By Food & Wine
If you can't find fish sauce at your local Asian market, a mixture of soy sauce and oyster sauce makes a fine substitute. Serve with lime wedges. Fast, Cheap and Delicious Asian Noodle Recipes
Chicken Pad ThaiChicken Pad Thai
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1-inch cubes
5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup water
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 1/2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 pound linguine
3 tablespoons cooking oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
2/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped fine
2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves
1. In a small bowl, combine the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In another bowl, combine the tofu with another 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the remaining 5 tablespoons fish sauce with the water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne.
2. In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until done, about 12 minutes. Drain.
3. Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until just done, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove. Put another tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
4. Add the pasta and the fish-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, tofu, and 1/3 cup peanuts. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, the bean sprouts, and half the cilantro. Top with the remaining peanuts and cilantro.
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My after-school snack was a sacred ritual. I sat on the carpet in my parents' bedroom at a low table, the television turned to "I Dream of Jeannie," and ate a peanut butter and honey sandwich cut into neat squares. I wasn't fussy about crusts. I just loved the sticky pairing of creamy peanut butter with syrupy golden sweetness drizzled from a honey bear in diagonals across the soft white bread. Nothing else--save for maybe apples and peanut butter in a pinch--could have made for as sweet an