I have made so many versions of Pad Thai I’ve lost count. A couple of times I went to an Asian market and sought out tamarind paste and dried shrimp to create an authentic version. I’ve made it with kelp noodles and spiralized zucchini to keep it grain-free. I’ve added shrimp and chicken and made it meatless. I’ve made (and share on her) a Rachael Ray take on the dish that used ketchup in the sauce.
I’m not going to lie: the one that required the more obscure ingredients and steps was by far the tastiest. Keeping it real, however, I made that one as a special treat for my husband. The Asian market has since closed down, and it’s not very likely I’d get my kids to eat dried shrimp.
Here is a nice, solid compromise from Epicurious. No ketchup involved, and a very simple prep process. You can have dinner ready in minutes flat! You can add some protein if desired, and add an extra shake of red pepper flakes to your own portion if you like a little heat.
Please don’t omit the fish sauce here, as it’s really the key ingredient to getting the slightly tangy flavor characteristic of Pad Thai sauce. If you’re not familiar with it and wary of fish, I can assure you the condiment actually doesn’t have a very fishy taste at all.
Rice noodles are naturally gluten-free, so using gluten-free soy sauce as well makes this a gluten-free meal. I used palm sugar in lieu of brown to keep things cleaner, but it’s also actually more widely used in Thai cuisine so adds a more authentic flavor to the sauce.
Easy Pad Thai
adapted by Epicurious
8 oz. thin rice noodles
2 tbs. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tbs. gluten-free soy sauce
juice of one medium lime
2 tbs. palm sugar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 green onions, sliced
1/4 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves only, roughly chopped
1/4 cup chopped, unsalted organic peanuts
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Add the noodles and cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until tender. Drain the noodles and set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, or until tender.
Whisk the eggs lightly with a fork. Pour them into the skillet and cook just until they solidify, but are still moist, moving the eggs around the skillet slightly as they cook so that they lightly scramble. When the eggs are cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, fish sauce, and red pepper flakes. Pour the sauce into the skillet with the scrambled eggs. Add the noodles and toss to coat in the sauce.
Sprinkle the green onions, cilantro, and peanuts over the noodles. Toss lightly to combine. Serve warm.