Chicken Pad Thai for Dummies


If you’re as terrible at cooking as I am, then you appreciate a simple, easy-to-follow recipe that requires very little skill or expertise in the kitchen as much as I do…especially if the end result of your efforts is a delectable plate of one of Thailand’s most popular dishes: Pad Thai.

If you’re not familiar, Pad Thai simply refers to a “Thai style” fried noodle dish.  The complex mix of flavors (sweet, sour, and savory all at the same time if it’s done right) is probably my favorite thing about it.

I learned this Chicken Pad Thai recipe during a cooking class in Chiang Mai and was blown away by how stupid-easy it was.  I’ve since replicated the meal on multiple occasions at home for friends and family, and you can be damn sure it will remain a staple in my cooking repertoire for the rest of time.

When I travel, I try to pay special attention to the local cuisine in order to adopt recipes here and there for personal use later on.  I’ve experimented with several Thai dishes so far, and I’m hoping to get really crazy in the near future and attempt such worldly fare as Shakshuka (Israel), Arepas (Venezuela) and Lomo Saltado (Peru).

But those are for another day…today we cook Pad Thai!  Without further ado…


3 oz rice noodles (soak in boiled water ~10 minutes, drain and set aside)

1/2 medium chicken breast, cubed

2 oz tofu, cubed

3 tbsp oil

1 tsp chopped garlic

2 eggs

2 tsp sugar

1 tbsp fish sauce

2-3 tbsp oyster sauce

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup chopped spring onion

bean sprouts

ground peanuts

lime wedges

crushed red pepper flakes

*This recipe serves two.


1. In a large wok, heat oil over low to medium heat; add garlic and fry until fragrant and golden.

2. Add chicken and tofu and stir until chicken is cooked.

3. Move wok contents to back of pan (off main source of heat) and break the eggs into the middle.  Gently scramble and mix in with chicken and tofu.


4. Move contents to back of wok, add noodles and water.  If the noodles are longer than you’d like, use spatula to cut them into smaller pieces.  Stir until tender.

5. Add fish sauce, oyster sauce and sugar.  Adjust quantities to taste.


6. Stir all ingredients together until well mixed.


7. Turn off heat.

8. Serve while hot- add garnishes of chopped spring onions, bean sprouts, lime juice, ground peanuts and crushed red pepper.


9. Enjoy!


The great thing about this recipe is that it can be tweaked in endless ways to suit your tastes.  Not a tofu fan?  Substitute more chicken.  Vegetarian?  Replace the chicken with mushrooms, the fish sauce with soy sauce and the oyster sauce with mushroom sauce.  Prefer shrimp?  Well we can’t be friends anymore but put in as much shrimp as you please!  The sky is the limit.

And unlike many other Thai dishes, all necessary ingredients for Pad Thai are pretty easy to find at your local grocer, especially if there’s an Asian section.

If you want to make it truly authentic, serve with a glass of ice-cold Singha beer (extra points if you add ice cubes).  But since that’s hard to find around here, I usually opt for a glass of chardonnay instead.

Hope you love this recipe as much as I do!  Chok dee na ka!

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About Leah Davis

Hey! I'm Leah. I'm a solo traveler letting my heart lead me around the world, one country at a time. I've taught English in Thailand, climbed the Sydney Harbor Bridge, gone skydiving in Argentina, and marveled at the ruins at Machu Picchu (twice!). I love maps, strong coffee, good wine and warm climates. For even more travel talk and inspiration, you can follow my adventures on Twitter or Instagram.
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9 Responses to Chicken Pad Thai for Dummies

  1. andreinternational says:

    this looks great, going to use the recipe tomorrow night! haven’t had pad thai in a long time…

  2. Jen says:

    This is great! And looks so simple, I’m always intimidated by the thought of trying Asian recipes. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kelsy says:

    I made this the other day!! Turned out great, very, very tasty. It took care of my Thai craving. Thanks for the recipe Leah!!!!! 💜

  4. Pingback: Earning Abroad: Teaching English in Thailand • Alex in Wanderland

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