This Homemade Pad Thai recipe is restaurant-quality; it is delicious, saucy, and the noodles are perfectly cooked. With ingredients ready, stir-frying takes less than 15 minutes!
Ingredients you'll need
Notes and substitutions
- Dried rice noodles: These noodles, also called rice sticks, are thin and flat. Choose the medium-width (Size M) variety.
- Dried shrimp: These are tiny, umami-rich dehydrated shrimp with a concentrated flavor; a little goes a long way.
- Bean sprouts: Use mung bean sprouts (not soybean sprouts) with their smaller beans and thick, crunchy stems. They add freshness and make the dish lighter.
- Tamarind concentrate or paste: I used a Thai brand of liquid tamarind—its pulp tastes tangy or sour with the texture and sweetness of dates.
- Sriracha: It adds color and a little heat. It's okay to omit it if you don't have it, add more paprika instead.
- Paprika: It adds color but won't make it spicy. Use regular or sweet paprika with a very mild flavor. You can use smoked paprika but make sure it isn't the hot variety.
How to make this recipe
(1)Soak 6 ounces of dried rice noodles in hot water for about 5 minutes or in warm water for 30 minutes until opaque and soft. Drain and set aside.
(2)Finely chop 2 tablespoons of dried shrimp.
(3)Crush or finely chop ¼ cup of peanuts. (4)Place 7 ounces (½ block) of cut-up tofu on a paper towel to drain excess water.
(5)Season 6 ounces of boneless chicken with salt and pepper. (6)Dry 6 ounces of shrimp on a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.
(7)Make the sauce by combining ¼ cup tamarind concentrate, 3 tablespoons fish sauce, ¼ cup brown sugar, 2 teaspoons Sriracha, ¼ cup water, and 1 teaspoon paprika in a cup. Set it aside.
Set a wok or skillet over high heat and add oil to coat the bottom. (8)Sear the shrimp quickly for about a minute on each side. Transfer to a plate. (9)Add more oil (as needed) and sear tofu on both sides. Set aside.
(10)Over medium heat, sauté 4 garlic cloves, 1 shallot, and dried shrimp for about a minute. If using baked tofu, add it at this time. Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink. (11)Add noodles and the sauce.
(12)Toss them together until the noodles mostly absorb the sauce. Try the noodles to see if they are cooked. You may add a splash of water if it begins to dry up.
(13)Push the noodles to one side, add some oil, and then add 2 eggs. Break the yolks and let them partially cook for a minute. Scramble and mix them into the noodles.
(14)Add 1 cup bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and 4 scallions. Toss them together.
(15)Mix in shrimp and tofu. Serve immediately.
Garnish your Homemade Pad Thai with lime, crushed peanuts, chili powder, and more bean sprouts.
Frequently asked questions and tips
Pad Thai is a rice noodle stir-fry with shrimp, chicken, and tofu tossed with scrambled eggs and an umami-rich sauce. It is served with crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, and a squeeze of lime.
Pad Thai is best eaten fresh to avoid the noodles from clumping together as they cool. You can prepare the ingredients in advance. It takes less than 15 minutes to stir-fry when everything is ready.
If you have a wok, use it to get that smokiness or wok hei. You may also use a skillet or a sauté pan that is large enough for the ingredients to come in contact with the hot pan.
Watch how I make it here
Other noodles and pasta recipes you may like
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Homemade Pad Thai
- A wok, skillet, or sauté pan
For the Stir-fry:
- 6 ounces dried rice noodles medium-width
- 6 ounces large shrimp peeled and deveined
- 7 ounces (½ block) extra-firm tofu or baked tofu bite-size pieces
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 small shallot sliced or minced
- 2 tablespoons dried shrimp finely chopped
- 6 ounces boneless chicken breast or thighs sliced thinly
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- ¼ cup fried or roasted peanuts crushed or finely chopped
- 4 scallions or garlic chives
- oil (canola, vegetable, or olive) for searing & sautéing
For the sauce:
- ¼ cup tamarind paste or concentrate
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar or palm sugar
- 2 teaspoons Sriracha sub:more paprika
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon paprika regular or sweet
To serve (optional)
- Lime wedges
- Crushed peanuts
- Mung bean sprouts
- Chili powder or red pepper flakes
- Soak rice noodles in hot water for about 5 minutes or in warm water for 30 minutes until opaque and soft. Drain and set aside.
- Make the sauce by combining tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, brown sugar, Sriracha, water, and paprika in a cup. Set it aside.
- Place tofu on a paper towel to drain excess water.
- Season chicken and shrimp with salt and pepper.
- Over high heat, sear the shrimp in a bit of oil for about a minute on each side. Transfer to a plate.
- Add more oil (as needed) and sear tofu on both sides. Set aside.
- Over medium heat, sauté garlic, shallot, and dried shrimp for about a minute. If using baked tofu, add it at this time.
- Add the chicken and cook until no longer pink.
- Add noodles and the sauce. Toss them together until the noodles mostly absorb the sauce. Try the noodles to see if they are cooked. You may add a splash of water if it begins to dry up.
- Push the noodles to one side, add some oil, and then add the eggs. Break the yolks and let them partially cook for a minute. Scramble and mix them into the noodles.
- Add bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and scallions. Toss them together.
- Mix in shrimp and tofu. Serve immediately.
- Garnish with lime, crushed peanuts, chili powder, and more bean sprouts.