Cooking with Alison

Pad Thai Recipe

In Rice and Noodle Dishes on January 11, 2011 at am

There are so many different ways to make pad thai authentically, that it really annoys me when restaurants don’t make it properly.  The worst is when the “pad thai” is made with a thick, red coloured sauce.  I rarely order it so as to avoid disappointment.  Luckily, pad thai is very easy to make at home.  It usually contains rice stick noodles, bean sprouts, Chinese chives, fish sauce, and sugar.  White vinegar or tamarind are used in Thailand for the sour component of this dish.  More information on tamarind has been posted here.  Depending on the street vendor, other varying ingredients include eggs, tofu, pork, dried shrimp, fresh shrimp, preserved raddish, and/or dark thick soy sauce, etc.  So add whichever ingredients you like.  Ed and I prefer a mildly and lightly flavoured pad thai, but you can adjust the sweet and sour balance of the recipe below to your preference.

Pad Thai Recipe

makes 2 servings

114 g (approx.) dried rice stick noodles

6 large shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 shallot, chopped

1 handful bean sprouts

1 stalk green onions, green parts cut into 2 inch long pieces (or a small handful of Chinese chives)

1 tbsp tamarind paste or white vinegar (see info on tamarind paste here)

1 tbsp palm sugar (or granulated white sugar)

1 tbsp fish sauce

1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce (this is mainly for the colour, you could substitute with more fish sauce)

1/4 tsp ground red chili pepper or 1/2 tsp garlic chili sauce (or to taste)

1 to 2 tbsp coarsely chopped peanuts

2 tbsp vegetable oil

coarse salt

optional:  lime wedges

In a large, heat proof bowl, soak the noodles in boiling water until soft, about 8 minutes, and drain.  Meanwhile, massage a small pinch of coarse salt into the shrimp and set aside.  In a small bowl, make the sauce by mixing together the tamarind paste or vinegar, fish sauce, dark soy sauce, palm sugar, and red chili pepper or garlic chili sauce.  Adjust the salty, sweet, sour, and spicy flavours to your taste.  Heat a wok over high heat.  When the wok is hot, add the oil and swirl the wok to coat the bottom half with oil.  Add the shallot and stir a few times until they start to soften. Then add the shrimp and give it a few quick stirs until they have just turned pink on both sides.  Then push them over to one side and pour the egg into the bottom of the wok.  Sprinkle the egg with a pinch of salt.  The egg will cook very quickly.  Allow it to set for a few seconds, then break it up roughly with your spatula.  Before the eggs have finished cooking, add the noodles.  Stir a few times and add the sauce.  Mix everything together well.  If the noodles aren’t soft enough for your taste, you can add a little bit of water to the wok.  When the noodles are heated through, add the bean sprouts and green onions and mix again until everything has been well combined.  Dish out.  The bean sprouts should still be slightly crispy.  Garnish with the peanuts and serve immediately with lime wedges on the side (optional).

  1. You’re a mind-reader! I was just thinking this morning that I had some rice noodles I want to use up, so I should make pad thai this week. : ) Good timing!

  2. Thanks ali this is great. I am definitely going to try this and will be re-blogging if its successful! I have looked everywhere for a pad Thai recipe that doesn’t use ingredients I don’t understand! This is the first!

    • Hi Ruth! Thanks so much for your comment! Everyone has a different idea of how they think pad thai should taste, and Ed and I like something on the milder and slightly bland side. So use this as a starting base and adjust the sweet, salty, sour, and spicy components to your tastes! Good luck!

  3. Lots of Good information in your posting, I bookmarked your blog post so I can visit again in the near future, Cheers!

  4. […] – My Hubby’s Birthday! – Shrimp Pad Thai topped with sauteed zucchini and Rice Krispie Treats (his choice, not mine). […]

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