the best 15 minute pad thai
Submitted - Ben
Ingredients3– 4 ounces dry pad thai noodles (rice noodles)
Boiling water to cover noodles
6–8 ounces tofu, chicken breast or peeled prawns
salt to taste
2 tablespoons peanut oil, wok oil or coconut oil
1 large fat shallot, finely diced
3–4 chopped garlic cloves
1 teaspoon chopped ginger (optional)
2 eggs, whisked with a fork with a generous 3-finger pinch salt ( if vegan, leave it out)
3 tablespoons fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce)
3 tablespoons sugar (or coconut sugar, palm sugar or brown sugar) see notes
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce (or GF liquid aminos like Braggs)
Chili flakes to taste
juice of ½ lime, plus more for garnish
lime wedges, fresh bean sprouts, chili flakes, chopped scallions, roasted peanuts.
MethodPlace rice noodles in a shallow baking dish and boil enough water to cover them. Cover with boiling water for 6- 8 minutes, until tender, then drain. ( They don’t have to be totally soft, just pliable)
In the mean time, slice chicken into very thin strips, ⅓ inch thick x 2 inch long, and season with salt and pepper. (Alternately, press tofu with paper towels to blot dry well. Cut tofu into ¾ inch cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and for extra crispy, dredge in corn starch) Sear the seasoned chicken or shrimp (or poach -see notes below) or sear tofu in a wok with hot oil until cooked through over medium high heat. Set aside, blot with paper towels, wipe out pan. Turn heat off.
Chop shallot, garlic and ginger very finely. Set aside.
In a small bowl whisk the two eggs with a fork and a generous, 3-finger pinch of salt.
In another small bowl, mix fish sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. ( see notes)
Gather your bowls around the stove. Heat 2 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil in the wok over medium heat, add shallot, garlic ginger and stir, cooking a few minutes until golden and fragrant.
Make a well in the center of the wok, and add the whisked eggs. With a metal spatula, scramble them and break them apart into little bits, letting them brown just little, and incorporate them into the shallots and garlic, continuing to break them into small bits.
Add the drained, semi-soft, noodles and toss with the egg mixture, stirring, flipping constantly for a few minutes, until noodles become soft and pliable.
Add the Pad Thai Sauce and the chicken, tofu or shrimp. Turn and toss the noodles for a few more minutes. It will smell quite fishy at first – turn your fan on – but it will mellow out perfectly. Cook until the noodles are soft (but still a little chewy) adding just a little water if it seems too dry. Toss in the bean sprouts and peanuts ( or serve on the side) and sprinkle with chili flakes and scallions. Squeeze with the lime. Give one more toss and serve immediately. Divide among two plates.
Garnish with bean sprouts, fresh scallions, cilantro or basil, lime wedges and roasted crushed peanuts. Or make this Peanut Chili Crunch!
CommentsTips for speed. Doubling the recipe will double the time and be much harder to manage all at once, in one wok. If doubling, I would highly recommend cooking in two batches in the wok.
Use time saving ingredites like store-bought peeled garlic ( or minced garlic) and ginger paste in a tube. Using pre-cooked chicken is fastest -leftover rotisserie chicken is perfect. Also you could make the Pad Thai sauce ahead!
An easy way to cut back on the oil in the recipe is to poach the thinly sliced chicken in a little salted water (just enough to barely cover) in the pan or wok for just few few minutes. Drain and set aside. The thinner you slice the chicken the faster it will cook.
You may be tempted to cut back on the sugar, but understand that pad thai sauce is a very delicate balance between sweet ( sugar), salt (fish sauce) and acid (vinegar) . I’ve already lowered the sugar as much as I could, while preserving the balance. That being said, if you are intent on cutting the sugar back, cut back the on the vinegar as well. 🙂