Thailand is the “Land of Smiles.” It offers the complete package when it comes to an unforgettable vacation and one of the reasons is it’s great cuisine. This dish I am about to share is sure to put a smile on your lips when you taste it. Being in the travel industry has provided me with a plethora of incredible opportunities and experiences. Despite our current Covid-19 situation, Thailand Tourism, Down Under Answers, and Ayara Thai were able to provide not once, but twice a fun and tasty evening event where Chef Vanda led us through how to create Pad Thai in our own kitchens via Zoom. What is even better is that her restaurant packages a kit for your purchase that provides all the authentic ingredients such as the Pad Thai sauce, rice noodles, shrimp paste, pickled radish, paprika, crushed peanuts, and roasted chili powder. You then only need to go pick up a handful of items from the store to make this fantastic plate. It is super easy and quick. TIP: Cut up all your ingredients and have them ready to go before cooking!
Throughout our cooking lesson Chef Vanda interjected with stories and cultural practices of her home, Thailand. If I didn’t already have Thailand on my “to go” list, it would be now. I have actually been eating Thai food for years. I love to grab lunch locally with one of my agency owner friends and when I do get the opportunity to visit my folks in Vermont, my dad makes some mean Thai cuisine. There is a lovely restaurant called Thai Basil, located in Manchester, Vermont, we often go to for celebrations because they have a lot of gluten-free options for my daughter.
So let’s get cooking!
All of the cooking is done in one pan or wok. Chef Vanda does recommend a wok with flat bottom, but a cast iron pan will work as well. You are going to be heating the pan up on high heat, so everything cooks fast. She also says if there is something you are allergic to or don’t care for you can leave it out. And one last thing, typically Pad Thai is not spicy and it is up to your discretion on the use of the chili powder for the heat at the end.
Pad Thai Recipe
Serves 1-2 people
3-4 oz Ayara’s Pad Thai Sauce
2 bundles of rice noodles, soaked in room temp water for 15-min
2-3 oz chicken, sliced
1 oz tofu, cubed
1-2 eggs (personal preference)
2-tbs soybean oil or vegetable oil (do not use olive oil)
1-tbs garlic, chopped
1-tbs shrimp paste
Pinch pickled radish
1/2 tsp paprika
1 lime cut into wedges
Roasted peanuts, crushed
Roasted chili powder
1 handful of beansprouts, for cooking
1 handful of beansprouts, for garnish
1 green onion, cut into 1-inch lengths
Cilantro, garnish to taste
Place a wok/pan over high heat. Once hot, add oil and cook chicken and tofu.
Once chicken is almost cooked, add egg and garlic
Once egg is cooked, add noodles. When noodles begin to soften, add shrimp paste and pickled radish.
Once mixed, add Pad Thai sauce, beansprouts, green onions, and paprika
Taste, add more sauce if needed.
Transfer to serving dish. Garnish with beansprouts, lime, peanuts, chili powder, and cilantro to taste.
Additional Cooking Tips:
Her noodles come with a tie around them. This is to let you know when they are ready to take out of the water. When the noodles easily slip out of the tie they are ready to go.
When you put the eggs, you want to let them set a bit. Then once set break them up into larger chunks. You don’t want to scramble them.
She prefers to use Pressed Tofu.
To eat this, you take a fork and spoon, toss all the ingredients that you have on the plate together. You than use the fork to push bites onto your spoon and eat from your spoon. That is how they do it in Thailand.
I recorded myself live this past cooking class. You can see it here. Mind you there were some camera issues, but it was all for fun. To get your own Pad Thai Recipe kit from Ayara Thai, click here.
Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI.
She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds. Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind. She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember. With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.