Awhile back I posted a recipe for Pad Thai that was not particularly authentic but was delicious nonetheless. I decided to go in search of a more authentic version and found this one on the internet. Sadly, I forgot to note where it came from but happily I printed a copy!
This necessitated a trip to the local Asian Market--something I always enjoy--for a bag of banh pho or Thai rice noodles. You can substitute linguine if you have to, but it's so good with the real deal. It was also the only place I was likely to find tamarind paste. Mine came in a plastic wrapped block but I've seen pictures of it in glass jars as well. Tamarind is a fruit and the paste is made from the pulp of the fruit. I've read it keeps for a very long time in the fridge and I'd say mine is going on three months at least with no signs of spoiling.
The recipe does call for fresh bean sprouts but I substituted canned since there have been so many scares about bean sprouts causing stomach ailments due to bacteria.
This is a dish where having a "mise en place" makes the cooking go more easily--meaning have all your ingredients ready beforehand--measured, chopped, etc.--so all you have to do is cook the dish.
This is supposed to serve two, but we got between three and four servings out of it.
8 oz. banh pho or Thai rice noodles
1 to 1.5 cups chopped chicken breast or thigh
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups fresh bean sprouts or 1 regular size canned
3 green onions sliced
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup roughly chopped peanuts
1/4 cup chicken stock
Pad Thai Sauce
3 - 4 TBSP tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water.
2 TBSP fish sauce
1 - 3 tsp chili sauce like sriracha
3 TBSP brown sugar
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
Marinade for chicken
1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 TBSP soy sauce
Cook noodles according to package directions however leave them very al dente because they will cook more later. Drain and rinse with cold water to keep them from sticking (rinse again later if they are sticking.)
Combine ingredients for Pad Thai sauce in a small bowl. Stir well.
Place chicken slices in a small bowl. Pour marinade over chicken and stir well.
Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 to 2 TBSP oil and garlic. Stir fry approximately 30 seconds. Add marinated chicken mixture and cook 5 to 7 minutes. If wok becomes too dry, add chicken broth by tablespoonfuls.
Add noodles and Pad Thai Sauce, Toss the mixture and stir fry 1 to 2 minutes while tossing. Add bean sprouts and cook until noodles are done.
Place on serving plate and top with cilantro and peanuts and green onions. Serve with fresh lime wedges if desired.