World Flavours: Everyone’s fave – Pad Thai

Dec 20, 2018 | World Flavours

World Flavours: Everyone’s fave – Pad Thai

History of Pad Thai

Pad thai – Thailand’s national dish is a favourite amongst Kiwis and the rest of the world. With so many flavours, it’s no wonder it’s a symbol of Thai cooking. It is believed that in the 18th century, Chinese traders brought a similar dish to Thailand and from there developed into what we enjoy today.

The name “pad thai” comes from the full name “kway teow pad” Thai. “Kway teow” is the Chinese word for ‘rice noodles’, “pad” means fried and Thai indicates “Thai-style”. The dish has three primary flavours of salty, sour, and sweet. And spicy for some (with added chillies). This is a common combination amongst Thai recipes. The balance between the primary flavours creates the whole and makes a flavourful signature dish.

They say you can judge a Thai restaurant by ordering a simple pad thai dish and seeing how they make it their own.

Try it yourself by following the recipe below or found here.




  • 125 g dried rice sticks/noodles


  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamarind puree
  • 3 tbsp (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce

Stir Fry:

  • 2 – 3 tbsp vegetable or canola oil
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 150 g chicken breast (or thigh), thinly sliced
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 1/2 cups of beansprouts
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu, cut into 3cm squares
  • 1/4 cup garlic chives
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts

For serving:

  • Lime wedges (essential)
  • Ground chilli or cayenne pepper (optional)
  • More beansprouts


  1. Place noodles in a large bowl, pour over plenty of boiling water. Soak for 5 minutes, then drain in a colander and quickly rinse under cold water. Don’t leave them sitting around for more than 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Mix sauce in small bowl.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large non-stick pan (or well-seasoned skillet) over high heat. Add garlic and onion, cook for 30 seconds.
  4. Add chicken and cook for 1 1/2 minutes until mostly cooked through.
  5. Push to one side of the pan, pour egg in on the other side. Scramble using the wooden spoon (add touch of extra oil if pan is too dry), then mix into chicken.
  6. Add bean sprouts, tofu, noodles then sauce.
  7. Toss gently for about 1 1/2 minutes until sauce is absorbed by the noodles.
  8. Add garlic chives and half the peanuts. Toss through quickly then remove from heat.
  9. Serve immediately, sprinkled with remaining peanuts and lime wedges on the side, with a sprinkle of chilli and a handful of extra beansprouts on the side if desired. Squeeze over lime juice to taste before eating.
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