Perfect Pad Thai Recipe

Pad Thai, a flavorful combination of stir-fried rice noodles is Thailand's most well known noodle dish. This relatively recent addition to Thai cuisine, puts crispy bean sprouts, crunchy roasted peanuts and garlic chives over soft rice noodles cooked in a sweet and sour sauce which is uniquely Thai in flavor. We have put all the necessary ingredients for this recipe into our Perfect Pad Thai Kit available in our online grocery.

Pad ThaiHomemade Perfect Pad Thai with Shrimp
Pad Thai Sauce Recipe  

Prepare this Perfect Pad Thai Sauce to keep on hand so that you can whip up Pad Thai Noodles any time.

Ingredients for Perfect Pad Thai Sauce:

Preparation for Pad Thai Sauce:

  1. Prepare tamarind water (see recipe below).
  2. Mix the tamarind water with fish sauce, and palm sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar.
  3. Cook over low heat and stir, cook for 45 minutes until syrupy. Set aside.*

Note: If you are in a rush, use our already prepared Pad Thai Sauce.

*Our Perfect Pad Thai Sauce can be stored refrigerated tightly sealed for up to 3 months. This recipe will make enough for preparing Pad Thai several times. Bring to room temperature before using.

Pad Thai Recipe  

Ingredients for Pad Thai Noodles (See our Perfect Pad Thai Kit below):

  • 8 oz. medium Asian Rice Noodles (Thai Farmer Brand)
  • approximately 4 tbsp. peanut oil or other vegetable oil
  • 1/2 lb. frozen or fresh shrimp or 1/3 lb. boneless pork loin, shoulder or other similar cut
  • 3/4 cup firm tofu, cut into 1 1/2" x 1" x 1/4" pieces
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup Dried Shrimp, soaked in warm water
  • 1/4 cup chopped Sweet Pickled Radish/Turnip
  • 2-3 tsp. Dried Ground Red Chili Peppers
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 cup garlic chives, cut into 1 inch lengths (or scallions)
  • 8 tbsp. of the Perfect Pad Thai Sauce from above


Preparing Pad Thai

Presoak noodles: Soak the rice noodles in cool or lukewarm water for at least 40 minutes, until the noodles are limp but still firm to touch. When the noodles have softened, drain and set aside. While the noodles are soaking prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Prepare Pad Thai ingredients: Peel and devein shrimp leaving the tails on if desired (see our how to video in our blog here). Brine the shrimp if desired for moister and tastier shrimp by dissolving 1/4 cup sea salt (not included in kit) in 4-8 cups of water. To dissolve the sea salt, boil one cup of water first and stir in salt. Then add cool water and ice if needed to bring down the temperature. Submerge shrimp in a salt and water solution in a refrigerated container for 30 minutes. Drain, pat dry and set aside.

If using pork, slice into 1x1/2x1/4 inch slices. Set aside.

Prepare tofu, garlic, shallot and dried shrimp, garlic chives, scallions and lime and set aside.

Mortar and PestleRoast raw peanuts in a 350 F oven for 3 to 5 minutes; remove from oven and cool slightly; rub between fingers to remove skins. Crush peanuts with a mortar and pestle lightly to break up. Set aside.

Prepare Pad Thai: Heat a large wok or 12" skillet over high heat and add 2 teaspoons of cooking oil. Add garlic and stir quickly for about 30 seconds. Add shrimp (or pork) and cook until pink (or pork until brown) and almost cooked through. Remove from wok and set aside.

Add 2 tbsp. of oil to the wok, and let the wok heat up again. Add the tofu and stir-fry until golden brown, about 4-5 minutes. Add shallots, dried shrimp, sweetened radish and ground dried chilis. Important Note: unless your wok is very large, it is best to stir-fry noodles in 2 batches by setting half of the tofu-dried shrimp mixture aside.

Add the noodles and combine with other ingredients. Stir fry 1-2 minutes until softened. Push up along one side of the wok. Add a teaspoon of oil, pour in the eggs and cook to set. Cut eggs into small chunks with a spatula and toss with the noodles.

Add the prepared Pad Thai Sauce and stir well to coat noodles. If noodles are too firm for your liking sprinkle with 1-2 tbsp. water to help cook. Taste and adjust flavors if desired.

When noodles are cooked to your liking, toss in bean sprouts and garlic chives. Sprinkle with half of the chopped peanuts and add cooked shrimp or pork. Stir well to combine and when vegetables are partly wilted transfer to serving dishes.

Fresh Banana BlossomGarnish with lime, bean sprouts, scallions, dried ground chilies and chopped peanuts. To be even more authentically Thai, you may also garnish the dish with fresh banana blossom, available here also.

Serves 4.

Perfect Pad Thai Kit with Wok

Recipe & Images © Temple of Thai 2005

Thanks to Kasma Loha-Unchit for the noodle soaking and cooking advice. And thanks to Pamela Lee, Moscow Food Coop for the shrimp brining process.

Pad Thai Step by Step  
Making Pad Thai Sauce

Pad Thai

Making Pad Thai Sauce

Palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water combine to make the distinctive, tangy pad thai sauce.

Boil to thicken Pad Thai Sauce

Pad Thai

Making Pad Thai Sauce

Boil to sauce ingredients together to thicken the pad thai Sauce.

Presoak Rice Noodles to soften

Pad Thai

Prepare the Noodles

Presoak the rice noodles to soften them. Allow plenty of time for this step about 40 mins.

Roast Peanuts

Pad Thai

Roast the Peanuts

Roast raw peanuts in a oven (350 F for 3 to 5 min).

Prepare Ingredients

Pad Thai

Prepare Ingredients

There are many ingredients needed to make a classic pad thai. Though this makes preparation time fairly time consuming, it is worth it for the delicious end result.

Stir-fry Shrimp

Pad Thai

Stir-fry the Shrimp

Stir-fry the shrimp until a until a nice shade of pink. Be careful not to overcook. Set aside to mix in later.

Stir-fry Tofu, Chilies, Turnip

Pad Thai

Stir-fry Tofu, Chilies, Turnip

Stir-fry the tofu, chilies and turnip together. At this point you might want to adjust the amount of chili to your taste.

Add Noodles

Pad Thai

Add in the Noodles

Stir-fry the noodles with the other ingredients for a short while until soft.

Cook the Egg

Pad Thai

Crack in the Egg

Push the noodles to one side of the wok to make space to cook the egg.

Add Shrimp

Pad Thai

Add the Shrimps

Once the egg is cooked and mixed with the noodles, add in the shrimps.

Add Pad Thai Sauce

Pad Thai

Add the Sauce

Pour the pad thai sauce over the stir-fried contents of the wok.

Stir to Combine

Pad Thai

Mix the Pad Thai

Stir the contents of the wok so the pad thai sauce evenly coats the noodles and the other ingredients. You are now ready to serve.

Making Tamarind Water  

Tamarind Water or Concentrate

This simple preparation of tamarind paste is used in many Thai dishes, including our Perfect Pad Thai. You can now also see a How to Make Tamarind Water video in our blog.

  1. Soak the paste in the warm water for 5 minutes. Squeeze the fiber with your fingers to extract as much juice and flavor as possible. Strain and discard fibers.

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