Almost Perfect Chicken Pad Thai
I've been on a long search for the perfect Chicken Pad Thai. So far this is the closest I've come to the wonderful take-out from our beloved Thai Kitchen III:
1 T soy sauce
1 T water
1 T creamy peanut butter
1 t Asian chili paste, such as sambal oelek
3 T canola oil
1 t minced garlic
1 t minced ginger
1/2 C carrots, yellow squash, zucchini – whatever you like. Preferably julienned
4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or thigh, sliced into strips (similar in size to the veggies above)
1/4 pound medium-wide rice noodles, soaked in warm water until softened and drained
1 T light brown sugar
1 T cider vinegar
Chopped Romaine lettuce (makes a wonderful serving bed)
Chopped peanuts, to sprinkle over the top for crunch and sheer deliciousness
Whisk together the soy sauce, water, peanut butter, and chili paste until smooth.
Heat a large wok over medium-high heat, and add canola oil. When the oil is hot, add the garlic and ginger and let cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Be careful! Don't let it brown. Add the vegetables and chicken. Stir-fry until chicken is cooked through – maybe 2 to 4 minutes. Add noodles and toss to coat. (Feel free to make any substitute that works for you if you can't find rice noodles. I've even seen this with rice or plain old Ronzoni spaghetti! Not traditional Thai by any means but whatever works in a pinch.)
Add peanut/spice paste, brown sugar and cider vinegar to wok and toss with abandon. Heat through.
I like to pile the chopped romaine on a big glass platter. Place the Pad Thai on top of the romaine and top with chopped peanuts. Some people enjoy a sprinkling of cilantro leaves or a splash of lime. Your choice.