Pad Thai | The Proof of the Pudding

I love Thai food. I find it’s the kind of food that you get an instant, and very strong, craving for and you just won’t be satisfied until you’ve had jasmine rice topped with a luscious green curry or sticky satay skewers. One of my absolute favourite Thai dishes is Pad Thai, a noodle dish that perfectly combines sweet, salty and sour flavours. I had one of these Thai cravings a few weekends ago, coinciding with Ross trying to shake the tail end of a cold and hankering after some spice so that he could actually taste something. Pad Thai seemed like the perfect answer to both our needs, as you can customise your own bowl after cooking with extra chilli (for Ross) or whatever other flavour you’re craving on that day, or even in that mouthful. In a restaurant I would usually go for prawn Pad Thai, and if you’re the same then just substitute the chicken with a couple of hundred grams of raw prawns and reduce the cooking time slightly. Of course you could also make this a vegetarian dish by swapping the meat for tofu, or lots of colourful veggies.

As with a lot of Asian cuisine, I find it’s easiest to prepare everything before you begin cooking. It’s frantic enough in the last few minutes as it is, and life will be so much easier if all the ingredients are lying out, prepared and ready to be tossed in a hot pan. I know it seems like a lot of effort, but trust me it will be well worth it.

Ingredients (serves 2) 1-2 chicken breasts 200g rice noodles 2 limes, 1 cut into wedges for serving 2 tsp brown sugar 2 tbsp fish sauce ¼ tsp chilli flakes, plus extra to serve 1 tbsp tamarind paste 2 tsp soy sauce 2 pak choi 4 spring onions Large bunch of coriander 1 egg 2-3 tbsp salted peanuts 1 tbsp sesame oil, or vegetable oil such as sunflower or groundnut

150g beansprouts