Chicken Pad Thai

In some households, spaghetti is a common dinner. In our house, the Asian equivalent to spaghetti is Pad Thai. I often make Pad Thai for my family because it's easy, quick and comforting. This Chicken Pad Thai will have you rethinking the restaurant version because you can make it at home for the fraction of the price and still have the same great taste (if not better!)... Let me preface this recipe by mentioning you may have to pick up some ingredients that you normally don't have. Unless you cook Thai or Asian cuisine often, you should anticipate a trip to the International or Asian grocery aisle or better yet, a local Asian market. Specifically, you'll need rice stick noodles, tamarind paste, fish sauce and chili sauce. For the rice stick noodles (which is great for gluten free diets), you may have a few sizes or widths available. I prefer thin noodles but it's not uncommon to see Pad Thai made with wider cut noodles. Use whatever you prefer in this recipe. For the tamarind paste, don't worry if you purchase a jar and are not sure on how to use the rest. The good thing is that it lasts quite a while in the fridge and there's a slew of recipes using tamarind paste on google. Fish sauce is one of those ingredients some people are sensitive to. The smell can be pretty pungent but trust me, it's a necessary ingredient and substitutions won't give the depth of flavor the dish needs. Lastly, the chili sauce is kind of the wild card. There's sweet and hot garlic versions. You'll find the sweet version served as a dipping sauce for Thai spring rolls and the hot garlic version is better known as Sriracha. I've used both versions and you can use either one depending on whether you want it on the sweeter or hotter side. This is my go to recipe for Pad Thai and you can also substitute the chicken for pork, shrimp or even tofu. Feel free to add other ingredients to make it a heartier dish (as this is just a good base recipe). Some ingredients you can add include shredded carrots, shredded red cabbage, or even scrambled eggs.