Thursday, May 19, 2016

Smoky Chicken Pad Thai (American-style)

By virtue of eating (American-style) Thai food for a long time, I thought of sharing my own version of Pad Thai. I just have to figure out for myself how to make it using available ingredients in town. 

I have to remind you-I bought the tamarind paste online and the Pad Thai sauce is store-bought too.

Go to Google shopping; type "tamarind paste" in the search box; choose lowest price and free shipping and voila-pure, unadulterated, sour and dark tamarind paste by Tamicon® will appear right in front of your face. 

Just click and click away and buy. Wait for 1 to 2 weeks for it to arrive on your doorstep. If you can not wait, just go to the nearest Thai restaurant to appease your rice noodles and tamarind sauce cravings!

Which reminds me: I often wonder why Mexico does not mass produce and sell tamarind paste? Tamarind tree and fruit grows in Mexico; they make candies and spicy confections out of it-just like in the Philippines. 

Why do I-and hundreds, if not thousands (talking about Asians-it's millions!) of Asians have to go online or drive hundreds of miles to the 'nearest' Asian grocery store (which is the nearest big city) just to buy this conspicuous ingredient?#$%^&*!  Unless of course you already live in the big city? Well good for you!

Would this musing give a Mexican amiga y amigo an idea of what I'm talking about? And maybe within the next 6 months I'll see some jars of tamarind paste "Made in Mexico" (instead of imported from Thailand!) at the local Mexican grocery store in town.

Anywho...this chicken Pad Thai recipe has smoky notes to it. Yeah-I grilled the chicken until slightly charred.

Makes 2-4 servings


1 lb. chicken tenderloin or breast, marinated for 2 hours in:

2 T tamarind paste (pad Thai sauce is fine)
2 t soy sauce
juice of 1 lime
2 t brown sugar
cracked black pepper
1 t salt


4 T of cooking oil
1 8 oz jar of pad Thai sauce
1 package of flat rice noodles
2 T tamarind paste
1 package bean sprouts

For garnishing:

basil leaves
1/3 cup crushed roasted unsalted peanuts
sliced limes
sliced jalapenos


Cook noodles according to package instructions but less 2 minutes since you will continue cooking the noodles on the pan together with all the other ingredients. Drain and set aside.

After marinating chicken for 2 hours, grill on 400° high until slightly charred on both sides. Let cool for 20 minutes. Cut into strips, set aside.

Using a large wok or pan (not non-stick), preheat cooking oil on medium high until smoky.

Saute bean sprouts for 1 minute.

Add the noodles on top of the bean sprouts then add the grilled chicken strips on top of the noodles. Pour the sauce and tamarind paste on top of the chicken. Lower heat to medium.

Cover to cook for 4-6 minutes.

Uncover. Turn heat on medium high, stir, toss and mix until well incorporated.

Continue cooking; toss and mix to avoid sticking on the pan.

Cooked when noodles are soft but still firm.

Scoop the pad Thai on your plate; garnish with a few basil leaves, 1 T chopped roasted peanuts, squirt of lime juice, a couple slices of jalapeno.


Disclaimer: this is in no way an authentic Pad Thai recipe that is being made in the streets of Thailand: there's no egg, no banana flower and it has chicken compared to the real vegetarian recipe using tofu or instead of chicken-it's usually shrimp. I highly recommend this truly authentic, 'street' Pad Thai recipe and also for a thorough history and also another recipe of Kway teow pad Thai. Look! It has no tamarind sauce/paste! 

With that being said, I hope you enjoy my recipe above. Thanks for visiting!♥