Pad Thai a go, which is a meal I’ve eaten quite a few times but never attempted cooking before. We were going out for drinks with friends that evening, so it seemed like a good meal to have to fill us up and it goes really well with a G&T 😋! However, when you start cooking it, the sauce does give off quite a smell, so in the pictures you can see I changed t-shirts halfway through to avoid stinking of soy sauce and garlic on the night out!
A full list of ingredients and recipe is at the bottom, but don’t be put off if it seems quite long and complicated (it’s really not!). The key to this dish is getting everything chopped, prepped and to hand before you start cooking. It’s actually pretty easy, even for a novice like me.
I got most of my ingredients from our local Ozmen supermarket, which supplies Asian, Eastern European and African produce. One benefit of my new house move is that I’m right in the middle of loads of independent and varied delis and supermarkets. I got a huge back of beansprouts for only 39p – bargain!
I started by combining soy sauce, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar and sugar to make the sauce. I ended up with about 3-4 bowls around me and a chopping board full of ingredients when it actually came to the cooking. Like I said, it’s all about the prep!
Gin and tonic is not essential – but highly recommended 😉! The lime can be used for the cooking and for the boozing!
Once your garlic, onions and whisked eggs are all fried up, you throw in the noodles, beansprouts and cooked chicken and toss it with the sauce. The sauce absolutely stinks when you first put it in, so make sure you have a window open 😂! But once you’ve let it bubble away for a few minutes it gets less intense – and it ends up tasting delicious, so the smell must not be a bad thing!
Your mixture of noodles, beansprouts, chicken, onions, eggs, peanuts and chilli flakes are then plated up. Garnish with extra crushed peanuts, chilli flakes, spring onions and lime wedges.
I opted for extra chilli and lime, but if you’re not particularly into your spice you can easily leave it out altogether.
And that’s the finished product! The recipe below makes a good sized portion for probably 3 people, but after we’d drank a few more G&T’s we couldn’t resist finishing the lot 😁 This is seriously tasty and packed full of flavour. The spring onions, chilli and lime give it a real kick with the noodles and beansprouts providing lovely substance and texture.
Give it a go!
- Pad Thai noodles
- Bean sprouts
- 2 chicken breasts
- Spring onions
- 2 eggs – whisked with a pinch of salt
- Chilli flakes
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 white onion
- Ginger (either fresh or dried)
- Olive oil
Ingredients for the sauce:
- A few tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- A few tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce (I had to buy a huuuge bottle of this – so expect more Thai dishes coming up!)
- Combine your sauce first – mix the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, fish sauce and sugar in a bowl. Stir it around and then set to one side for later.
- At this point it’s best to prep everything ready for throwing in the pan, as once you start cooking it doesn’t take long before it’s ready to serve. So chop your chicken up into thin bite-size pieces. Chop up all your veggies/garlic/onion, crush the peanuts in a bowl and slice the lime.
- Have everything chopped and separate, ready to go.
- Heat up olive oil in a pan and add your pieces of chicken breast and season with salt and pepper. Cook until slightly brown and cooked through. Take the chicken out and place in a bowl ready for later.
- In a separate pan, place your pad thai noodles and cover them with boiling water for them to soak for around 7-8 minutes. You don’t want them getting completely soft, as they will continue cooking in the pan at a later point.
- Heat up some more oil and fry your garlic, ginger and onions. Fry for a few minutes until fragrant and translucent.
- Push the ingredients round the edge of the pan, making a well. Pour the whisked eggs into the centre and break it up with a spoon so it resembles scrambled egg. Keep chopping and mixing the eggs with the onion mixture until the pieces are small.
- To this mixture, add your drained noodles, beansprouts, chicken pieces and sauce. Leave to bubble for a few minutes, whilst tossing occasionally.
- Sprinkle with chilli flakes and half of your crushed peanuts, keep mixing!
- Plate this up and garnish with spring onions, the rest of the crushed peanuts, chilli flakes and a few wedges of lime. Ta-daaaa!