Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai
The Spruce
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 27 mins
Servings: 3 to 4 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1197 Calories
48g Fat
110g Carbs
89g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 3 to 4
Amount per serving
Calories 1197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 61%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 209mg 70%
Sodium 4766mg 207%
Total Carbohydrate 110g 40%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Protein 89g
Calcium 372mg 29%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A fast, easy version of pad Thai, this yummy recipe will leave you craving more. The key to perfect pad Thai is in the cooking of the noodles—cook them just enough so that they are chewy-perfect. Included is a simple, but authentic pad thai sauce which is tangy and a little spicy. When it's all put together, you'll find there isn't a noodle dish better than world-famous pad Thai!

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Ingredients

  • For the Pad Thai Sauce:
  • 3/4 tablespoon tamarind paste (dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 to 3 teaspoons chili sauce (to taste)
  • For the Pad Thai:
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken breast (or thigh, chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (for stir-frying)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Optional: 1 to 2 fresh red chilies (minced)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (fresh; chopped)
  • 3 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/3 cup peanuts (crushed or roughly chopped)
  • Garnish: lime wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Pad Thai Ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Make the sauce by combining the tamarind paste mixture, chicken stock, fish sauce, brown sugar, and chili sauce. Stir well to dissolve. Taste-test for a tangy balance between sweet and sour. Add more sugar if too sour or more tamarind if too sweet.

    sauce ingredients combined in a bowl
     The Spruce
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and dunk in rice noodles. Stir to separate. Only cook until they are limp but still firm and slightly crunchy (they will finish cooking later in the pan). 

    rice noodles cooking in boiling water
     The Spruce
  4. Drain the noodles and rinse well with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.

    cooked noodles draining in a colander
     The Spruce
  5. Place the chicken in a small bowl. Stir together the soy sauce and cornstarch and pour over the chicken. Stir well and set aside.

    Chicken mixed with soy sauce and cornstarch
     The Spruce
  6. Preheat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil followed by the garlic and minced chili, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds).

    Stir-fried garlic in a pan
     The Spruce
  7. Add the marinated chicken. When the wok or pan becomes dry, add the chicken stock. Stir-fry 5 to 7 minutes, until the chicken is cooked.

    chicken cooking in a pan
     The Spruce
  8. Add the drained noodles and pour the prepared sauce over. Using two utensils or chopsticks, use a gentle "lift and turn" method to fry the noodles (like tossing a salad). Stir-fry in this way 5 minutes, or until the noodles are chewy. If you find your pan too dry, add a little more oil.

    pasta and noodles in a pan
     The Spruce
  9. Add the bean sprouts and continue frying for 1 more minute, or until the noodles are cooked. The noodles are done when they taste chewy and a little sticky. Taste-test for seasoning, adding more fish sauce until your desired flavor is reached (you can add up to 1 tablespoon fish sauce).

    bean sprouts added to wok
     The Spruce
  10. Top with generous sprinklings of fresh cilantro, green onion, and crushed/chopped nuts. Serve with fresh lime wedges on the side.

    Chicken Pad Thai in the pan
    The Spruce

Tips

  • Look for tamarind paste at Asian/Chinese or Indian food stores.
  • If you don't have chili paste, use 1/2 teaspoon or more dried crushed chili or cayenne.
  • For even more flavor, make a double batch of the pad Thai sauce. Then, as you're stir-frying the noodles, add more sauce until you're happy with the taste (you can also add extra fish sauce).
  • Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Is Pad Thai Spicy?

Pad Thai is not typically very spicy and is sometimes served with chili sauce on the side to adjust the spiciness. The dish is salty, tangy, and savory. You can adjust the level of spice in your homemade pad Thai by adding more or less chili sauce.