I'll be completely honest, I rarely cook back in the United States. Every time the idea pops into my head, I think about how it would be much easier to just buy some pizza instead. While I doubt my habits will change all that much when I return to the US, I do now have the confidence that I could make a killer Pad Thai if I'd like. It takes about 10-15 minutes, and is totally worth the time.
My guesthouse owner, Jane, showed us how to cook Pad Thai. I won't mention specific measurements of ingredients, because nobody measures here. You can experiment with different flavors and amounts; it's extremely difficult to mess this recipe up.
Chopped peanuts (optional)
1) Let the rice noodles soak in water for a few minutes. You can begin chopping the vegetables in the meantime.
2) In a large pan, fry some oil. Add chopped onions, garlic, cabbage, basil, and radish. Fry for a bit. You can substitute/add other vegetables if you’d like.
3) Add one egg per serving (i.e. if three people are eating, use three eggs). Let it (them) fry, but don’t mix it into the vegetables yet.
4) Add a little water into the pan (to prevent burning), then mix the egg and vegetables together.
5) Add the pre-soaked rice noodles and oyster sauce. Stir continuously, allowing the noodles to cook. You can substitute other sauces for the oyster sauce if you’d like.
6) Finally, add in some chili powder, and mix it into the Pad Thai. Use more if you want it spicier, and less if you want it milder.
7) Turn off the flame. Put Pad Thai onto plates. Garnish with chopped peanuts and more chilies if you’d like.
This recipe was for delicious vegetarian Pad Thai. If you'd like, you can cook it with almost anything: Chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, tofu, etc.
If you make this dish, feel free to post pictures of your creation!
My name is Yonah Paley. I quit my job in the United States to travel. I also write movies and do photography. As I backpack across the world, I share stories, philosophy, and travel tips.