Thursday 5 July 2012


Pad Thai is the perfect epitome of Thai cooking. It is sweet, sour, salty and spicy. It is so delicious and has become ever popular and readily available in most places, even in the ready meals section of the supermarket. Now this is when things go wrong. If food becomes so popular, it becomes commercial and starts to veer away from the essential flavours that it is supposed to have. This is the reason why I'd rather cook pad Thai myself even if I know that I'll never be able to do it as well as the Thais do. At least I know that the end result will be to my liking.

I made pad Thai my way, simplified. Although I do stock up on Asian ingredients, I only buy those that can be used in a lot of dishes to avoid wastage. Preserved turnips and Chinese chives were called for in the original recipe. Since these are ingredients that I never use in my cooking, I decided to do away with it. I used lime juice instead of tamarind concentrate because that is a more accessible ingredient for most people. I didn't use specific recipe but made my own from all the different recipes I've seen and read. I must say that I was pretty satisfied (and full) with the results. It had all the flavours I was looking for and it didn't take long to make. I know I will be making this dish often.


200 gms. of dry flat thin rice sticks
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 (or more if you prefer) of red chilli, chopped
juice of 1 lime
1/4 c. demerara sugar
2 1/2 tbsps. of fish sauce
5 tbsps. of  cooking oil
3 large cloves of garlic, crushed (1 tbsp.)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 small chicken breast, sliced thinly
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 bunches of spring onions, sliced diagonally, green and white parts separated
1 tsp. light soy sauce
20 medium sized, peeled uncooked prawns
1/2 c. bean sprouts
1/4 c. chopped peanuts
Coriander leaves and lime wedges to serve


Soak the rice sticks in warm water just until softened, but not limp. 

Make the pad thai sauce: 

Saute the chopped onions in 2 tbsps. of cooking oil until it starts to colour. 

Add the chopped garlic and chillies and fry for 2 minutes until fragrant. 

Add the lime juice, sugar and fish sauce. Bring to a boil and cook until syrupy. It must be of pouring consistency. 

Heat up a wok until very hot. Add the 3 tbsps. of oil. 

Add the garlic and stir fry for 1 minute. Add the onions and stir fry for about 3 minutes until translucent. 

Put in the chicken and stir fry until it changes colour then add the eggs. Fry while stirring occasionally until the eggs are almost set. 

Add the whites of the spring onions and stir before pushing everything to one side of the wok. 

Add the noodles to the free side of the wok and pour the sauce and soy sauce over it. Stir the noodles and sauce together. 

When it becomes hot and the noodles soften, add the prawns and mix everything, including the chicken mixture, together. Stir fry until the noodles are cooked. 

Add the green parts of the spring onions, the bean sprouts and 2 tbsps. of the peanuts. Stir for 2 minutes before turning the heat off. 

Transfer to a serving dish before sprinkling with coriander leaves and the rest of the peanuts. Serve with lime wedges and more chilli oil.

Serves 4.

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  1. It looks extremely good! maybe cause I am very hungry, but more likely because it is really great!

  2. This is fantastic. We don't see it much at restaurants here so I should just make your recipe. It's looks so good.

  3. What eggs? Your ingredient list makes no mention of eggs, but your directions do.

    1. Sorry about the omission, Kathleen. I have updated the list of ingredients. thanks for pointing that out.

  4. I love making pad thai at home! And I love your practical substitutions - gorgeous dish =)

  5. That looks so delicious! I should really go more into trying some Thai dishes!

  6. This is to die for. Stunning. I always mess up pad thai - the peanuts are always soggy. Have to try your method.

  7. What a great photos. Love your blog!!Meriem

  8. Wow - this reminds me of our wonderful holiday food in Thailand last summer. Loving these stunning photos and so tempting: I should make this at home too and imagine we're in the sunshine - something we're sadly lacking in Paris just now!

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  10. I nominated your blog for the Versatile Blogger Award. Congrat!!

  11. Is there a certain amount of the garlic and gr. onion that should be used for the sauce and then the stir fry? I only see it in the ingredients list if you use it to make the sauce....there is none left to make the stir fry....or am I missing something?

    1. Hi Rose. The ingredients are listed as they are used. Onions and garlic are mentioned twice: the first one is for the sauce and the last one for the stir fry.


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