Pad Thai in simple terms
Garlic. Sugar. Fish sauce. Oyster sauce. If you can remember those four things you can make an amazing plate of Pad Thai noodles whenever you like – cookbook free.
This quad-core flavour explosion can be rustled up in next to no time, so get your fridge stocked up and get your noodle on.
Our Pad Thai knowledge came courtesy of the Baan Thai Cookery School in Chang Mai, northern Thailand. It’s well worth a visit – we also learned how to make Thai spring rolls, red curry paste, and Chang Mai noodles.
Anyway, Pad Thai. Baan Thai says this stir fry should feature chicken (half a breast per person), egg, cabbage, and tofu. We also recall we put some dried shrimp in as well.
However, you can put whatever you want in there, as long as it’s not a vegetable that leaks a load of water when cooked. This will make your noodles feel a bit “festival catering”.
The dish is fried very quick and very hot, so if you’re using meat, make sure you slice it thin so it cooks through.
The recipe is for one person, but we usually double it for two people. If, like us, you don’t have a massive wok, stir fry all the meat and veg as per the recipe below, then divide over two plates. Put one plate’s worth of food back in the wok with noodles for one, and season with the fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.
Plate up and repeat with the other half of stir fried food.
1 portion of dried noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves
half a chicken breast
5 leaves of cabbage
50g very firm tofu
2tbsp fish sauce
2tbsp oyster sauce
1 spring onion
A quartered lime for squeezing over the delicious steaming bowl of noodles.
Cook the noodles as per the packet.
While the noodles cook, peel and smash up the garlic.
Also cut the tofu into bitesize chunks and slice the cabbage.
slice the spring onion and keep separate (it’s going to be sprinkled on at the end).
Cut the chicken into thin strips.
When the noodles are ready, drain them, wash them swiftly in cold water, and let the steam dry.
Now, you’re ready to go with the stir frying. You need to be quick here so have all the stuff you chopped to hand.
Get the wok hot with a high heat, then pour in the two tablespoons of oil.
Shove in the smashed garlic.
Almost immediately, chuck in the chicken and stir fry for a few minutes until it’s cooked.
Stir in the tofu and cabbage and fry until they’re just about cooked.
It’s egg time… and this can be a bit tricky. Push all the stuff in the wok to the side. You might need to add a smidge more oil to the spare bit of wok surface. Crack in the egg.
Once it starts to solidify, break it up and stir into the rest of the food.
Throw in your cooked noodles and stir, then pour 2 tablespoons of oyster sauce, 2 tablespoons of fish sauce, and 1 teaspoon of sugar into your spoon.
Stir this mix into the food for a minute, and then plate up.
Sprinkle over the spring onion and eat it up big time.