Pad Thai Chicken that is so flavorful you will banish the take-out menus forever! Moist chunks of savory chicken, tender red pepper rings and creamy noodles bathed in a soy sauce vinaigrette will have your mouth watering from start to tangy finish. It’s even better made ahead!
Take back your takeout! Next time you are in the mood for Asian noodles, try making them at home. Eat a little healthier and for less money by learning to make your favorites. This is another 30 minute meal that is perfect for busy weeknights! . This is my simple and delicious version of Pad Thai Chicken, with simple ingredients, that can be made easily at home by anyone. In a skillet….in about 30 minutes.
Have you ever wondered what was going into that giant wok behind the counter at the take-out place as my order was being prepared. A ladle of this and a spoon of that from large stainless tubs, meat and veggies tossed in from fryer baskets and viola…ready. I decided to try to re-create a healthier, less fat version at home. After a few epic fails, this is what I learned:
- If you don’t want to be blown out by salty flavor, use low-sodium soy sauce.
- Use lime sparingly as a garnish, this is not Tex-Mex! I found that cooking a halved lime along with the chicken in the pan gave the lime a milder flavor for garnishing that is delicious.
- Use a micro-planer to shred the garlic into the sauce. The tiny pieces add a more subtle garlic flavor. Same with the ginger.
- Folding the peanuts in right at the end rendered them softened but not mushy, and hint of peanut flavor blended into the sauce.
- Now, for the controversial ingredient – linguine noodles. I used them instead of rice noodles because I like the thicker, flour noodles and they hold up as leftovers. Feel free to substitute your favorite noodles.
Tips for making the best Pad Thai Chicken:
- Cut the chicken into bite size pieces when it is really cold, even partially frozen. The chicken will be firm and easier to cut into uniform size pieces.
- I always say this, but a good meat centered meal starts with quality meat, so use organic chicken breasts.
- Use fresh garlic cloves. Garlic is an integral component of this sauce recipe so use fresh if possible.
- Use fresh squeezed lime juice for the best flavor and results.
- This recipe comes together quickly, so have all of your ingredients ready before you start cooking.
What exactly is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish and one of the most simple and delicious street food dishes in Thailand.
Rice noodles stir-fried with eggs and some tofu, shrimp or meat is the basis for the dish. It’s typically flavored with some tamarind, fish sauce, garlic, chili and sugar. There’s also almost always a base of wide rice noodles, a generous sprinkle of crushed peanuts on top, and a lime wedge served alongside.
There is even science behind Pad Thai’s deliciousness. The dish, when made correctly, hits all five flavor centers in the mouth – salty, sour, sweet, spicy and bitter.
TOOLS USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE
- Cast Iron Skillet – I love my cast iron skillet. A well-seasoned cast iron skillet will develop a non-stick surface that can go safely from the stove top then right into the oven. This one has a silicone handle sleeve so you won’t burn your hands!
- Stainless Steel Tongs – great for so many uses in the kitchen. I always reach for these first!
- Microplane Zester/Grater – one of the hardest working tools in my kitchen. Zest citrus, parmesan cheese, spices and more. Razor sharp edges make zesting anything a breeze.
Pad Thai Chicken
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- 16 ounce linguine noodles
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1-1/2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 3 tbsp Thai sweet chili sauce
- 3 cloves garlic, finely grated
- 1/4 tsp grated ginger
- 1 medium lime, juiced
- 2 medium red pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced
- 1 medium jalapeno pepper, stemmed, seeded and chopped
- 2 medium green onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup peanuts, chopped
- Extra chopped peanuts, sliced green onions and lime wedges for garnish (optional)
- Heat a large pot of salted, boiling water. Cook linguine noodles according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add red pepper and jalapeno and cook until tender, 4-5 minutes. Transfer to plate.
- Heat second tablespoon of oil (if needed) in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning until all sides are golden brown and chicken is cooked thru, about 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, brown sugar, chili sauce, garlic, ginger and juice from the lime.
- Add noodles and sauce to the skillet and toss to coat. Fold in the peppers. green onions and peanuts. Cook 2 minutes.
- Serve with extra sliced green onions, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.
NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING
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