Enjoy Pad Cha Talay, a delicious and spicy Thai stir-fry with a large, juicy seafood medley using Pad Cha paste. Bursting with the rich flavors of Thai fish sauce, fragrant herbs, and the fiery kick of Pad Cha, this dish will awaken your taste buds like never before. All in just 20 minutes times!
This Pad Cha Talay has its own Pad Cha paste within the recipe. If you made my Jungle curry paste, it's perfect for this recipe! They have the same ingredients, and they work perfectly well together!
For more Thai stir-fries recipes, these are delicious options to try. Mussels stir fry with basil, Pork Pad Kra Tiem, Thai eggplants stir fry, and Thai catfish stir fry with red curry and pork Pad Krapao.
- Why You'll Love Pad Cha
- What is Pad Cha Talay
- Pad Cha Ingredients
- Young Peppercorns and Kra Chai
- How to Make Pad Cha Talay
- Garnishing Options
- Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- What to Serve with Pad Cha Talay
- Variations and Substitutes
- Storing Leftovers
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Pad Cha Talay (Thai Seafood Stir-Fry)
- More Delicious Thai Recipes
Why You'll Love Pad Cha
- Flavor Bomb! Pad Cha Talay delivers a burst of savory, spicy, and fragrant flavors in each bite.
- It's easy and fast to put together. The seafood cooks quickly, so it's a fast dish to have on the table in about 20 minutes!
- Adjustable heat level. You can tailor the level of spiciness to suit your preference, making it perfect for spice enthusiasts.
- Healthy and Fresh. This stir-fry features a medley of seafood and herbs, offering a healthy and aromatic dish.
- Customizable: Your choice of protein for Pad Cha is flexible. Make it vegetarian by using crispy fried tofu. Also, use fish, clams, mussels, or any seafood.
What is Pad Cha Talay
Pad Cha Talay is a Thai seafood stir-fry known for its bold, addictive spicy flavors. The "Pad" refers to stir-frying, while "Cha" signifies the mix of spices and herbs. "Talay" translates to "seafood," This dish typically combines various seafood ingredients with an assortment of fragrant Thai herbs.
Pad Cha Ingredients
There are two parts to Pad Cha. The main ingredients for the stir fry and the Pad Cha paste part. You can also use my homemade Jungle curry paste if you prefer.
For the Pad Char Stir Fry
- Pad Cha Paste. See the recipe below for a quick paste that makes a bold, intense spicy sauce Pad Cha is known for when mixed with stock. You can also use my Jungle curry paste instead.
- Young green peppercorns. These can be found at the Asian market, brined in a glass jar.
- Krachai. It is also called finger root, lesser galangal, or Chinese ginger. Find these frozen or brined-in glass jars for sale at most Asian grocery stores. They come whole or shredded.
- Mixed seafood (Shrimp, scallops, squid, fish, mussels, etc.) Large scallops, jumbo shrimp, and calamari are used for this recipe.
- Thai fresh green and red peppers. Use Thai bird's eye or Serrano peppers.
- Holy basil. Use Thai basil if holy basil is not available. Read more about Thai herbs here.
- Kaffir Lime Leaves. For added flavors and aroma.
- Brown or palm sugar. White or monk fruit sugar is fine to use as well.
- Thai fish sauce. Adds an umami savory taste to the stir fry. Read more about different Thai sauces here.
- Fresh holy basil. Thai holy basil is the traditional ingredient, but sweet basil leaves will work fine as substitutes, as holy basil is not readily available.
- Stock or broth. A flavorful stock or broth to create a delicious Pad Cha sauce that perfectly blends all the ingredients.
- Oil. Use neutral oil for this stir fry.
For the Pad Cha Paste
- Garlic. Garlic is an important ingredient for this curry paste as it adds intense flavor to the stir fry.
- Thai fresh green or red chili. Customize to your spiciness level preference.
- Lemongrass. Adds an earthly citrusy note to the recipe.
- Kaffir lime leaves. Find these at the Asian market in the fresh or frozen section.
- Whole white peppercorn. Ground white peppercorns are fine for use in this Pad Cha paste. Read more about Thai spices here.
- Salt. Just need a dash to enhance the garlic and Thai herbs in the paste.
- Krachai. Kracha is the key herb that sets that stir fry apart from the others. Please don't skip it.
Young Peppercorns and Kra Chai
These two ingredients are key to making an authentic Pad Cha recipe. They can be found at the Asian market in brined glass jars. Frozen Kra Chai is sometimes available, while fresh or frozen young green peppercorns are rarely seen outside Thailand.
Please see the images before for reference when shopping for them.
How to Make Pad Cha Talay
Follow these simple steps to prepare a mouthwatering Pad Cha Talay:
Step 1: Make the paste. Make the Pad Cha paste by combining all the ingredients (See the above section) in a mortar, pestle, or spice grinder.
Step 2: Stir fry with oil—heat vegetable oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the Pad Cha paste to hot oil and stir-fry until fragrant.
Step 3: Add herbs. Add the Krachai, chopped Thai red and green peppers, kaffir lime leaves, and young peppercorns to the paste. Stir-fry to combine, and cook for a minute.
Step 4: Add the stock, fish sauce and sugar. Stir to combine.
Step 5: Add the mixed seafood and stir-fry until they're almost cooked, about 3-4 minutes.
Step 6: Once the seafood is fully cooked, turn the heat off and add Thai basil leaves. Done! Serve your Pad Cha Talay with a side of jasmine rice.
- Fresh Thai basil leaves: Sprinkle some fresh basil leaves over the dish for a burst of herbal aroma.
- Thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves: Add some finely sliced Kaffir lime leaves as a garnish to enhance the citrusy notes.
- Add thinly sliced red Thai chili for a colorful pop of red. Remove the seeds for less heat.
Helpful Kitchen Notes and Tips
- Adjust the spiciness by adding more or fewer fresh Thai chilis. Use red bell peppers if you want a milder version of Pad Cha.
- Young green peppercorn. These are also sold in glass jars in the Asian market. Black peppercorns do not have the same flavor profile, so I do not recommend using them.
- Krachai and young green peppercorns come in large jars. Store them in the fridge for up to a few months after opening.
- A few recipes that use Krachai and black peppercorns are fish Jungle curry and Jungle curry paste. More coming up. Stay tuned!
What to Serve with Pad Cha Talay
- Steamed jasmine rice is traditionally served with Pad Cha, as it's perfect for absorbing and balancing the spiciness of the stir-fry.
Variations and Substitutes
- Seafood choices. You can pick any favorite seafood options, such as shrimp, squid, mussels, clams, or fish fillets.
- Vegetable medley: Add a variety of vegetables like bell peppers, green beans, or bamboo shoots to your Pad Cha if you are a vegetarian.
- Tofu works very well. Firm tofu is best for stir-frying in Pad Cha as it won't fall apart easily.
If you have leftover Pad Cha Talay, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Pad Cha Talay offers a spicy, savory, and aromatic flavor profile with a pronounced herbal and peppery kick.
You can control the spiciness by altering the amount of Pad Cha paste, Thai chilis, and green peppercorns you use in the recipe.
Thai fish sauce and Kaffir lime leaves are typically available in Asian markets or specialty grocery stores.
Yes, you can choose your favorite seafood or use a single type of seafood to make this dish.
Pad Cha Paste combines Thai herbs and spices, including green peppercorns and galangal, giving the dish its distinct flavor. You can find it at an Asian market or prepare it at home.
More Thai Recipes You'll Love
- Thai stir-fry chicken with cashew nuts.
- Rad Na is a Thai gravy stir fry with flat rice noodles and Chinese broccoli.
- Pad prik Khing is a Thai dry curry stir fry with green beans and shrimp.
- Thai green papaya salad.
- Pad See Ew is a Thai stir-fried chicken dish with wide rice noodles.
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