I love Thai food and sometimes get overwhelming cravings for it. Curry in the Instant pot is easy, but noodles?? Noodles are hard. I've tried several Instant Pot recipes for Pad Thai or other Asian noodle dishes and I just wasn't happy with how they turned out. I love noodles though and I just knew somehow it could be done so I persevered and came up with a technique that works.
Using this technique allows you to recreate a restaurant favorite in about 30 mins. What's better is you get complete control over the ingredients. For me I love that because I can make everything gluten free and organic. Something that is hard to find in the take-out world.
A couple things to note about the ingredients: One of the things that give Pad See Ew the distinct flavor is the dark soy sauce. It is what imparts the dark color and smokey flavor. Since dark soy sauce is hard to find, and gluten free dark soy is impossible, I substitute a little molasses. I think it provides the perfect depth of flavor. Another thing you might notice is I also use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce. Personally I avoid soy and I also think coconut aminos taste better. I use wide flat rice noodles and I have found that they consistently cook well in the instant pot. Thinner noodles, like Pad Thai noodles sometimes cook well and sometimes are too mushy. For this reason I use this noodles in all my Asian noodle dishes, like my Egg Roll Bowl.
What makes this work is the technique I developed for cooking the noodles. After browning the chicken and onions, I add 1.5 Cups of water. This water will allow the pot to come to pressure and will be the liquid which cook the noodles. The idea here is to sandwich the noodles in-between the liquid a layer of broccoli. The Broccoli creates a cap to keep the steam on the noodles and allows them to cook without being soaked in water.
I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we do.
Note: you will need to double this in an 8qt or you will get a burn notice when cooking.
1 lb Boneless chicken cut in chunks ( I prefer thighs)
Onion rough chopped
Chinese Broccoli or Broccoli Rabe
Wide flat rice noodles
Avocado oil (other neutral oil
1.5 cups water
1/4 cup coconut aminos or soy sauce
2 cloves garlic
1 inch ginger
1 tbs molasses
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tbs oyster sauce
1 tbs coconut sugar (sub brown sugar)
First step is to prepare the sauce by adding all the ingredients to a Vitamix or high powdered blender. Blend on high for a few seconds till smooth. Set aside.
Next turn your Instant Pot to “sauté” and add some oil and allow to heat for a few seconds. Once oil is hot, start to brown the chicken and onions together. Add a little of the sauce from the blender to coat the chicken as it cooks. Once chicken starts to cook, break the egg and scramble it in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Once scrambled, add the 1.5 cup of water to the pot. Turn the pot off. Add 1/2 a bag of the rice noodles and add a splash of avocado oil and mix them together to coat with the oil. Doing this allows the noodles prevents them from sticking together. Lastly push the noodles into the liquid using the back of a spatula. You can fold them into the liquid but lifting the chicken from the bottom of the pot and making more room for the noodles to get into the water.
Cut your Chineses broccoli or broccoli rabe into large sections at least 2 inches long. Place these stalks on top of the noodles. This is one of the only times I add veggies during the cooking process. Put the lid on and cook for 2 mins under pressure.
This process of trapping the noodles between the water at the bottom of the pot and the broccoli at the top of the pot allows the noodles to steam and cook without being underdone or mushy. Following this process is key to the noodles coming our right.
Once it’s done release the pressure immediately. Stir your dish. Turn the sauté feature on. Add the rest of the sauce and mix it well. Allow the dish to cook for a bit in the pan and not stirring too often so the sauce can be gently caramelized. Once it’s done serve and add Thai basil on top.