Delicious Recipes for Modern Families

Restaurant Meals at Home: Pad Thai

We all love going out to restaurants, right? Somebody else does the cooking (and the dishes)! We put in our order, and not long after, poof! Food appears on the table. We pay, then we go home.

Well, it’s certainly great in theory. But the reality is that much of the reason why restaurant food tastes so great is that they use copious amounts of oil, butter, salt, MSG, among others. We also don’t really know the quality of the ingredients we are getting or where they were manufactured.

So as convenient as eating in a restaurant, or getting take out, is – we could be getting a heavy dose of fat, sodium, and unwanted additives or chemicals into our bodies. On a regular basis, this could lead to weight gain, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and other unknown side effects of pesticide and other chemical consumption.

On a day-to-day basis, cooking our restaurant favourites at home is more healthy and more economical.

One of our favourite foods is Thai food. I just love the Thai curries, noodle dishes, fish cakes, and more. If you aren’t an experienced cook, Pad Thai is a great recipe to introduce you to Thai cooking and flavours. It’s easy to whip up on a weeknight, and nearly every kid loves noodles. It’s also gluten-free if you use the correct sauces.

Traditional Pad Thai gets its tangy sweetness from tamarind and palm sugar. It can be hard to find either of these ingredients in regular grocery stores, but a simple swap is to use brown sugar and lime juice to get the same balance of tart and sweet.

This dish contains peanuts, and fish sauce. To make the dish vegan or nut-free, you can substitute chopped roasted chick peas, and diluted miso paste for the umami flavour. 

Print Recipe
Easy Pad Thai
For our series on make-at-home restaurant meals, Pad Thai is a takeout favorite that the whole family can enjoy!
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Rice Noodles (225g)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or peanut)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced tofu or chicken
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons roasted, chopped peanuts
  • 3-4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled
Sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Servings
Ingredients
  • 8 ounces Rice Noodles (225g)
  • 2 tablespoons oil (vegetable or peanut)
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce (or Tamari)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (to taste)
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup diced tofu or chicken
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons roasted, chopped peanuts
  • 3-4 sprigs cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled
Sauce
  • 3-4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water
Instructions
  1. First: Prepare the sauce by placing sauce ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 2-3 minutes or until sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Soak and drain the noodles according to package instructions. If the package doesn't have instructions, soak the noodles in warm water for about 15 minutes or till they become pliable. Don’t soak until the noodle is soft enough to eat, or it will turn into mush in the wok. Just soak until it’s pliable and almost edible, like very al dente pasta. Then drain.
  3. Heat the oil in a large wok. Add the crushed red pepper. As soon as they sizzle, add the garlic, then the tofu or chicken. Cook until crispy.
  4. Push the meat to the side, add the egg and cook, breaking it up. Add the noodles, and then a ladle (about ¼ cup) of warm sauce. Stir rigorously, keep everything moving in the wok, and cook the noodle until soft. Remember to break up the noodle and don’t let it lump together.
  5. If the sauce evaporates too quickly and your noodle isn’t quite ready, sprinkle a bit of water and keep stirring, till everything is well combine and the noodles are cooked, but still a little chewy, and not mushy.
  6. Turn off heat, and add the bean sprouts, and green onions and mix well.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges on the side.
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