Rice noodles can be tricky to work with- they need to soak as part of their cooking process, and you may need to experiment a little to get the cooking time just right. Linguini-style noodles work best; ultra-thin noodles can easily overcook and become gummy. This recipe is flexible- add or substitute shrimp or tofu for the chicken.
1. Place noodles into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan or a large bowl. Pour very hot tap water over noodles to cover and let them soften for 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. While noodles soak, prepare sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, and 2/3 cup of the water. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet or wok over medium-high heat. When hot, add garlic and chili paste, stir for 30 seconds, then add chicken. Cook and stir until chicken is mostly cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes.
4. Add drained noodles and reserved sauce. Stir and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes. Prepare scallion, cilantro, and lime garnishes while noodles cook. Push noodles slightly to the side and add eggs. Use a wooden spoon to stir and cook eggs; some will scramble and some will be incorporated into the sauce. Continue cooking until all the sauce is absorbed by the noodles. Test one noodle for doneness; if it's not tender, add remaining 2 Tbsp. water and cook until water is absorbed.
5. Remove from heat and add peanuts and bean sprouts. Use tongs to toss bean sprouts with noodles.
6. To serve, divide Pad Thai among four shallow bowls. Garnish each bowl with scallions, cilantro, and lime.
Notes: You will need 2/3 cup water, plus 2 Tbsp. as needed.
Source: Hannaford fresh Magazine, May - June 2008