Gluten-free Chicken Pad Thai

I'm exhausted. The past four days have been quite the whirlwind which involved: deep cleaning my kitchen (how are microwaves so dirty?!), organizing our bedroom, and  running in the searing heat and humidity. Monday we had a photoshoot with our photographer (more on this later) and Tuesday was my birthday!  My birthday was pretty laid back - we went to dinner with my family and grabbed some after dinner wine with my sister-in-law. It was a wonderful, late evening - thank you to everyone who made it so wonderful!

I was super tired this evening since I got very little sleep last night and all I was craving was Thai food.  I really could live off of Thai food, and I'm pretty sure for a period of time, I did.  There are some great Thai places in Richmond and tonight I was extremely tempted to order some delivery since pad thai was calling my name.  The only thing stopping me?  One - Thai is one of the foods that is iffy, it is hard to know if it is truly gluten-free. Two - I didn't want to pay $10 for some pad thai especially when I can make it at home.

Pad thai is simple to make but the key is you have to be fully prepped.  Make your sauce, cook your noodles, and have everything chopped and ready to go before you start heating the pan.  After that - it only takes about 5 minutes before you are sitting down with a steaming portion of pad thai.

Gluten-free Pad Thai

Inspired by: Chez Pim (I highly recommend reading this post about pad thai!)

Yields: approx. 2 large servings

2 chicken breasts, cut into thin strips (you can poach these or use leftovers)

4 oz. brown rice pad thai noodles

2 large scallions, thinly sliced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced (optional)

2-3 Tbsp. canola oil

Sauce:

1/4 cup of gluten-free tamari/soy sauce

2 Tbsp. turbinado sugar (or palm sugar, brown sugar, or regular sugar)

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar *

hot chili paste or sriracha, to taste

Garnishes:

fresh cilantro

mung bean sprouts

crushed roasted peanuts

lime wedges

*tamarind is normally used for the sour component but despite my best efforts, I couldn't find any.

1. First, make your sauce.  Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk and cook until sugar dissolves.  Taste.  Adjust your elements as needed - you are looking for a balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy. Let the sauce reduce just a touch until it reaches your desired consistency.  Shut off the heat and set aside.

2. Make your noodles according to package instructions.

3. Prep all of your ingredients and get everything ready.

4. Heat a large dry nonstick skillet (or wok if you have one!) over high heat.  You want it to get smoking hot.

5. Add 2 Tbsp of oil to the hot skillet. Careful - it is going to be quite lively.

6. Add your scallions, garlic, and mushrooms.  Keep everything moving constantly and cook until you smell the garlic.

7. Add your chicken breast (if already cooked, if uncooked, add with step #6 ingredients) and your cooked rice noodles.  Again, keep it moving.  Only cook for a quick minute.

8. Add your eggs and cook until nearly set, about a minute or two.

9. Add 1/4 cup of your prepared sauce and cook until the absorbed but not completely dry.

10. Serve and garnish with peanuts, bean sprouts, lime wedges, and cilantro.