I really, really enjoy Thai food. The combination of flavors and ingredients make it not only incredibly delicious but ultra unique. There’s just nothing like it. Today we are making Chicken Pad Thai as an Easy Freezer Meal.
Turn this classic Thai dish into a freezer meal.
To make this a freezer friendly Pad Thai we will be cooking all of the ingredients separately. Once finished we’ll assemble the dish and place it in freezer friendly containers. The only thing we will not be adding is the noodles. I’ve tried to incorporate the noodles as a freezer dish but they just get too soggy on the reheat so we will just be creating a “base” (chicken, sauce, and vegetables) for this pad Thai. This technique is not uncommon in restaurants that want to plan ahead. The “prepared base” will be everything we need to just heat and serve which makes this freezer meal ultra convenient.
I’m sure you’ll want to enjoy this for lunch or dinner the day you cook it , so all you have to do is add some of your cooked chicken, sauce, and prepared vegetables to a skillet and toss in some prepared “softened” pad Thai noodles (the noodles have to be prepared ahead of time – see package instructions). On a medium high heat toss everything together till the noodles have absorbed the sauce and everything has been warmed through. Serve with a peanut garnish and enjoy.
Should you velvet the chicken?
Velveting the chicken is a technique used by Asian restaurants to deliver tender and juicy chicken every time. This is an optional step but I have found that if you velvet your chicken in freezer meals the chicken comes out incredible, even breast meat!! It doesn’t take very long and it’s totally worth it!!
There are several different techniques when it comes to velveting your chicken. The one I tend to gravitate towards is the Baking Soda Technique. This technique works when your meat is sliced thinly and can be used for beef, chicken, or pork. This method only requires that you mix some baking soda in a little bit of water and soak the sliced meat in it for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, rinse everything off and you are finished.. It’s as simple as that.
Preparing the Tofu
If you plan on using tofu in this recipe it is important that you buy the firmest possible tofu you can get. I used “Extra Firm” for this recipe. As soon as you are ready to use, line a tray with several sheets of paper towels. Remove the tofu from its packaging and place on top of the paper towels. Add several more layers of paper towels on top of the tofu, then place another tray on top of that. Finally set something heavy on the top tray to weigh it all down. Press your tofu for at least 30 minutes. This will remove any excess moisture from your tofu allowing it to crisp up when you fry it. If you don’t do this your tofu will fall apart in your pan.
As far as the rest of this recipe goes, stir fry the vegetables (be sure to not over cook), make the sauce, then toss everything together. If you have any questions be sure to let me know and if you make this recipe be sure to drop me a line and let me know how it turned out.
Feel free to add or take away from the vegetable list. I had lots of extra vegetables in my refrigerator that I needed to use up and this was the perfect dish for that. The end result was a very hearty pad Thai.
4oz of dry noodles, 1.5 cups of vegetable mix, 1/2 cup of sauce, and 4 oz of cooked chicken will feed 2 people
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Chicken Pad Thai
- 1 pound Medium Pad Thai Noodles
For the Vegetables
- 16 oz bean sprouts
- 1 sliced green onions tops and bottoms divided
- 11 oz broccoli cut into florets
- 11 oz red bell pepper sliced
- 11 oz carrots grated
- 3 tbsp garlic minced
- 11 oz purple onions sliced
- 16 oz zucchini diced
- 11 oz purple cabbage
- 5 eggs whisked
- 12 oz extra firm tofu pressed to extract the moisture
- ½ oz cilantro chopped
For the chicken
- 16 oz chicken breast cut into thin slices or chunks
- 1 tbsp baking soda for velveting (optional)
- 1 cup water for velveting (optional)
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp white pepper sub black
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
For the sauce
- 9 oz Light Brown Sugar
- 1⅓ cups Water
- 1 cup Fish Sauce
- 1¾ cups Thai Tamarindo Concentrate
Velvet and marinate the chicken
- Cut your chicken into thin slices, against the grain.
- If you are going to velvet the chicken. Mix the baking soda and water together and add your sliced chicken to it. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Once finished rinse well with water, and drain.
- Combine the marinade ingredients (soy sauce, fish sauce, white pepper , and ginger) and add it to the chicken. Mix well to combine. Marinate for 10-15 minutes.
- Once you finish marinating, stir fry the chicken in a skillet with a little oil. Set the cooked chicken to the side
Stir Fry the Vegetables
- In your cooking skillet, add enough oil to stir fry the vegetables till they start to soften. Start with the onions. As soon as they start to turn translucent add the garlic. Set the vegetables in a bowl.
- Continue by stir frying each one of the vegetables till they start to soften, placing each one in your bowl once finished. Be sure to not overcook the vegetables as we want them to have a nice bite when we finish.
- Add the whisked eggs to the skillet and gently move the egg mixture around on a medium heat. Once finished gently chop the eggs and add that to the vegetables.
- If you plan on adding tofu, start off by placing the tofu squares in between a few paper towels in a pan. Set another pan on top of the paper towel pressing the tofu with something heavy. Press for at least 30 minutes. This will remove a lot of the excess moisture in your tofu. Once the tofu has been pressed cut into small cubes and fry them in a skillet till the sides are crispy. Add this to your vegetable mix.
- To finish the vegetable mix add the sliced green onion tops and the chopped cilantro and mix well to combine.
Prepare the sauce
- Start by adding the light brown sugar into your pot. On a medium/high heat stirring frequently, melt the sugar and caramelize it. You are looking for it to turn a few shades darker than what you originally started.
- Once your sugar has been caramelized, add the water, fish sauce, and tamarind concentrate. Cook on a medium heat till it begins to simmer.
- Simmer for 15 minutes, then remove from the heat.
To eat as a fresh dinner
- Add some vegetables, chicken and sauce in a skillet and heat on a medium/high heat. Toss in some softened rice noodles till the sauce has been completely absorbed. Serve and enjoy. (garnish with peanuts)
- Toss the vegetables, sauce, and chicken together in a freezer friendly container. Vac seal, then freeze. (if you don't have a freezer friendly container you can store this in an air tight container)1.5 cups of vegetables, 1/2 cup of sauce, and 100 4oz of chicken will feed 2 people
- Start by preparing the rice noodles. Soak the raw pad Thai rice noodles in luke warm water for 1 hour
- Heat your "Pad Thai Base" (vegetables, sauce, chicken) till it's hot. Add the noodles to it and stir fry till the sauce has been absorbed into the noodles. Garnish with chopped peanuts. Serve and enjoy.
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