Monday, March 23, 2009
Classic Pad Thai with Chicken and Tofu
Every now and then, I like to indulge in a take-out meal. Some days, the fridge is empty, or you don't have the time or the motivation to cook, and so reaching for the delivery menu is a guilty pleasure, even for a culinary school graduate!
One of my favorite indulgences is Pad Thai, that perennial workhouse of take-out Thai places: I've always felt that it was a bit of a shame that this light, tangy, dry noodle dish was only mostly enjoyed from a carton with disposable chopsticks. So, tonight I pulled out the massive Hot, Sour, Salty Sweet cookbook that has sat untouched on my coffee table for far too long, and adapted this recipe, which worked quite well. It was quick to make, full of flavor and less greasy that most ordered-in versions.
Classic Pad Thai with Chicken and Tofu (serves 4)
Banh Pho Rice Noodles 1/2 lb or enough for 4 people
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 chicken breasts
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 cup of cubed, firm tofu
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of Fish Sauce
2 tablespoons of Tamarind Paste, soaked in 2-3 tablespoons of warm water for 10 minutes
1/2 cup bean sprouts
4 spring onions, green and white parts roughly chopped
One handful of chopped coriander
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
1 lime, quartered
Prepare all of the ingredients before you start cooking, as the stir fry process goes quite quickly. Soak the noodles in warm water for 20-25 minutes prior to cooking. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces and mix in a bowl with the sugar. In a separate bowl, mix together the fish sauce and soy sauce. Strain the tamarind mixture and add it to this bowl as well. In a third bowl, beat the three eggs lightly and reserve.
Heat a wok on medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and the garlic. Stir fry for about a minute or just until the garlic browns. Add the chicken and allow it to sear for about 30-seconds, and stir fry for an additional 1-2 minutes to cook. Add the tofu cubes and sear them as well for 1-2 minutes. Pour over the egg mixture and allow it to set for 2-3 minutes. Carefully break up the egg with a wooden spoon. Remove the egg and chicken mixture from the wok and reserve.
Rinse the wok and place back over high heat. Add the remaining one tablespoon of oil, and, when it is hot, add the drained noodles. Allow them to fry for about a minute. Add the tamarind and soy sauce mixture and stir. Add the bean sprouts and green onions and stir the mixture for another 30 seconds. Add back the chicken and tofu, cook for another couple minutes and serve with coriander, peanuts, and lime wedges. Enjoy!