Phad Thai is a very easy meal to make at home if you have the right ingredients. There are several brands of Phad Thai sauce on the market and frankly I'm not entirely happy with any of them alone. However upon buying several and inspecting the ingredients list and tasting them I've found an alternative to making my own Phad Thai sauce - speedball them! Mae Ploy one of my favorite Asian product makers focuses on fewer ingredients in their jarred Phad Thai sauce and only lists 11 items. Ingredients include palm sugar, shallot, water, fish sauce, soy bean oil, vinegar, tamarind, red chili, salted radish, dried shrimp and salt. Por Kwan, another popular company has 14 ingredients so in exchange for the shallots in Mae Ploy's sauce they have onion and garlic, tartaric acid, citric acid and sodium metabisulphate. From the ingredients list the Mae Ploy definitely sounds like the better product but the overall effect is a sweeter sauce. After experimenting I've found the best combination is a 50/50 mix of both sauces. I use one large jar of Mae Ploy and two small jars of Por Kwan.
I'd post a recipe but for something this simple there really doesn't need to be one. The following directions are very loose so feel free to vary them as you see fit.
- Soak one pound of Rice Sticks in hot water for about 15 minutes or until just soft, drain
- Slice (2 lbs?) chicken breasts into 1/4 inch thick slices and no more than 1/2 inch in width, brown in frying pan
- Pour all jars of sauce in blender with a cup of water and blend, pour in saute pan along with drained noodles (time saver)
- Beat 4 eggs in bowl and fry lightly in frying pan until just firm, break up in small pieces and add to noodles
- Add chicken to noodles
- Finely slice the green stem part of 4 green onions, add to noodles
- Finely chop a handful of peanuts, add to noodles
- Add two handfuls of mung bean sprouts to noodles