This recipe is for the classic chicken Pad Thai. It’s a favorite for lots of people because chicken is versatile, cheap, and plentiful. If you use boneless, skinless chicken breast, it can also be healthy and a good source of protein because it is a lean cut of meat. I love chicken, but let’s face it. It can get a little repetitive to eat it all the time. This Pad Thai variation uses familiar ingredients in an exciting way, transforming the ordinary chicken to add to your dinner rotation.
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What I Love About This Classic Chicken Pad Thai Recipe
I’ve made lots of Filipino and other Asian dishes, but I’ve never tried a Thai recipe before. When I found this one, I thought it was the perfect time to give it a go! Also, The flavors in Classic Chicken Pad Thai are so good. It’s a mix of sweet, salty, tangy, and a bit spicy as well and it’s super yummy. The special ingredients like soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, and lime juice make it taste just right.
This recipe is very popular in Thai cuisine. And you can make it fast because there’s not a lot of work. It’s like eating at a restaurant, but you don’t have to wait a long time.
You can change this Pad Thai to be exactly how you like it. If you like things spicy, you can make it spicy. You can use shrimp or tofu instead of chicken if you want. You can also add your favorite veggies.
The Versatility of Chicken in Cooking
Chicken is renowned for its versatility in the culinary world, a trait that makes it a staple in kitchens globally. This versatility stems from several key factors:
- Neutral Flavor: Chicken has a relatively mild taste, making it a perfect canvas for a wide range of flavors and cuisines. Whether it’s the spicy kick of Asian dishes or the subtle herbs of Mediterranean cooking, chicken effortlessly adapts to the flavors it’s paired with.
- Various Cooking Methods: Chicken can be cooked in numerous ways—grilled, baked, roasted, sautéed, stir-fried, or slow-cooked. Each method brings out a different texture and flavor, allowing chicken to be the star of a hearty roast or a quick stir-fry.
- Health Benefits: As a lean source of protein, chicken is a healthier alternative to red meats. It’s low in saturated fat while being high in essential nutrients, making it a popular choice for those looking to maintain a balanced diet.
- Different Cuts for Different Dishes: Chicken is divided into various cuts, such as breasts, thighs, wings, and drumsticks, each lending itself to different dishes. For instance, breasts are great for grilling and baking, while thighs are better suited for slow-cooking due to their higher fat content.
- Economic and Widely Available: Chicken is generally more affordable and accessible than other meats. Its affordability, combined with its long shelf life (especially when frozen), makes it a convenient option for many households.
- Cultural Universality: Chicken is used in almost every cuisine around the world. From the classic American fried chicken to the traditional Indian chicken curry, its presence in diverse cultural dishes highlights its global appeal.
- Adaptability to Dietary Needs: Chicken fits into many dietary restrictions and preferences. It’s a key protein source in gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-carb diets, and can be easily substituted in vegetarian dishes with plant-based alternatives.
- How should I store leftover Chicken Pad Thai? For optimal freshness, store your leftover Chicken Pad Thai in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This method preserves the dish well for up to 3 to 5 days. It is important to let the Pad Thai cool completely before storing to maintain its best quality.
- What’s the best way to reheat Chicken Pad Thai? Reheating Chicken Pad Thai is best done in the same skillet used for cooking. Add a small amount of oil or water to reintroduce moisture, and heat over low/medium until the dish is thoroughly warmed. This process helps to retain the original texture and flavor of the Pad Thai.
- Can I freeze Chicken Pad Thai? Freezing Chicken Pad Thai is possible but not ideal due to the texture change in rice noodles upon thawing and reheating. If you need to freeze it, ensure it’s completely cooled before transferring to a freezer-safe container. It can be stored for up to two months. Thaw in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove.
- Are there gluten-free options for Chicken Pad Thai? Chicken Pad Thai is generally gluten-free, but it’s crucial to check all ingredients, especially sauces, to ensure they meet gluten-free standards. For a low-carb alternative, spiralized zucchini can replace rice noodles, offering a similar texture and flavor.
- What are some protein substitutions for Chicken Pad Thai? The versatility of Chicken Pad Thai allows for a variety of protein options. Shrimp, beef, or tofu can be excellent substitutes for chicken, offering a different flavor profile and texture to the dish while maintaining its essential characteristics.
- How can I make Chicken Pad Thai dairy-free? This dish inherently does not contain dairy products, making it suitable for those following a dairy-free diet. No specific substitutions are required to ensure it remains dairy-free.
- Can I use different types of noodles? While traditional Chicken Pad Thai uses rice noodles, the recipe is flexible enough to accommodate different types of noodles. Egg noodles are a popular alternative, offering a distinct texture and flavor while still complementing the other ingredients in the dish.
- How can I make my Pad Thai spicier or less spicy? The spice level in Chicken Pad Thai can easily be adjusted to suit personal preferences. Increase or decrease the amount of red pepper flakes or fresh chilies to control the heat. It’s a simple way to tailor the dish to your desired level of spiciness.
- What are some good side dishes to pair with Chicken Pad Thai? Enhance your Chicken Pad Thai meal with complementary sides such as Thai iced tea, fresh fruit plates, fried bananas, or a light cucumber salad. These sides offer a balance in flavors and textures, ranging from sweet and refreshing to crispy and savory, thus completing the dining experience.
- Can I make Chicken Pad Thai ahead of time? Preparing Chicken Pad Thai ahead of time is a great way to save on meal preparation. The dish often tastes even better when the flavors have had time to blend. Just make sure to reheat it gently to prevent the noodles from becoming mushy.
- How can I enhance the flavor of my Pad Thai? To enrich the flavor of Chicken Pad Thai, consider adding a variety of vegetables, a touch of sweetness with honey or sugar, and additional protein like shrimp or tofu. Adjusting the spice level with chili flakes or hot sauce and adding a squeeze of fresh lime juice can also elevate the overall taste of the dish.
- How can I make a healthier Pad Thai dish? To create a healthier version of Pad Thai, consider using whole wheat noodles instead of white rice noodles and reducing the oil used in cooking. Incorporating more vegetables like bean sprouts, carrots, and peppers adds nutritional value, and opting for tofu instead of chicken or shrimp can lower the calorie content.
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound chicken (any variety or cut)
- 16 ounces of rice noodles, any variety
- 3/4 cup Pad Thai sauce without tamarind
- 2 stalks scallions, julienned
- scrambled eggs for garnish (optional)
- sliced scallions for garnish (optional)
- soy beans for garnish (optional)
- peanuts for garnish (optional)
- lime slice for garnish (optional)
- Soak rice noodles in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes.
- In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon sesame seed oil and 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
- Sauté the diced onions and minced garlic for 2-3 minutes. Meanwhile, thinly slice the chicken.
- Add the chicken to the pan. Cook until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the onions are translucent, stirring occasionally, for about 7-10 minutes.
- Drain the noodles and add them to the pan with the chicken, onions, and garlic mixture.
- Drizzle the Pad Thai sauce over the mixture, stirring constantly.
- Add the julienned scallions to the pan and gently toss all ingredients to ensure they are evenly coated with the Pad Thai sauce. Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer the Pad Thai to a serving dish. Optionally top with scrambled eggs, sliced scallions, soy beans, peanuts, and a slice of lime for garnish.
- You can use frozen chicken. Zap the chicken in the microwave for 30 seconds, then slice it very thinly. If you want to use ground chicken or ground turkey, follow the instructions for Pad Thai With Ground Beef.
- Feel free to customize with optional garnishes like scrambled eggs, scallions, soy beans, peanuts, and lime.
Nutrition InformationYield 4 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 899Total Fat 30gSaturated Fat 6gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 21gCholesterol 149mgSodium 4716mgCarbohydrates 117gFiber 6gSugar 81gProtein 42g
Nutrition automatically generated.