When my friend Ray challenged me to make Pad Phai (Pad Thai Pie), I smirked and couldn’t resist accepting.
Pad Thai is the typical American gateway drug to Thai food, leading the way to curries and spicy Thai soups. It’s Thai comfort food and I knew that it would be even more of an American crowd-pleaser in pie format with a sweet peanut crust.
My family couldn’t get enough Pad Phai; we ate it for days. I had to make two pies while perfecting the recipe so we had quite a bit to consume. My struggle was to figure out how to get the Pad Thai to hold together in a slice. The secret – that I should have known from the get-go because of Mom’s noodle kugel – was eggs! The eggs keep the Pad Thai in a perfect slice and add to the rich flavor of the dish.
Pad Phai Recipe
For the Pad Thai in this recipe, I used Easy Chicken Pad Thai from Simply Scratch. It’s a great recipe that tastes as good as any Pad Thai I’ve eaten and takes about an hour to prepare.
I based my peanut crust recipe on the nut crust recipe from Ellen’s Kitchen. It’s a sweet, nutty crust that I flavored with a touch of the sauce from the Pad Thai.
Pad Phai (a.k.a. Pad Thai Pie)
Pad Thai Sauce
- 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
- 1 1/2 teaspoons up to 1 tablespoon Sriracha depending on how spicy you like your Pad Thai (At 2 teaspoons it had a slight kick, but it wasn't so spicy that my somewhat adventurous five year old couldn't eat it.)
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
Savory Peanut Crust
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts finely chopped
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons Pad Thai sauce from above
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted
Pad Thai Ingredients
- 1 1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 14 ounces rice noodles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4-5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 green onions sliced (with a few slices reserved to top the pie)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
- Cornstarch slurry 1 tablespoon cornstarch plus one tablespoon water, stirred
- 8 large eggs whisked together
Topping and Garnish Ingredients
- a small handful ground peanuts
- reserved green onion
- a small handful chopped cilantro
- sliced lime to taste
Pad Thai Sauce Instructions
In a small mixing bowl, mix all sauce ingredients until sugar has dissolved.
Savory Peanut Crust Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix all pie crust ingredients.
Press pie crust into the bottom and up the sides of a greased deep dish 9 inch pie pan.
Poke a few holes in the crust with a fork.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes.
Pad Thai Instructions
In a large bowl, coat chicken with cornstarch and soy sauce. Set aside.
Boil a large pot of water.
Drop noodles in the boiling water, turn off the heat, and let the noodles soak for five minutes or until soft but still firm in the center. Drain the noodles, but do not rinse (the extra starch helps keep the pie together).
Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the olive oil and garlic to the skillet and cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
Add the chicken to the skillet in one even layer and cook for five minutes on each side or until fully cooked.
Add the green onions to the skillet.
Immediately add the noodles, bean sprouts, peanuts, and remaining sauce.
Add the cornstarch slurry and toss everything together for two to three minutes until fully combined.
Remove Pad Thai from heat and cool until just warmer than room temperature (about 10 minutes). This step is important so that you do not cook the eggs when you add them.
Turn the oven back on to 350 F (if you had turned it off).
Stir in the eggs to the Pad Thai.
Pour the Pad Thai over the pre-baked crust.
Bake for 30 minutes.
Cover and bake for another 15 minutes.
Topping and Garnish Instructions
Top pie with peanuts, reserved onions, and cilantro.
Serve warm with slices of lime.
Making Pad Thai from scratch can be a bit daunting. If you love the idea of Pad Phai, but don't want to make Pad Thai from scratch, you can take out Pad Thai from a restaurant and add the eggs and crust from my recipe to convert it to a pie.