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Pad Thai

Nov 30, 2006
Recipe Type:

And you think your kitchen is cramped!  I found this amateur video below fascinating. It shows a Thai street food vendor making up a serving of pad thai right before our eyes. In this case, however, she's not so much a street food vendor as a "canal food" vendor with all the cooking taking place within the tight confines of a well-balanced canoe.



  • 8 oz Thai rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 4 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
  • 4 oz fried tofu
  • 6 tbsp roasted unsalted peanuts
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 8 large shrimps, shelled and deveined (50 oz)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 stems green onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp roasted chilies
  • Strips of red pepper
  • Fresh coriander leaves
  • Wedges of lime


1. Soak noodles in plenty of cold water for at least 1 hour.2. Combine tamarind paste with a 1/4 cup warm water in a small bowl and let soak for at least 15 minutes.3. Slice the chicken into 1/4-inch strips. If you find it difficult to cut thinly through fresh meat, leave it in the freezer for 15-20 minutes to harden slightly and then slice. Reserve.4. Slice the fried tofu into 3/4-inch cubes. Reserve.5. Blend or process peanuts into coarse meal. Reserve.6. Return to your reserved tamarind paste in its water. Mash it and transfer the mud-like mixture to a strainer set into a bowl. Mash and push with a spoon, forcing liquid to strain into the bowl. Scrape off the juice that clings to the underside of the strainer. You will have about 5 tbsp of tamarind juice. Add to it the fish sauce, sugar and lime juice. Beat to thoroughly mix and reserve. Discard the solids left in the strainer.7. Heat oil in a wok (or large frying pan) until it is just about to smoke. Add garlic and stir, letting it cook for about 30 seconds. Add chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add tofu and shrimps and stir-fry for 1 more minute. Break eggs into wok and let them fry without breaking them up for 1-2 minutes.8. While eggs cook, quickly drain the noodles and then add to wok, giving them a quick fold, stir-frying for 1 minute from the bottom up. Add reserved tamarind juice, etc. (from step #6) and continue stir-frying, mixing everything together for 1-2 minutes. Your noodles will have subsided to half their original volume and softened up to al dente.9. Add about 2/3 of the reserved ground peanuts and stir. Add about 2/3 of the bean sprouts and all the green onion pieces. Stir-fry for 30 seconds and take off heat.l0. Transfer noodles to a serving dish and sprinkle with roasted chilies. Top with the rest of the ground peanuts, the rest of the sprouts, some strips of red pepper and fresh coriander leaves. Stick a couple of lime wedges on the side and serve immediately.

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