You can make this easy Chicken Pad Thai in the comfort of your own home! Rice noodles are tossed with chicken, peanuts, garlic and simple homemade pad thai sauce for a ridiculously delicious chicken pad thai! Serves 6 in under an hour.
Between kids doctors appointments, a haircut and color and a Sur la Table yearly birthday shop-a-thon with my mom, I had no time to meal prep this week. All this busy stuff meant I had to get up early (3 days this week!) like most normal humans, shower and dress in something other than my Lululemons and a hoodie. You know, actually look somewhat presentable and not like a flour-dusted and butter-smeared slob.
What you didn’t know that food blogging isn’t ultra glamorous? Ha.
After all that running around I was hangry. So you can imagine how extremely excited/thankful/delighted I was to come home to chicken pad thai leftovers. Ready and waiting for me to reheat and inhale.
Best. Lunch. Ever.
Truth be told, the first time I tried Pad Thai I wasn’t a fan. I think I judged it by its looks and was confused by the whole “it’s basically just noodles with peanuts on top” situation. Back then (something like 12+ years ago) I had no clue, no blog and obviously no taste.
Now? I could eat it every day of the week.
T0 Make This Easy Chicken Pad Thai You Will Need:
- low-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- stir-fry rice noodles
- pad thai sauce (see post below for ingredients)
- bean sprouts
- green onion
- lime wedges (not pictured- oops.)
First things first, soak your rice noodles! This is the EASIEST method and a total time saver. Place 14 ounces of rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with lukewarm water. Like magic, they will soften! They aren’t fully cooked, but soften up enough that stir-frying will finish the cooking process.
During this time is when I prep, prep and more prep. This recipe is like 70% prep and 30% cooking.
After the noodles have soaked for 1 hour, drain and set off to the side. To save you even MORE time, this can be done a day in advance. However I would recommend, covering them before refrigerating.
I l-o-v-e ground peanuts on my pad thai. I throw a cup or so into my mini food processor and grind them right up.
To Make The Pad Thai Sauce You Will Need:
- light brown sugar
- white pepper
- tamarind paste
- fish sauce
- low-sodium chicken broth
In a medium bowl, measure and add 4 tablespoons light brown sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon white pepper, 1 tablespoon sriracha, 2 teaspoons tamarind paste (different brands can affect how much you need to add – so add to taste), 2 tablespoons fish sauce, 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth and whisk to combine. Set aside for now.
You may be thinking 1 tablespoon is a lot, however this recipes will feed 6 (unless you’re like us and gluttons for pad thai, then 4) and therefore spread amongst 6 servings and not overly spicy.
Now let’s move on to the chicken. In a shallow bowl add 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds (or about 4) of boneless, skinless chicken breast halves. I like using these thinner cuts of chicken because it’s easier to slice and cut into small 1-1/2-inch bite-size pieces.
Place the sliced chicken into a bowl and add 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce or tamari and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cornstarch.
Use tongs to toss well to coat and set off to the side for a smidge.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large wok or chefs pan on medium-high heat until shimmering. Once hot (a small sprinkle of water should pop and hiss) add in all of the chicken and spread in an even layer. Cook undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes.
Then toss and cook on the second side for 1 to 2 minutes.
Once the chicken is browned, add in 1/3 cup finely chopped or ground (lightly salted) roasted peanuts with 4 cloves minced garlic.
Stir fry for 1 minute.
Next add in the soaked and drained rice noodles. Soaking does not mean they are fully cooked, just par-cooked and will continue to cook as you stir-fry.
And give the pad thai sauce a quick stir before pouring it in to the wok as well.
Toss and cook the noodles until al dente (tender with just a little chewiness).
Scoot the chicken and noodles off to the side of your pan or wok.
And immediately add in the two eggs. I crack them into a small bowl beforehand to make this step easier. Allow the eggs to cook for a minute or so before tossing them with the noodles and chicken. Keep tossing until the egg is fully cooked or “scrambled”.
If you are allergic to eggs, skip this step.
Lastly, add in 12 ounces (rinsed) bean sprouts and 6 green onions that have been cut into 1-inch pieces.
I find that using two spatulas or wooden spoons to toss the chicken pad thai around, really helps gets things mixed throughout.
Serve this easy chicken pad thai in bowls topped with the torn cilantro leaves, extra ground peanuts and lime wedges.
I personally feel, that this chicken pad thai recipe is pretty darn perfect. Not too sweet or sour or salty, just pure deliciousness and I can honestly say this is the BEST Pad Thai I’ve had in a long time, if ever.
And I think you will love it too!
For More easy and delicious Stir-Fry Recipes Click Here!
Enjoy! And if you give this Chicken Pad Thai recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!
Easy Chicken Pad Thai
FOR THE PAD THAI SAUCE:
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha, plus more for serving
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste, brands may be different so you might need to adjust more or less
- 1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves or tenders, sliced thin
- 3 tablespoons low-sodium tamari
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
FOR THE STIR-FRY:
- 14 ounces stir-fry rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon extra light olive oil
- 1/3 cup finely chopped or ground roasted peanuts, lightly salted, plus more for serving
- 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced or squeezed through garlic press
- 2 eggs
- 12 ounces fresh bean sprouts, rinsed
- 6 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/4 cup torn fresh cilantro, for serving
- lime wedges, for serving
FOR THE RICE NOODLES:
- Place the noodles in a large bowl and cover wit lukewarm water. Let sit for 1 hour, drain and set aside.
FOR THE PAD THAI SAUCE:
- In a medium bowl combine the sugar, cornstarch, white pepper, Sriracha, tamarind, fish sauce and chicken broth. Whisk until sugar has dissolved and set aside.
FOR THE CHICKEN:
- Then in shallow bowl combine sliced chicken, low-sodium tamari and cornstarch. Toss to coat and set off to the side.
FOR THE STIR-FRY:
- Meanwhile heat olive oil a large wok or 12-inch chefs pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is shimmering and hot, add all of the chicken and spread in an even layer. Cook undisturbed for 3 to 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more minutes or until fully cooked.
- Next add in the peanuts and garlic. Stir fry for 1 minute.
- Add in the noodles and sauce. Stir fry for a few minutes until the noddles are tender with just a bit chew to them. May add a little water if need be.
- Add the green onion slices, cook for 30 seconds before adding the noodles, bean sprouts and sauce.
- Scoot the chicken and noodles to the side and add in the two eggs. Allow them to cook 1 to 1½ mintues before tossing them in with the chicken and noodles.
- Once the eggs have cooked, add in the bean sprouts and green onions. Once they have wilted, serve immediately.
- Divide the chicken pad thai among bowls, topping with chopped cilantro, more ground peanuts, a few lime wedges.
- Squeeze limes over top and drizzle with extra sriracha for extra spice.
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THANK YOU in advance for your support!
You’re from the GR, MI area arent you? Kingma’s Market or the crazy little Asian grocery store on 44th St. I’m sure has your Tamarind. If your grocery store lets you down…hopefully not!
Actually I’m on the other side of the state but I wouldn’t be opposed to driving to GR for tamarind in order to make this 😉
Going on a shopping spree at Sur le Table is a fun birthday tradition! This is one of my take out favorites, but I have never made it at home. I need to change that situation soon 🙂
Awe! You mention me in your blog post. Now I have to go to Meijer and get some tamarind paste. Can’t wait to try this recipe, looks and sounds delicious! : )
You’ve convinced me that I need a wok. I’ve had one on my list for like 14 hundred years now, and I think it’s time I invest. Your work outfit sounds a lot like my work outfit. I stopped buying “real” clothes 2 years ago since I very rarely wear them. Girl, this looks amazeballs.
Looks great – long time follower of your blog. Being asian, having visited Thailand a few times and having made lots of pad thai personally, I would also recommend adding egg (quick stir fry in the wok) and shrimp (also quick stir fry) for an authentic classic pad thai.
Thanks James! I’ve never had egg or shrimp in my pad thai but I will definitely be trying that next. Thanks for the tips 🙂
I am SO going to make this over the weekend! My favorite place for Pad Thai closed 🙁
Well that’s a bummer! Enjoy Jamie!
Yep. Thiiiiiis is happening in my face like, now.
We’re not fish sauce fans in our house, but I love pad thai. Can I just add an extra 1/4 cup of chicken broth in place of the fish sauce?
Hi Tara! You actually need the fish sauce to balance out the tamarind.
This will be a new experience in our home, we have not tried the fish sauce or the wide rice noodles. This looks so good we have to give it a try. Thanks for posting the recipe.
I love pad thai and this looks awesome!!
I share your reluctance to buy some things online. Even when the prices are good, the shipping makes it ridiculous. (Here comes the part where I sound like a shill, I’m not, I swear!). Then I started looking for Sodium Citrate for Modernist Cuisine’s incredible Mac and Cheese. I live in a good sized city, but even the boutique cooking stores didn’t have it. I finally gritted my teeth and went online. And I found Spice Sage. Reasonable prices and free shipping all the time no matter how little you buy (and a free somethin, somethin in ever order). They have tamarind paste, sodium citrate, and everything else I’ve ever had trouble finding at home!
Thank you for this recipe Laurie. I made this last night for my husband. We both really enjoyed it. I couldn’t find Tamarind paste at my grocery store so I used equal parts rice wine vinegar and duck sauce as a substitute.
Made this a few days ago, and it was yummy! Schezuan sauce works well as a substitute for sriracha (didn’t have any and didn’t want to make a 25 mile round trip just for that), the spice levels are probably pretty similar. Does anyone know how well the sauce will keep in the fridge, as I’ll only need to use about half what this recipe makes for a meal for my boyfriend and I?
I did actually buy the tamarind paste online, and got WAY more than I’ll probably ever use (came in 12 oz jars… and you only need a teaspoon or two at a time. O.0 ), but that’s ok. I have friends who enjoy cooking as much as I do so I’ll be gifting them with Pad Thai kits throughout the year I think.
Pad Thai or not, it is DELICIOUS. Store bought sauces have so many ingredients I can’t pronounce, much prefer from scratch whether or not it is “authentic”. My husband helps me prep so that we can pull this off on a weeknight – 15 minutes of prep is a little aggressive, at least for me – it is more like 25 for us but… still manageable on a week night and we have fun with it.
Thanks for the great recipe!
Oh my word!!! I do not know what took me so long to try this. IT IS AMAZING! My husband and I pit the kids to bed and made this. Definitely keeping this recipe on hand! Amazing Laurie!!!
Delicious!!! I love Thai on the weekends but never thought I could make something that tastes better than my regular Thai place we go to. Amazing and easy too!! Thank you so much for the recipe!
I’m SO glad! <3
I’ve long looked for a good copycat recipe for Pei Wei’s pad thai, and finally found one 🙂 “authentic” or not, Pei Wei’s pad thai has no turnip or dried shrimp, and does have cilantro and green onions.
When I go to Pei Wei, I order the sauce on the side, and bring home half the dish. The next day I add extra noodles and carrots and another egg (there is egg in the chicken pad thai).
So when I made this, I added julienned carrots and a red bell pepper. I didn’t have bean sprouts so left them out, and no tamarind paste so used the juice from a lime for that sourness.
The sauce from Pei Wei is very thin, like water, so we left out the cornstarch, and I’m pretty sure they don’t soak their chicken in soy sauce (mine is always very light, soy sauce makes it dark). I used the soy sauce anyway, but dh and I both thought the soy sauce was too strong. My dd wanted all the chicken today for lunch, so I picked it out of my plate and with the deletion of that soy sauce flavor I thought it was even better.
Short answer — dh and I *loved* this and will definitely make again.
Putting the noodles in hot water for 5-6 minutes then rinsing with cold was the first time they actually turned out perfectly. I’ve tried cold soak and so many other methods, and I’ve never gotten them quite right.
Next time we’re skipping the soy sauce entirely.
And I just realized that I hate when people tell you how great a recipe is, but how they changed the whole thing, and that’s exactly what I did LOL
Ha ha! Don’t worry about it, Marjorie! I’m glad you like the recipe and have been able to adjust it to your preference. 🙂
My son is a vegetarian. What can I use as a substitute for fish sauce?
Soy sauce, tamari or coconut aminos can be substituted for fish sauce, however it may alter the final flavors a smidge. Enjoy!
Does anyone have a recommendation for a tamarind paste brand. My Meijer doesn’t carry it.
Hi Nicole! Meijer used to carry it YEARS ago but now I have to order it on Amazon. I have linked to the one I use in the recipe printable!