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Chef Prissana "Fern" Tran of The Florence shares her recipe for pad thai. “The combination of soy and dark soy is like a Thai mother sauce,” she says. “The dark soy is thick, salty, and a little sweet. It adds great umami, but you can’t use much of it because it is so rich. You have to cut it with regular soy. This is the basic sauce for Pad Kee Mao. Add some palm sugar and tamarind paste and you have the basic sauce for Pad Thai. There is no substitute for dark soy.”

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Olivia Hayo
September 18, 2020
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup vegetable oil, divided
1 pound thin rice noodles
½ cup tamarind purée
½ cup palm sugar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
4 eggs
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 cup chicken stock
2 cups bean sprouts
1 cup sliced scallions
½ pound fried tofu, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
4 lime wedges
4 tablespoons crushed dried chile
4 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts


In a large bowl, mix chicken, cornstarch, baking powder, and 2 tablespoons vegetable oil; marinate for 10 minutes.

Place noodles in a large bowl and pour over plenty of hot water to cover. Soak for 15 minutes, then quickly rinse in cold water.

Prepare the sauce by mixing tamarind purée, palm sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and dark soy sauce in a saucepan over medium heat and boil until it thickens, about 2 minutes.

Heat 5 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Add egg and scramble for 1 minute. Add chicken and cook about 2 minutes, or until chicken and egg is about 80% cooked. Add noodles and scramble until soft.

Add sauce, vinegar, and chicken stock and mix together well. Add bean sprouts, scallions, and tofu, stirring occassionally for 2 more minutes until everything is incorporated.

Garnish with crushed peanuts and serve immediately with lime wedges on the side, along with crushed dried chile if you like it spicy.

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