Q: Hello! Top Spice in Atlanta on North Druid Hills has the most amazing Pad Thai Chicken. I have ordered this dish at other places and none compare. I now live in Alpharetta and don’t get to Top Spice as often as I would like. Would they be willing to share this recipe? Thank you. — Jill Smith, Alpharetta
A: Howie Ewe, owner of Top Spice, was not only happy to share the recipe, but when he sent it, he provided photos of some of the particular ingredients that make this version of Pad Thai so memorable.
Pad Thai is predominantly a noodle dish, and at Top Spice, they prefer Thai Boy rice sticks. The second and third key ingredients are the components of the sauce. At Top Spice, they use Maggi Tamarina, an Indian condiment made of water, sugar, tamarind and spices. What you don’t use for this recipe you’ll want to try as a dip or marinade. And they prefer Squid brand fish sauce, a liquid made of anchovy extract and salt.
You can find these ingredients at stores carrying Asian or Indian groceries, or at the Buford Highway Farmers Market which has them all. You’ll also find fried tofu there.
Top Spice’s Pad Thai
8 ounces dry rice sticks
1 cup water
1/4 cup Tamarina
3 tablespoons fish sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces sliced chicken breast (or peeled shrimp)
6 ounces bean sprouts
2 ounces fried tofu, cut into small pieces
2 scallions, cut into 2-inch lengths
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
Lime wedges, bean sprouts and crushed peanuts, for garnish
Cook the rice sticks according to package directions. Drain in a colander and run cold water over noodles until they are chilled. Set aside.
Make sauce: In a small bowl, combine water, Tamarina, fish sauce, sugar and paprika. Stir to combine and set aside.
In a wok, heat oil over high heat. Add eggs and scramble until well done. Remove eggs from wok and set aside.
Add chicken to wok and stir until cooked through. Add the reserved noodles and toss to combine. Add sauce and keep stirring noodles until half the sauce is absorbed. Stir the eggs back in and add bean sprouts, tofu, scallions and peanuts and toss. Remove from heat and serve noodles immediately, garnishing with lime, bean sprouts and peanuts. Serves: 4
Per serving: 559 calories (percent of calories from fat, 34), 24 grams protein, 69 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 22 grams fat (4 grams saturated), 141 milligrams cholesterol, 831 milligrams sodium.