Easy Chicken Pad Thai

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm glad to be back in Baltimore! 

The past two months have been pretty hectic, with me basically living out of a suitcase while I lived in LA for 3 weeks and then Southern MD for 4 weeks. I've moved back to Baltimore after having two subletters live in my room one after the other and boy does it feel good to have my own space again. 

Among the more important things, I have my own kitchen back! While I did have a kitchen in my old house in Southern MD, I found myself bored with the aspect of cooking just for myself, with no roommate or friends to share with, so kept it simple and mainly ate salads. Now that I'm back, all the pantry supplies and spices are back where they belong and I can finally whip up some more palatable meals. First up, my version of pad thai--it's easier than you think! 

For me, what sets Thai food apart from other Asian cuisines is the use of fish sauce versus regular soy sauce. You can find numerous brands of it at your local Asian grocery store for <$2 a bottle. Fish sauce has a fishy odor to it in the bottle, but when used in dishes imparts a wonderfully umami flavor that makes a dish unmistakably Thai.  

I followed this recipe from Thai Table for all of the helpful tips and tricks (like how to get your noodles right), but made my own sauce because I didn't have tamarind paste (I used rice vinegar) and knew that it was mostly fish sauce. My recipe is not the most authentic, but more flexible to use up any veggies or protein you have on hand. Thai basil and peanuts are optional--limes are not! 

Yoyo's Easy Chicken Pad Thai
Serves 4
  • 1/2 package Pad Thai noodles
  • 1/2 red and 1/2 orange bell pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 uncooked chicken breast (feel free to use pork, beef, tofu, etc)
  • 1 lime
  • 1 t fish sauce
  • 1 t cooking oil
  • 2 eggs (optional, but used traditionally in pad thai)
  • Pad thai sauce:
    • 2 T fish sauce 
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1 T rice wine vinegar
    • 1 clove minced garlic
  • Garnishes (optional):
    • Thai basil
    • Spring onion
    • Crushed peanuts
    • Bean sprouts
1. Start by soaking your noodles for 30 minutes in a large bowl with tap water, making sure the water covers the noodles. 
2. Prep the rest of your ingredients while the noodles are soaking. Cut your bell peppers, slice your onion into strips, and cut up your chicken. Once they are ready, the rest of the recipe comes together fast. 
3. Marinate chicken in 1 t fish sauce until ready to use
4. Whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.
5. Heat up your wok or cast iron skillet with 1 tsp cooking oil to high. Quickly cook the chicken until no longer pink and then remove from the pan and set aside. 
6. Then, cook your onion and peppers in the same skillet, adding more oil if necessary. Once the veggies are soft (~5 minutes), drain the noodles and add the noodles to the hot skillet, stir frying until the noodles start to become soft.
7. Add the sauce and continue stir frying until noodles are soft to a desired consistency. If you want to add eggs, beat them together and add to one side of the pan with the noodles pushed to the other side. Then wait for eggs to set slightly before mixing together. 
8. Add back the chicken and mix again until the chicken is warmed. 
9. Once the veggies are cooked, the whole process should come together quickly, within 5-10 minutes. 
10. Add your garnishes: thai basil, spring onion, crushed peanuts, and even bean sprouts if you're feeling traditional.
11. When ready to serve, cut the lime into slices and squeeze fresh lime juice on top of each serving.

For me, the combination of pad thai noodles, sweet and savory sauce, crushed peanuts and freshly squeezed lime makes "pad thai," regardless of authenticity. Others agreed as well--I brought it to a potluck and my friends devoured it within the hour! 


  1. yummy! don't get too comfy in baltimore though--see you again so sooonn! :)



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