Night + Market chef Kris Yenbamroong’s famous pad Thai uses only ingredients you’d find at pretty much any grocery store—not because it’s easier, but because that’s just how his grandma does it. It’s so good and simple (the cook time is … 3 minutes), nothing will stop you from having it for dinner tonight. He writes, “Here are my pad Thai ground rules: Some chefs like to keep the toppings separate. I don’t. I toss in the green onions and bean sprouts right after turning off the heat so they are incorporated but remain crunchy. The roasted chiles and crushed peanuts are arranged next to the noodles for easy mixing access, along with a lime wedge to squeeze on top. This arrangement makes it easier to scarf down a plate once it hits the table, which is the best way to eat pad Thai.
I like my sauce to be direct and sharp, which is why I use white sugar and white vinegar as opposed to the subtler (and harder to find) palm sugar and tamarind water. I never use fresh noodles, only dried rice stick noodles soaked beforehand because I find them more consistent. I don’t use an abundance of meat—the noodles should be the focus—and I prefer the egg to be cooked through but still soft, so that it can incorporate into the noodles as a distinct ingredient rather than as a coating, like with pasta carbonara. On the opposite end of the spectrum, don’t cook the egg too much early on, or by the time the noodles are finished, it will look like rubbery scrambled eggs from a bad hotel buffet.
If you time everything right (which might take a few tries to master), you’ll end up with chewy, sauce-infused noodles, soft bits of egg, and crunchy bean sprouts and green onion. You’ll never need another pad Thai recipe again.”
- 4 ounces dried rice stick noodles (1/8 to 1/3 inch wide)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 pound chicken thighs, cut into bite-size slices (or extra-firm or pressed tofu or large peeled shrimp)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 green onions, cut thinly on an angle into 2-inch-long slices
- 2 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
- 1 teaspoon roasted chile powder
- 1 lime wedge