Guest Column — Cooking With Sally June; Pad Thai

A dish of stir-fried rice noodles is thought to have been introduced to the ancient Thai capital city of Ayuthaya by Viet traders, and was subsequently altered to reflect the Thai flavor profile.During the late 1930s and 1940s, the dish was made popular in Thailand during World War II. Thai fascist government Plaek Phibunsongkhramnamed pad Thai as part of campaign to promote Thai nationalism and centralization, seeking to reduce domestic rice consumption. The Thai economy was heavily dependent on rice exports, and the prime minister hoped to increase the amount available for export by encouraging Thais to make and sell rice noodles from street carts and in small restaurants. Pad Thai has since become one of Thailand’s national dishes and has become popular in many countries around the world. In Thailand Pad Thai is often served at breakfast. Here are my Pad Thai recipes two ways, one with more common ingredients. 4 servings

14 oz 3mm rice noodles

4 tablespoons good high heat oil (I use sunflower)

1 medium onion, julienned thinly

½ cup celery, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ginger, minced

4 eggs

1 lb of chicken breasts, thinly sliced or 1lb of tofu, cubed ¾ inch

1 ½ to 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

Sauce 1

2 teaspoons paprika

2 teaspoons dried shrimp ( I get mine at the Kiluea market)

4 tablespoons fish sauce

5 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons sambal olek (chili paste)

2 teaspoons tamarind paste

½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper

½ teaspoon salt

Sauce 2

(simpler one, still very close in flavor)

4 tablespoons ketchup

4 tablespoons fish sauce

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 ½ teaspoons fresh ground pepper


1 bunch green onions

1 cup mung bean sprouts

½ cup cilantro cilantro, chopped

½ cup peanuts, chopped

2 limes, quartered


1. Soak rice noodles in a bowl with hot water until pliable (about 10 minutes) Drain and set aside.

2. Preheat wok over high heat until is starts to smoke

3. Add 2 tablespoons oil and cook chicken or tofu until nicely browned, remove and set aside

4. Heat remaining oil on high and add celery, onion, garlic and ginger, cook 1 minute, then add eggs and cook until loosely scrambled. Remove from wok and set aside

5. If using sauce 1, heat wok on high and add all sauce ingredients and noodles. Stir and begin adding stock a few tablespoons at a time. The noodles will absorb the liquid as they cook. Keep adding stock until the noodles are clear.

6. If using sauce 2, heat wok on high and add noodles and add about ½ the stock a few tablespoons at a time, then add all sauce ingredients. Then add the remaining stock and cook until noodles are clear.

7. Remove from heat and add cooked chicken or tofu

8. Garnish with green onions, bean sprouts, cilantro, and peanuts

9. Serve with lime wedges.

Sally June Tayler went to Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland, Oregon before moving to the Big Island in 1999 to do an internship at Kalani. She received her nutritional consultant certificate from Global College of Natural Medicine. She has also cooked for Lindblad Expeditions adventure cruises and Island Naturals.


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