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Jun 23, 2011 08:32 AM

Pad Thai noodle sticking all together


I made some pad thai but the rice noodle are sticking together.
Thet are not loose like in restaurant.

I am using dry rice noodle as mentionned in my recipe
Prior to cook them, I soak them in cold water for 30-45 minutes. Them
when I stir fry them , I add just enough water to make them cook.

But everytime, the noodle are sticking .

Any tips ? Did I do someting wrong


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  1. The noodles should be soaked in very warm water, not cold. The noodles also need to be drained well (rinsing them may also help) before introducing to the frying process. I don't know why you're adding water to "make them cook". Adding water produces steam cooking. If you want to fry them you'll need to use oil.

    1 Reply
    1. re: todao

      No, he's right. Soak in cold water for an hour. The noodles will still be quite firm when you put them in the pot, which is what you want. You finish cooking them in the sauce plus some soaking water so they soak up all the flavor of the sauce. I don't bother draining them, either. Just grab a handful and throw them in the wok. You'll want to reserve the water anyways. If you soak them in warm water, they'll be too mushy and are guaranteed to overcook and stick.

      If you find your noodles getting sticky, just add a bit more water until they're just cooked through. To make things easier on myself, I use a different sequence than the recipe. I cook everything else first, then the noodles last by themselves, then mix it all together. The difference between perfect and gluey noodles is about 30 seconds, so this lets me concentrate on getting the noodles cooked just right. Really, a dish like this takes practice to get the feel and timing down. Keep trying.

    2. Definitely need oil for pad thai, and very high heat. It's a variation of stir-fry, and cooks fast.

      3 Replies
      1. re: arashall

        Thanks for the response .

        I definitely use oil to stir fry the noodle, but in the recipe and video I saw, the noodle still need a little bit of water to be soft and to cook too I guess . The recipe is here :

        @todao : I am surprise you said to soak in very warm water but I lltry it !

        1. re: waltereo

          Let us know if the warm water soaking helps. You also might try a different brand of rice noodles, and see if they are easier to work with.

        2. What thickness of noodle are you using? The recipe I go by calls for Chantaboon rice sticks (a medium width that is about 1/4" wide after soaking and cooking. It calls for soaking for 45-60 minutes in warm water. No additional water is needed when stir-frying - the vinegar and dish sauce go in just after the soaked noodles, and that is enough steam and liquid to cook the noodles. They do not stick.

          1. I recommend cooking in the pot and seasoning in the wok for these noodles. After soaking, cook them for a few seconds in boiling water immediately prior to stir frying. In a boiling pot, I use a Chinese strainer to take them out as soon as they are finished cooking. If they are going to sit then after you take them out of the water, stir in a little oil (maybe garlic oil if you like garlic). In the wok, use oil and don't add extra water. It has to be quick, those noodles get soft and gluey fast. I recommend using big cooking chopsticks to keep the noodles from breaking into small pieces while you're seasoning.

            1. Oooo, I feel for you! I have been there with a gluey, leaden wad of noodle. What I do now is the second the water had drained through I sprinkle a little (1 tsp approx.) oil on them (sesame, peanut, whatever) and quickly toss. I usually use my fingers 'cause it's quicker, but the noodles are still hot which inspires me to keep tossing very, very quickly.