When Jon and I were in Thailand last summer we ate a lot of street food. The best way to experience the food and culture of a country is to immerse yourself and eat like a local. We found some great Pad Thai during our 14 days travelling through Bangkok and the Thai Islands. Coming back to Canada it’s sometimes hard to find Authentic Thai food especially Pad Thai (they seem to like to add ketchup to it in the Western world). So contrary to what you might think, this dish is traditionally not red/pink in colour. So here is our version, as healthy and authentic as we could manage! We obviously upped the amount of protein that normally comes in this dish and stayed away from the tofu as we tend to avoid soy based products. Enjoy this tasty Thai experience in your own home tonight!
Street Food Pad Thai (makes 6 servings):
200g thick Thai rice noodles
900g chicken breast, cubed
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup green onion
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 tablespoons tamarind paste
2 tablespoon cane/brown sugar
1 minced shallot
1/4 cup of peanuts
1/3 cup dried shrimp (found at most Asian grocers)
1 tsp ground pepper (in Thailand they use white pepper but we used black)
1 teaspoon ground dried chili pepper (or more to your taste)
3 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1) Soak the noodles in enough lukewarm water to cover them until they are flexible but not mushy (about 20 mins). Then toast the peanuts in a saute pan over medium-low heat for about 5 mins or until golden (no oil needed). Chop them when they have cooled enough to touch.
2) Heat the coconut oil in a wok over high heat and cook the shallot and garlic for 1 min then add in the chicken and brown, cooking part way through (about 5 mins).
3) Drain the noodles and add to the wok. Stir quickly so things don’t stick then add the tamarind, sugar, fish sauce, juice of half a lime and chili pepper. The heat should still be on high, if you have a lot of liquid in the pan the heat may need to increase the heat. Add in the dried shrimp here.
4) Push the noodles to the outside of the wok then crack the eggs in the centre. Scramble then fold into noodles. The noodles at this point should be soft and chewy. If they aren’t, add a bit of water (1 tbsp at a time) to cook them a little longer. You can always cover the mixture once you add a bit of water to quicken the cooking of the noodles.
5) Once the noodles are at the right consistency, add in the pepper, half the green onions, half the bean sprouts and half the peanuts, mix to combine. At this point the noodles should be soft, dry and tangled. Taste and adjust seasoning and balance of flavours if needed (add more fish sauce, chili, pepper etc).
6) Pour onto a serving plate or separate into 6 servings then sprinkle with chopped peanuts, the rest of the onion, bean sprouts and serve with lime wedges. Now enjoy this tasty Thai favourite in the comfort of your own home 🙂
Macronutrient Breakdown (per serving):