Pad Thai

This is my third version of pad thai. It's more about the method than about the ingredients per se. It's about cooking only enough for one or two people at a time. This isn't perhaps time-economical if you're feeding 20, but it results in much better quality if you're only feeding maybe 6.

And, it's good planning if you're feeding one or two for lunch while working remotely at home.

The trick is to prepare the mise en place ahead of time. Maybe store it in the refrigerator ready to prepare a stir-fry from it. Obviously, you have to use your head as to what can be made ahead (sauce, vegetables, maybe the sliced meat, but not the eggs or noodles and not any cooking).


This is for 2 servings; the recipe scales well.


2-3 tbsp white or packed brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp tamarind paste (or 2 tsp concentrate)
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tsp soy sauce


2-4 scallions, in thin coins, chopped tops reserved
1" ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, chopped, not minced
red chile pepper, lower half of it in coins


purple cabbage, shaved finely
carrot, julienned or grated
bean sprouts


tops of scallions
peanuts, crushed
line slices

Other ingredients

chicken, very thin-sliced or shrimp
pad thai (rice stick) noodles, handful, twisted and broken in half
2 eggs, well beaten, well salted, sit for 10 minutes after beating


The charm of this method is that it goes very, very fast—in 3 minutes flat! Of course, your mise en place is already to go, right? Now remember, pad thai is a stir-fry! In this recipe, we're using a non-stick 12" skillet.

  1. Pre-cook noodles; see here.
  2. Skillet, oiled, very hot.
  3. Meat, cook only about ½ way through because it will just finish as the other ingredients are done.
  4. Aromatics.
  5. Stir and push them to one side of the skillet.
  6. At 1:00, eggs, spreading out like a sheet, when firm, mix in.
  7. At 1:25, add noodles and stir.
  8. Add half the sauce, stir.
  9. Add bean sprouts, cabbage and carrots, stir.
  10. Add half of peanuts, stir.
  11. At 1:50, stir, stir, stir.
  12. At 2:25, add water until adequately saucy, stir.
  13. Add more water as needed, stir, stir, stir.
  14. At 3:00, we're done!

Serve garnished.