Easy Chicken Pad Thai (Without Tamarind)

Total Time
Prep 25 mins
Cook 15 mins

Recipe I found on About.com for Thai easy recipes that I am posting for ZWT. Here is what is stated about the recipe: "If you're one of the many people who has trouble finding special Asian ingredients like tamarind paste, not to worry - you can still create delicious pad Thai without it. In fact, the original pad Thai didn't contain tamarind at all (the makings of pad Thai being brought to Thailand via the Chinese), and the following recipe is based on this earlier version of the dish. When I was last in Thailand, I went back to the same pad Thai street seller everyday because of her amazing pad Thai, and it wasn't until just before I left that she told me how she makes it (without tamarind). If you're living in a place where Asian ingredients are difficult to find, then this [tamarind-free] recipe might just make your day. ENJOY!"

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place prepared chicken in a bowl and toss with 1.5 tablespoons soy sauce. Set aside.
  2. Combine 'pad Thai sauce' ingredients together in a cup, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Note that this sauce needs to taste sweet first, followed by sour and then salty to create good pad Thai. Set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Dunk in rice noodles and switch off heat. Allow noodles to soak approximately 6 minutes, OR until soft enough to bend easily, but still firm and 'undercooked' by regular standards (this is the key to good pad Thai, so be sure not to over-soak or boil the noodles. They will finish cooking later). Drain and rinse noodles briefly with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.
  4. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl around, then add the garlic, chili, galangal/ginger, and half of green onion (or just the white parts), reserving remaining for later. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.
  5. Add chicken and stir-fry 3-4 minutes, or until cooked. If pan becomes dry, add 1-2 tablespoons of the pad Thai sauce, just enough to keep ingredients frying nicely.
  6. Push ingredients aside and crack egg into center of pan. Stir quickly to scramble, then combine with other ingredients.
  7. Add prepared noodles plus 3-4 tablespoons of the pad Thai sauce. Using two utensils, lift and turn noodles to stir-fry and combine with other ingredients. Continue frying in this way, adding more of the sauce every minute or two, until all sauce has been added and the noodles are chewy-delicious and a little bit sticky (8-10 minutes). When sauce has been absorbed and noodles are cooked, fold in the bean sprouts (you want them to stay crispy).
  8. Remove from heat and taste-test, adding more fish sauce until desired taste is achieved (I usually end up adding 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce, but I like mine on the salty side). Portion out onto individual plates and add a lime wedge on the side. Before eating, top with remaining green onion and squeeze over the lime wedge, then finish with a generous sprinkling of chopped/ground nuts. For those whole like it extra spicy, serve with Thai chili sauce on the side, and ENJOY!
  9. *Note about Tamarind: Although today we associate pad Thai sauce with tamarind, in this authentic southern-Thai recipe, the sourness comes from a combination of rice vinegar and lime juice instead. Traditionally (several hundred years ago), pad Thai was made in just this way - without tamarind - and versions of this original formula can still be found in various regions of Thailand. This particular recipe was taught to me by a local Thai chef in south-western Phuket, Thailand.
  10. *Use wheat-free soy sauce for gluten-free diets.
Most Helpful

Delicious! Pad Thai is one of my favorite dishes to order when I eat at a Thai restaurant, so I was thrilled to find an easy, delicious recipe that I could make at home. It goes together quickly and easily even though the instructions seem long. The flavors were spot on and I will definitely be making this again. The instructions call for chili but there isn't chili in the ingredients. I looked up the original recipe on About.com and saw that the ingredient list includes: 1 fresh red or green chili, sliced. So, I used a sliced serrano chili. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. **Made for 2016 Culinary Quest - Thailand for the Pi Rho Maniacs**

Bayhill August 09, 2016

Have seen Pad Thai made on cooking shows and it looked very good so gave this recipe a try. I used chicken breast tenderloins instead of the thighs and cashews. The directions mentioned chili to be added to the pan along with the garlic and ginger but did not see any type of chilies in the ingredients so added a pinch of red pepper flakes. Smelled great while cooking and was better when eating! Nice flavors, liked the crisp of the bean sprouts, and the squeeze of lime over everything brought it all together. Hubby even enjoyed his supper and he normally doesnt eat anything of this type. Thank you diner524 for sharing this wonderful recipe! Made and reviewed for the Culinary Quest 2016 - Thailand/Indonesia.

lauralie41 August 06, 2016

Very good! I used breast meat, but will be making this again with shrimp instead, since Shrimp Pad Thai is our favorite. Also, I am going to add some red pepper flakes or chili-garlic sauce next time for a little heat, but as written, this recipe is quite tasty. Made for ZWT 9.

Outta Here August 25, 2013