Pad Thai is a Thai stir-fry dish made with tender rice noodles, cooked shrimp, crunchy, warm peanuts, scrambled egg and bean sprouts all mixed together with a creamy sweet and spicy sauce. It’s everyone’s favorite Thai dish!
Thai is a favorite in our home and made weekly. If you love Thai food as much as we do try this Thai Quinoa Salad, Sheet Pan Thai Glazed Salmon with Vegetables or Thai Peanut Skillet Chicken.
Pad Thai is my love language! When I get to choose a restaurant for date-night, 9 out of 10 times I’ll pick a Thai food restaurant. I love the bold flavors and all of the options, from curry to pad Thai. I also LOVE to make Thai food from home because most of the dishes are really simple, and it’s fun to mix up the dinner routine!
This is super simple to make and always impresses my family with how good it tastes and looks when served at the dinner table. The ingredients are simple to put together and doesn’t take long at all to enjoy! You can make amazing restaurant-quality Pad Thai from home, in under 30 minutes!
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a Thai stir-fry dish made with rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, peanuts, scrambled egg and bean sprouts. The ingredients are sautéed together in a wok and tossed in a delicious pad thai sauce.
Traditional pad Thai recipes call for tamarind paste but since it’s not easily found at your local grocery store,
I substituted for ingredients most people have. However, if you would like to use tamarind paste to make the sauce authentic, substitute about 2 Tablespoons in place of the rice vinegar in this recipe.
How do you make Pad Thai?
This Pad Thai is packed with fresh ingredients and a simple homemade Pad Thai sauce you will love.
- Cook or soak the rice noodles, according to the instructions on your package, until they are tender.
- Make the Pad Thai sauce by combining the fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, sriracha and peanut butter.
- Stir fry the chicken, shrimp, tofu, bell peppers and scrambled eggs.
- Add the noodles, sauce and bean sprouts to the pan and toss everything to combine. Top with peanuts, green onion, cilantro and limes.
What you need to make Pad Thai:
Looks like a lot of ingredients but don’t let that scare you! Most of the ingredients you will have on hand and ready to go in minutes. There is no prepping, just throwing it all together to make one impressive meal.
- Rice noodles- flat noodles are best but any width will work too.
- Oil- you will want a mild oil to use such as, olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, coconut oil.
- Garlic- added enhanced flavor.
- Shrimp- uncooked, small and tail on or off. You can also substitute chicken or beef strips in too.
- Eggs- whisked and scrambled together.
- Bean sprouts- this is a classic asian vegetable. You can also add shredded carrots along with it.
- Red bell pepper- blends well with an asian dish.
- Green onions- a little spice, crunch and color.
- Crushed peanuts- brings out the crunchy texture in the pad Thai.
- Limes- an added touch!
- Chopped fresh cilantro- added garnish that brings out color and flavor.
Making the Sauce!
You can make this sauce as sweet and spicy you prefer! These ingredients are fun to play around with to make your own type of sauce that you love.
- Fish sauce- you do not want to leave out this fish sauce. It is the main ingredient.
- Soy sauce- light soy sauce or low sodium doesn’t have that added salty flavor.
- Brown sugar- adds a sweet and savory flavor.
- Rice Vinegar- has a distinct flavor often described as rich, nutty and slightly sweet.
- Sriracha- some added heat. Use little to a lot depending on your preference of spicy.
- Peanut butter- creamy peanut butter is best for that smooth taste.
Other Variations of Pad Thai
It is always fun to mix and match different varieties of Pad Thai. The options are endless!
- Protein: use other types of protein like chicken, beef, pork or even salmon. To make it meatless add tofu!
- Vegetables: adding shredded carrots, peas, broccoli, onions and mushrooms add to the flavors.
- Noodles: zoodles works well with this Pad Thai recipe or a flatter noodle to soak up the sauce.
- Peanut Butter: add in extra 1 to 2 tablespoons peanut butter for that added flavor and creamy sauce.
- Sweeter: like it more on the sweeter side?! Brown sugar will be your best friend. Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons more for a sweet sauce.
- Spicy: top with red pepper flakes or add in more sriracha sauce depending on how much heat you prefer.
Looking for more Thai food?! Try these!
- Thai Basil Beef
- Slow Cooker Thai Peanut Chicken
- Zucchini Thai Noodle Salad
- Chicken Thai Skewers
- Barbecue Chicken
- 8 oz flat rice noodles
- 1 1/2 tablespoons oil
- 3 cloves garlic finely minced
- 8 oz chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces or extra firm tofu (cut into small cubes)
- 2 eggs beaten
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
- 3 green onions chopped
- 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
- 2 limes cut into wedges
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
For the sauce:
- 3 Tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 Tablespoon light soy sauce
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoons sriracha or more to taste
- 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter optional
- Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain and rinse.
- In a small bowl, whisk fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegarm sriracha, and creamy peanut butter. Set aside.
- In a large saucepan over medium high heat, add olive oi and garlicl. Add the chicken or tofu and cook until no longer pink. Slide the chicken over and add the bell pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes until almost tender. Slide them to the side and add the egg and cook until scrambled.
- Add in the noodles, sauce, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Toss until it is fully coated in the sauce and heated throughout.
- Garnish with green onions, chopped peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges.
All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods and portion sizes per household.
Not gonna lie, I am pretty picky about my pad Thai. This was the first time I tried my hand at making it myself and I am so glad I did. Obsessed! So delicious! Thank you.
I made mine vegetarian (except for the fish sauce). Did not use fancy fresh garnish as I did not have them. Used crunchy peanut butter instead of creamy. Also added a splash of orange juice to the sauce. 10/10!
This was so absolutely delicious! I followed the recipe with peanut butter but used chicken, shrimp and tofu.. it was incredible! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!
LOVED IT! So tasty, the whole family loved it! Question: when are you supposed to use the garlic? I assume sauté before the chicken but the instructions for it are missing
Prepared to rave family reviews. The sauce was, in our opinion, perfect WITH the peanut butter (it really shouldn’t be optional). The only suggestions would be to increase the amount of vegetables in it, and my wife (always) wanted more peanuts (even though I used more than called for).
As has been mentioned, the garlic isn’t listed in the instructions and I totally missed it. I’ve penciled it into a printed copy to remember for next time!
We’ll definitely be making this again. Probably regularly.
Not sure if I have ever put a rating on this. But the fact that I’ve made it 3 times this month, just shows how much my family enjoy this. Definitely , use the peanut butter. But I do have a comment about the garlic. It is written in the ingredients and not described in the instructions. Today I had everything prepped and followed the instructions only to realize I hadn’t used the garlic yet. I am sure I put it in before the peppers last time, but wanted to let you know.
Our full family enjoyed your recipe absolutely delicious we did a combination beef and chicken and enjoyed adding extra bean sprouts. We will be enjoying many more of your recipes soon. Thank you for all you do.
I made this recipe a couple of nights ago. It was my first time making pad Thai at home, and also my first time cooking with fish sauce.
I will definitely be making this recipe again, I thought it was delicious and really satisfied the craving for takeout! However, my hubby and I both agreed that 3 TBSP of fish sauce was too much and overpowered the dish. Next time, I’ll be dialing that down to 1 TBSP and substituting with a little more soy, sesame oil, or peanut butter. I will also double the amount of bean sprouts and adding in some shredded carrots as they are my favourite part in a dish like this! Besides, bean sprouts only come in huge bags where I live 🙁
Good recipe overall, so thank you!
This was delicious and will make again and again. Thank You for sharing!
I found tamarind paste. Does it only replace the rice vinegar, or maybe some sugar, too?
I have not tried tamarind paste with this pad Thai. Let me know what you think!
I’m not gonna lie, fish sauce doesn’t sound good. I like be pad tai but I’ve never had any that taste fishy…. could I just leave out the fish sauce or substitute it with something?
HAHA! I totally understand. Yes, that sounds good.
This sounds very good *(so does your Thai Basil Beef) Just a comment on a prior post,from a year ago… If you have eaten Thai or Vietnamese (or Asian) food then you have consumed Fish Sauce and there is no substitute. It gives Thai dishes that Umami flavor that we crave. When I lived in Thailand, Phat Thai was served with scallions and slices of lime as well as a ‘Spice Tray’ on the side. The diner tweaked the dish to their taste… like it sweeter? more tart? Saltier? Spicer? The spice tray is important! It has Bird’s Eye chilis in Fish Sauce. Red Chilies in Vinegar. Sugar, Dried chili.Yum! Suggestion: If you can find Palm Sugar for your Thai recipes it would be even more authentic and the Tamarind is worth trying. I love your recipes, btw!
We made this last night and it was AWESOME!I I highly recommend the peanut butter in the sauce. I can’t wait to make this again for some friends who love Thai food.
When I saw this recipe come into the mailbox this week I knew I had to try it. I emailed it to my 19 yr old daughter, and we couldn’t wait. Tonight was the night. We love Pad Thai and love finding new Thai food restaurants to try it. Making this recipe was easy, relatively quick and fun. When my husband and 16 yr old son got home it was almost done. The house smelled great. I used one pound of large shrimp instead of chicken. Eight ounces of meat is NOT enough for the four of us. I would recommend a full pound of chicken breast too. I left out the cilantro, but did everything else according to the recipe and it was great. We all loved the flavors and I will forward the recipe to my ‘gourmet chef’ friends! Can’t wait to make it again for company.
I love love love Thai food! And Pad Thai is one of the first I ever fell in love with and it’s no wonder! Your recipe looks easy enough but so tasty. Thanks for sharing!
Thanks for the recipe. Looks scrumptious. I’m a new cook (wannabe) this looks like something I can do. If Wifey hasn’t already planned supper for tonight I’ll try this. Again thanks.