I love me some delicious pad thai. Mmm, mmm, mmm. Shrimp, chicken... it doesn't much matter. Until this past year, I had never thought about making it at home. But my kitchadventurous sister-in-law introduced me to homemade pad thai and my life will never be the same! Thanks, L!
I normally use a great recipe from Cook's Illustrated (which I highly recommend!), but there is a time and place for a shortcut. That time and place was Sunday... I was stuck at the grocery store getting bread for sandwiches this last week of school, a birthday gift for my big boy, and a couple last minute ingredients for the planned pad thai on our dinner menu. But the afternoon disappeared and as I was running down the international foods aisle closing in on meal time, I saw pre-made pad thai sauce, by Thai Kitchen. It was on sale. I grabbed two jars and prayed it would be good.
Turns out, sometimes desperation pays off. The finished chicken pad thai was delicious and came together fast enough to keep the family from starving. Always a good thing. The recipe here is a hybrid from the Cooks Illustrated and the one on the Thai Kitchen pad thai sauce jar. Like all pad thai, unless done wrong, it is gluten-free and dairy-free.
Shortcut Chicken Pad Thai
Makes about 4-6 servings
14 oz package rice noodles
1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
4 lightly beaten eggs
2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 jar Thai Kitchen Pad Thai Sauce
1 bunch (8-ish) thinly sliced green onions
2-3 cup bean sprouts
1 can tiny shrimp
1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted peanuts (optional)
Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
Lime wedges (optional)
Bring 6 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Remove from heat. Add rice noodles; let stand 8 to 10 minutes or until noodles are soft but firm. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Set aside. Heat half the oil in large skillet or wok on medium-high heat. Add eggs; scramble until set. Remove from skillet. Add remaining oil to skillet. Add chicken; stir fry until cooked through. Add rice noodles, Pad Thai sauce and green onions; stir fry 3 to 4 minutes or noodles are tender. Stir in bean sprouts, tiny shrimp, and scrambled egg. Place noodle mixture on serving platter. Sprinkle with peanuts. Serve with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges.This recipe is equally good as leftovers (plan ahead and sprinkle the peanuts on each portion, because those will get soggy in the fridge). These pictures are of my lunch the next day, when no one was too hungry to wait for fiddly pictures :)