Pad Thai is essentially a stir-fry and requires little more than chopping and stirring.
It comes together in less than a half-hour.
Some ingredients in this recipe may be unfamiliar.
The first are the noodles themselves: rice stick noodles, which are pale, translucent, flat and range from very thin to more than a quarter-inch wide. Unlike semolina pasta, rice stick noodles don’t need to be boiled; instead, you soak them in hot water until they’re tender.
Meanwhile, make a sauce from tamarind paste, now easily found in supermarkets.
The paste, made from the pulp of the tamarind pod, is very sour, but more complex than citrus.
Fish sauce (nam pla) is another important ingredient.
Made from fermented anchovies (and much like the garum of ancient Rome), it has an unappealing smell and a fabulous taste.
Honey and rice vinegar round things out.
- If you’re allergic to soy sauce can use salt instead.
- If you like Pad Thai with shrimp, you could use it instead of chicken.
- For vegetarian option, leave out the meat completely.