I received an email from another food blogger friend the other day and she asked me if I ever ate junk food. When she first sent the email I thought, “Surely everyone eats junk food from time to time? Traveling? It’s late and your hungry?” Then I thought about John and me and we do eat junk food but not very often. Do you? I’d love to say that junk food never passed my lips but I’m not cute as a liar.
John is guilty of hankering for fish and chips and after his heart attack, he really shouldn’t be eating it. Despite his assertion that it’s got healthy fish in it so that counters the batter and deep frying, I disagree.
What we do eat from time to time is takeaway Chinese. There’s a little shop in Maroochydore called Belly Good that’s quick and reliably good. It’s about 12 minutes from the house but still worth driving over there to pick it up.
We had meetings today and when we got home at 5:15pm from a meeting with our web designer, I didn’t feel like preparing dinner. I wanted to watch the Australian Open and the Asian Cup soccer match so we decided on Chinese takeaway or take out.
We had chicken pad Thai (yes I know that it’s not technically Chinese), combination chow mein, special fried rice and spring rolls. We would have had Chinese tea but I organised the pantry and I couldn’t find where I put it. I remember putting it in a special container. Have you ever parked something you used frequently in a stupid place and then berated yourself because you couldn’t find it? That was me earlier. We had water and the teapot and cups stood idle like little soldiers.
I really like chicken pad Thai and here’s the recipe I use when I make it myself. Homemade is 10 times better than takeaway I think.
- 200g pad thai rice noodles
- 2 small chicken breast fillets, cut into thin strips
- ½ tablespoon sauce & 2 more tablespoons for sauce
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
- 1 inch piece ginger, finely grated
- 1 long red chilli, sliced
- 1 red capsicum / bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
- 4 spring onions / scallions, sliced thickly on long angle
- ⅓ cup roasted peanuts, chopped
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon hot chilli sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 fresh lime, cut into wedges, to serve
- For the pad Thai sauce, combine ingredients in a bowl, stir to dissolve sugar.
- Soak noodles in a large saucepan of boiling water for 6 minutes or until almost tender. Drain. Refresh under cold water.
- Cut chicken in half horizontally, then into thin strips. Then combine the chicken and soy sauce in a bowl. Set aside.
- Heat a large wok or frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil and swirl around the pan to coat. Add garlic, ginger, chilli and capsicum, stir-fry 10 seconds.
- Add chicken, stir-fry for 3-4 minutes, or until cooked.
- Push everything to the side and add eggs into center of wok. Stir quickly to just scramble, then mix everything together.
- Add noodles and half the pad Thai sauce. Using two large spoons, lift and turn noodles to stir-fry and combine with other ingredients.
- Add remaining sauce and stir fry until mixture becomes sticky and sauce is absorbed by the noodles.
- Remove from heat and fold through bean sprouts, half the spring onions and half the peanuts.
- Divide among 3 - 4 plates, garnish with remaining spring onion and peanuts and serve with lime wedges on the side.
I didn’t grow up with Asian food in Maine and was only barely introduced when I arrived at university. Okay maybe my mother made something called beef chow mein but honestly, if you saw it you would not recognize it as Asian. How about you?
Barbara @ Barbara Bakes says
I’m sure I eat junk food way more than I should, especially if we’re including things like Chinese food. 🙂 I’ve never made Pad Thai at home. I’ll have to give it a try.
Now this just sounds amazing, as I’ve never tried to make my own pad Thai.
Your dish sounds and looks delicious. I’ve never made Pad Thai, but I’m tempted to now. As to the Chinese tea, I do exactly that at least once a week. 🙂 Love that “Bellygood!”
My mom made something she called Mexican Fried Rice and I used her recipe the other day (we grew up in Maine also) to see if it was as good as I remembered. It was very bland and in no way resembled any kind of fried rice I would eat today. It was basically rice, canned tomatoes and kidney beans with a little salt (no pepper)! My, how tastes have changed!
I love Pad Thai, definitely making it at home is better than take-out
Now, I honestly don’t remember the last time I had what could be considered “junk food”. Probably during a road trip somewhere, we stopped at a MacDonalds or one of those fast food joints on the way. I still never order the burger, though, but might have some of their fries which I love! One of my weaknesses, actually, very hard to say no.
I’d say that junk food is a once-per-year event for me. Phil sometimes might have a burger when he needs to eat lunch on campus, but it’s not very common. He often prefers a cappuccino with a brownie. I think that’s not really junk food, it is from a bakery that does a great job. So there!
Pad thai is one of my all-time favorites and I’ve been thinking about trying a homemade version myself. Thanks for the recipe! Also, I consider “chinese” one of the healthier take-out fast-food options. You’ve got veggies in here and nothing fried!
Sandra - The Foodie Affair says
I need to step away from purchasing this and make it at home. One of my favorite dishes! I’ll be trying your recipe. Thanks, Maureen!
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
mmmm I love Pad Thai – it’s one of my favorite take-out foods. I can’t wait to try this, Maureen!
Veronica (Roni) says
Thanks Maureen…that’s tonights dinner idea taken care of!
I reckon we would be about the same junk food wise, just on the road or those not very often can’t be bothered occasions :)) xx
Your homemade version is most appealing. After my husband’s heart attack, we made a serious commitment to reducing salt in our diet. As a result, we don’t eat out very much – and when we do, the next morning I wake up with a puffy face.
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
We don’t have takeaway very often either Maureen – but we are lucky to have a very good Fish and Chip shop that also does great burgers, with heaps of gorgeous salad and that’s usually my choice when we do.
Looks absolutely delicious, I really like chicken pad Thai!!! We have a great place locally to get authentic chicken pad Thai !!
Shashi at RunninSrilankan says
Haha – I couldn’t help laughing at John’s reasoning on how “healthy” fish and chips really are! I must say, I do enjoy fish – specially when it’s fried – but it’s been ages since I had Chinese food! Thanks Maureen for igniting a craving! I wish I could snap my fingers and a bowl of your pad thai appeared in front of me – and simultaneously, that Chinese tea appeared in front of you – win win huh?! 🙂
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Of course we eat junk food! Who doesn’t? But these days not very much of the packaged supermarket stuff — we just bake what we want. Better flavor and much healthier. But we don’t make our own potato chips, so do buy those (and they’re pretty junky) — but not that often. I’d consider fish and chips a good step above those sorts of things. Not the best way to serve fish (all the added fat) but far better than a lot of alternatives. Anyway, I love pad Thai. Never make my own, though — I need to. Nice dish — thanks.
My twins (a son and a daugther) love chinese !
Usually is my brother who by and bring to them!
But the most the love is Pizza (not my pizza of course)
They love pizza hutt or Dominos pizza you know!
But is ok for me sometimes is beautiful especially at nights:)
I love this Chicken Pad thai look delicious!
Nagi@RecipeTin Eats says
You know…I’ve never made Pad Thai! How weird is that?? I’m guilty of the the “M” word….yes, Maccers…..I do it, I should feel guilty but I don’t give a damn what people think. I love their fries, cheeseburgers and hash browns. 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I just finished lunch but now all I want is pad thai… I think you helped me plan dinner! 😉
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Yum, Pad Thai, definitely a favourite here… and I make it at home too… your recipe sounds perfect… and what a time saver! Junk food? Nope, not really. I honestly cannot recall the last time I went near it. Though we do once a year indulge in bought fish and chips. xo
Pizza and spaghetti was as exotic as my mom ever got but then the woman made strudel and baklava and crepes and cream puffs for dessert. They were where she got creative. The rest of the meal was usually meat and potatoes. Your chicken pad thai recipe is very interesting. Red pepper and ginger isn’t something I’ve ever added to the version I make which I think is better than the restaurant one too. 🙂
Savita @ ChefDeHome says
It always sounds a little heart-breaking…. but junk food still enters our mouth time-to-time… Specially, when one person at home is crazy for junk food… you have two choices, either, cook at home and also do lot of convincing… or shut up and go eat junk 🙂 I love to make everything at home, this Chicken Pad Thai is making me hungry!! Good share, Maureen!
“½ tablespoon sauce & 2 more tablespoons for sauce” – what sauce Maureen? Or am I being stupid?
Yup I’m stupid, I see from the instructions that it is sou sauce.
Mary Frances says
I agree 100%, homemade is always better than takeout. Your pad thai looks so good Maureen! Nothing like the soggy, greasy stuff you’d find in a fast food place.
Also I’m glad you’re being firm about the fish & chips, it doesn’t matter how healthy the fish is, deep-fried anything after a heart attack is no good! How is John doing? I hope his recovery is going smoothly.
You are right and he’s trying.
I make no apologies for eating “junk food.” I hate that term. Food is food. Just eat a variety of it.
Your recipe looks wonderful. 🙂
Anna @ shenANNAgans says
I am really naughty, I ate McDonalds on the weekend, that is really bad junk food. And… Coke, I drink the black death way too often. Your Chinese feed is positively healthy in my books. 🙂
We do eat a lot of Asian style foods in my house, and my bestest friend is Vietnamese, so eat her incredible food a bit too, but Asian food wasn’t something we ate until my late teens. Unheard of when I was a kid. Spag bowl was about as close as we got. LOL!
Thanks for the Pad Thai recipe, tis a fave, shall give it a go sometime soon. 🙂
Sugar et al. says
It happens to me all the time..misplacing ingredients right when I need them. Sometimes they are where they are meant to be and i am looking elsewhere..you know what I mean? Pad Thai is my favorite thing to eat out…tried making it at home long ago but it didn’t turn out as good as the takeaway or restaurant. Your version sounds amazing, can’t wait to try!
Tricia @ Saving room for dessert says
Being over the age of 50 we tend to shy away from fast food. We’ve really been trying hard to eat well, using mostly fresh ingredients, less meat and dairy. I adore pizza so if I’m going to splurge, I want bread, sauce and cheese. We adore a local Turkish restaurant and the Mediterranean style of cooking really appeals to us. You won’t catch us eating at a Mc-somthing or other similar restaurants. While traveling we try to eat at a Subway or somewhere a little healthier. My husband shares that same love of fish and chips, but he doesn’t need it either. Whatever we eat, we try to “save room for dessert” from time to time – sorry for the shameless plug! This chicken pad thai looks great and sounds like something I could really enjoy. Have a great week!
Even when my kids were in their early teens and begged to go to McDonald’s, I held firm. I said we could eat at any place that used cloth napkins. 🙂 That meant no fast food.
Abbe @ This is How I Cook says
I adore Pad Thai and make it fairly often. There are so many versions so it is fun to compare. I wish we had a good Chinese take away near us, but we don’t! Sounds like John is doing good and that IS good!
Love, love a good phad thai!
Eva Taylor says
We love a good pad Thai and your recipe reads so deliciously. Won’t don’t eat much fast food, JT will buy it from time to time but I’d really rather not eat. Particularly since your recipe only takes 30 minutes. So easy and so tasty.
Hotly Spiced says
Sometimes getting takeaway is just good therapy. We all need a light load in the kitchen every now and then. I wish we had a decent Chinese restaurant nearby but I’m in the wrong part of town xx
Caroline @ Shrinking Single says
I love Pad Thai – one of my absolute favorites and definitely doesn’t count as junk food. But like Nagi I am not sure I have ever made it myself. I love potato scallops – Mum used to give us some ridiculous small amount of money like 20c that I used to spend on buying three potato scallop at the local takeaway. Heaven!
I like the name Belly Good. 🙂 Pad Thai is definitely one of my favourite Thai dishes, and this looks and sounds like a very delicious recipe. Nomm and thanks.
Nancy | Plus Ate Six says
Great name for a Chinese takeaway! We don’t do junk food – fish & chips doesn’t count does it? Last time I had a Maccas was 1996!! Pad thai is a great standby isn’t it – the spicier the better.
We rarely buy “junk food” simply as there are no decent providers close by. Pizza shops load them up with everything, crap cheese and ham and when you ask for vegetarian with almost no cheese they just baulk. I must admit I’m a sucker for a Maccas egg and bacon muffin but when I go there and ask for no bag, no straw and no packaging it just too hard for them and then I get stroppy. These days junk food for us is home made pho or a curry. A bag of potato chips does go down well after a big day out in the garden though. I’m led to believe battered fish with batter removed is better than grilled fish from the F&C shop.
Tania @My Kitchen Stories says
I rarely have junk food or order in. however my son Skater and his girlfriend live almost entirely on junk food. I did supervise him cooking up a batch of pad Thai on the BBQ the other night though I am damn sure it wasn’t as good as yours. ….No John NO!!! to Fish and Chips…<3
on the bbq? You genius!
David Crichton says
This is our go to quick I need dinner recipe. Always have frozen uncooked prawns in the freezer, oodles in the cupboard. The rest just gets thrown together. An amazing healthy, tasty dish whether cooked at home or from the take away.
The Squishy Monster says
I most often reach for fast food when I’m sad. J and I just had pad thai for supper last night! Chicken sounds like a great idea!
Ciao Florentina says
This looks so good, I’ve been craving pad Thai for weeks so this is a sign, now I’ll have to go make it, right now !
Suzy @ The Mediterranean Dish says
I never eat junk food, Maureen:-) O, you just saw through this lie, didn’t ya. Great post as usual, friend. It is okay to take a break once in a while. Your pad Thai recipe looks great!
Lucy @ Bake Play Smile says
My fave!!!!! Love it!!! 🙂
oh wow! I love your chicken! Looks delicious!
I need to add this to our menu STAT. No crazy, hard to find ingredients—and just plain delicious!!! My hubby’s the one who does fast food on occasion—always under the guise of “I think Katie would love some Steak and Shake for lunch.” I’ve got his number 🙂
Kitchen Belleicious says
so many things are better at home than at a restaurant and pad thai is one of them especially if it looks like yours. It looks amazing and so flavorful.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Chinese is always my fallback food. I think it reminds me of childhood and I love it so. And I lvoe chow mein (with the soft noodles) 🙂
I remember my daughter-in-law telling me once if she didn’t have rice every few days, life wasn’t worth living. When Alan called today to wish me happy birthday I found out she had been in Taiwan for 2 weeks. I bet she got her fill of rice. 🙂
Pad Thai is one of my favorite “fast foods” to indulge in. 🙂 I didn’t grow up with Asian food either, apart from the fake takeout stuff. But I do love eating and making the real thing now. 🙂
InTolerant Chef says
We definitely love a good Asian takeaway too Maureen, but I have to admit tonight we’re having Dominos gluten free pizza. I would really love your pad Thai instead, but I’m too slack to cook tonight 🙂 xo
Just hopping over to say hi! I remember last time my comment never showed up, since I was accidentally listed as spammer by Akismet…
Chicken pad thai is one of my favorite noodle dish. Actually it’s difficult to get a decent one here in Beijing. Can you believe it? Even China is way closer to Thailand than the US… Anyhow, last time I order this dish in a not-so-cheap restaurant, they used ketchup for the sauce. Yikes! Thanks for reminding me how easy it is to cook this one at home. Can’t wait to try this out!
We all eat junk food from time to time … I’m trying to limit that but with kids… going crazy over colored stuff and preservatives , it is sometimes hard to control them :)… How is your hubby now? I hope he is doing better ..and PLEASE PLEASE be super firm with him when it comes to deep frying food. For some reason I did not like fish sauce with chicken it gave it a bad fishy smell that did not go along with chicken taste, how do you overcome this feeling? May be it was the recipe I used back then, I should try yours.
i am all for home made food though sometimes we do eat out but thats coz at times I want a break from the kitchen.
Have never made pad thai and now that I have your recipe,i intend to make it this Sunday.
I’m hoping on a plane and coming to your house to eat. Catching up with your website this morning is making me very hungry! Chicken Pad Thai is my all time favorite Thai dish!
At home we don’t eat Junk food or maybe sometimes but we are not a fan !!
Your chineses food against we will love it ! My husband is a fan of this kind of recipes ! I will saw him the picture and maybe he will cook it for me 😉
The Ninja Baker says
Your Chicken Pad Thai looks to be sooo delectable, Maureen. So, whether the dish is authentically Asian or not is a mute point =) Thank you for the recipe and inspiration to kick off my shoes and watch some telly! P.s. Your concern about the hubby’s fish and chips penchant is understandable…But, boy oh boy, I understand his penchant for the lovely UK classic, too =)
Pad Thai is one of my favorite noodle dishes… this looks great!!
I love pad thai. I have a question. Did you boil the noodles beforehand to cook them them so it would be just a quick stir fry after with the rest of the ingredients?
I just put the noodles in a bowl and pour boiling water over them and cover until they’re tender and then toss them in the wok. 🙂
Kate @ Almond Butter Binge says
Oooh, this is one of my favorites, too! There’s a great Thai restaurant in my town, and I’ve become addicted. But I’m always scared to make it at home…I had this idea that the sauce must have a million ingredients in it and I’d never get it right. Happy to be proven wrong! Thanks for sharing this.