Hi everyone, how are you holding up? It is day 9 of the coronavirus quarantine and we're starting to go a little stir crazy. What does your day look like? For me, I wake up with Reva around 6:30 and basically figure out methods of entertainment for 12 hours straight- with two breaks where she naps and I work. So far we've discovered that using the baby bathtub in the bedroom to collect toys is semi-fun, throwing the laundry all over the floor is more-fun and eating dust + dried plant leaves that have fallen from their family is the most fun! The one upside to all this time of home: plenty of recipe-testing opportunities. I am so excited to share my latest, easy chicken Pad Thai. This recipe REALLY wow'd me, and I think you'll love it too!
I've been cooking SO MUCH and doing lots of demos on Instagram, which might be the only silver lining to this situation. Well that, and the environment. Finally giving her a much deserved break- right Greta?
Miraculously, I'm happy to report that I'm also still married and no divorce proceedings have been filed. Let me tell you, milling around a 750-sq ft apartment for 9 days straight with 3 humans and a dog can certainly make anyone go coo-coo-ca-choo.
Moving on to brighter things.... this chicken pad-thai! As most of you can probably tell, I don't have that many Asian recipes on the site, largely because I'm intimidated by Asian cooking. I'm trying to get over this, and create interpretations of recipes that I like with less ingredients. This pad thai sauce is funky, sour, and creamy, all in 4 ingredients. Let me tell you more about it!
What Makes My Pad Thai Special?
It tastes as good as takeout, except it's ready faster than you can decide between the curry puffs and the chicken satay on Seamless. Also, mostly ingredients you probably have in your pantry, aside from the fish sauce, which you should definitely buy. This one is very, very good. Fish sauce is funky and provides a depth of flavor that simply does not compare to soy sauce!
Why use Chicken Thighs?
My husband calls these "dark meat chicken cutlets" which is hilariously endearing and not exactly accurate, but hey, I get him. When given the choice between chicken thighs and chicken breasts, I always go for the thighs. Boneless, skinless thighs are much less likely to dry out, are more flavorful, juicier, and just all around better (imho!) Also, if you sear them in the pan, you can get a nice flavor base for your sauce.
Why "Dry The Chicken?"
In order to get crispy chicken, you need to pat it dry so that it SEARS in the pan, instead of STEAMS. To achieve this, place your chicken thighs on a paper-towel lined cutting board and press down to get rid of all the extra moisture. This will give you a golden crust!
To be completely honest, you can use any vegetables that you have on hand for this Chicken Pad Thai. I personally love zucchini because it is silky and mild, and provides a nice green color, but anything from cabbage to broccoli to bell peppers will work. The key to keep in mind is that if you're using a ton of different vegetables (more than 1 cup chopped veg) you may need to make double the sauce, otherwise it won't be as flavorful.
Can I Make This Pad Thai Vegan?
To make this recipe vegan, you will need to make a few swaps. Trade fish sauce for liquid aminos; remove the egg and the chicken and add half a block of chopped tofu, preferably one that has been marinated or flavored!
Can I Make This Nut-Free?
If you are allergic to nuts, I would swap out the peanut butter for a seed butter, like sunflower-seed butter. Skip the chopped peanut topping as well.
Don't Drain Your Pad Thai Noodles!
When cooking pasta or noodles, the starchy water is key to getting a silky, beautiful sauce. Rather than draining and rinsing your noodles before adding them to the chicken/veg, use tongs to remove the cooked noodles directly from the water and place them into the sauté pan. The starchy coating will help us get a nice sauce!Print
simplified version of the Thai classic with chicken, egg, zucchini, and a silky peanut sauce
- 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter (preferably organic + good quality, it makes all the difference )
- 3 tbsp fish sauce (I like "red boat" brand )
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar ((the seasoned one))
- 2 tbsp grade B maple syrup
- 5 tbsp water (divided )
- 12 oz pad thai rice noodles
- 1 small zucchini (sliced into half moons)
- 3-4 chicken thighs (boneless + skinless)
- 1/2 lime
- 2 eggs
- 1 bunch of scallions
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp oil (I used coconut oil)
- Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and allow it to come to a rolling boil
- While the water boils, whisk together your sauce ingredients: peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, fish sauce, and 4 tbsp of water. Set aside.
- Bring a large pan to a medium-high heat and add your 2 tbsp of oil. Dry your chicken breasts really well and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Then add them to the pan and cook for 4 minutes per side, flipping in between.
- Once the water is boiling, add the rice noodles.
- While the chicken and noodles cook, slice your zucchini and scallions. In a small bowl, whisk your eggs with 1 tbsp water.
- When the chicken is cooked on both sides, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add zucchini and 3/4 of the chopped scallion to the pan and cook on high heat for 2 minutes with a tiny pinch of salt. Save your remaining scallion for the topping.
- Push zucchini to the sides of the pan, making a large space in the middle for the eggs.
- Pour eggs in, and turn the heat down to medium. Stir with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula constantly until the eggs begin to cook. Once they form clumps (they should look like scramble eggs) go over to your chicken and quickly slice it into large chunks.
- Add chicken to the pan, then mix to combine.
- Using tongs, add noodles directly from their water into the pan with chicken and add sauce. Quickly toss noodles with sauce and pan contents. If it feels sticky, add a little bit more water. Your heat should be on high at this point.
- Once the noodles are combined with the toppings (1-2 minutes) top with scallions and squeeze the lime over the pan. Serve immediately! If you'd like, you can also serve with some chopped peanuts and chili flakes and/or sriracha.
- Category: Entrees
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: chicken pad thai, thai recipes, thai food, easy chicken pad thai, easy thai cooking, thai cooking, pad thai, peanut sauce