A Little About Me

New York, New York
As a newly married woman, it has become my mission in life to learn how to cook. Gone are the days of picking up sushi and ordering curries. In order to jump-start my education, I enrolled in the Institute of Culinary Education's Fine Cooking I course where I learned the basics, from roasting to boiling to mousse-making (ok, maybe not that basic)! I've attempted to replicate some recipes - somewhat successfully- and create a few of my own. This blog is for friends and foodies and is intended to document my cooking adventures (and occasional fiascoes). Enjoy the pictures and bon appetite!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Perfect Pad Thai (On Your First Try)

Pad thai is one of my favorite thai dishes, though not something I order often due to its high fat content. (I tend to order the papaya salad instead and steal a few bites off my husband's plate.) Restaurants usually use a lot of oil when making these noodles, so I figured making it at home would let me control how much went into it. What resulted was a version just as tasty as any thai restaurant could have made!

8 oz package of thai rice noodles
1 cup raw chicken breast, cut into chunks
1 tsp corn starch
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
3 minced garlic cloves
3 sliced green onion sprigs
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup roughly crushed peanuts
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3/4 tbsp tamarind paste
1/4 cup warm water
2.5 tbsp fish sauce
1-2 tsp chili sauce
3 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp canola oil
lime wedges

So, just a note on where to purchase some of these not-so-common ingredients. Pad thai calls for linguine-size thai rice noodles. I visited three asian markets and all I found were the uber thin rice noodles. I had almost given up when, of all places, I found just what I needed in Whole Foods! They also sold the tamarind paste, an ingredient I've never used (or heard of) before which serves to give the pad thai it's sour flavor.

The first thing you'll want to prepare is the noodles since they have to soak in warm water for about twenty minutes. The noodles should be al dente since you will cook them more later in your wok.

While your noodles soak, cut your chicken breast into small chunks and marinate them in a mixture comprised of 3 tbsps soy sauce and 1 tbsp corn starch.

Next, crush the peanuts (I like to put the peanuts in a ziplock bag and smack them with a can - great strategy for releasing aggression!), cut the green onions into inch-long pieces, mince the garlic, and rinse the bean sprouts. You'll also want to prepare the pad thai sauce by whisking together the tamarind paste, fish sauce, brown sugar and chili sauce.

Before you begin to cook, quickly fry the crushed peanuts by heating up about a tbsp of canola oil, dropping them in your wok and removing after about 30 seconds. Set aside for later use.

Add about one more tbsp of canola oil and toss in the garlic and green onions. Cook for 30 seconds before adding the chicken (and marinade) and stir fry until fully cooked, about 5 minutes.

Add the noodles to the wok and pour the Pad Thai sauce over everything, mixing well.

Finally, add your peanuts and cilantro and mix all together.

Garnish with a few lime wedges and serve!


  1. Is there anything that you can't cook? AK

  2. "(I like to put the peanuts in a ziplock bag and smack them with a can - great strategy for releasing aggression!),"

    Haha-great line.

    These are amazing pictures Rachel! Hope to see you soon. Very fun blog.