Super easy pad thai noodles sautéed with aromatics, tender shrimp, soft scrambled egg, fresh vegetables, and crunchy peanuts.
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a street food that originated in Thailand. It’s a stir fry noodle dish most commonly composed of rice noodles, shrimp, scallions, scrambled egg, bean sprouts, and a dark sauce seasoned with tamarind concentrate.
Why This Works
Pad Thai is one of the easiest dishes that you can make since it does not require much technique outside of some chopping and stirring. It is a one-pot stir-fry recipe that is versatile! You may substitute the shrimp out for chicken breast, beef, or tofu.
Which noodles are used in Pad Thai? What are rice noodles?
Rice noodles are most often used in Asian cuisine. They are available at asian grocery stores in a dried form. Similar to pasta, rice noodles are available in different shapes; each shape has a specific purpose. Wide noodles that are as thick as linguine are used for Pad Thai. Unlike wheat noodles, rice noodles are made with rice flour and water. They are therefore more delicate than traditional noodles as exhibited by their translucent look.
How do I use rice noodles?
Due to their delicate texture, rice noodles should be softened in a bowl of boiling water. This keeps the noodles firm and prevents gumminess. Follow the instructions provided on the package in general every 8 oz of a thick rice noodle will require 30 minutes of soaking.
What is tamarind concentrate?
Tamarind is a satisfyingly tangy tropical pantry staple that is used in throughout Indian, Thai, and Mexican cuisine. It is a fruit that may be harvested at different stages of ripeness. At a Thai or Asian grocery, tamarind is processed when it has browned and ripened. It is available in powder, liquid concentrate, paste, and whole form. For Pad Thai either tamarind juice or paste may be used. If you’re unable to source some, replace with equal parts Japanese rice vinegar instead!
What is fish sauce?
Fish sauce (nuoc mam) is a staple in Southeast Asian cuisine and is known for its dark brown, clear appearance. This fermented liquid seasoning is made from fish and is characterized by its strong, pungent aroma. It has a distinct taste that is a blend of sweet, salty, and slightly briny flavors.
How do I buy fish sauce?
With many different brands available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right nuoc mam. However, my Southeast Asian grandmother prefers the Three Crabs Brand pictured below which is reputable. Please note that there may be brands that have very similar names that are of poorer quality. If a reputable brand that you recognize is unavailable to you, consider the following:
- Read the ingredients: Look for a high percentage of anchovy extract and salt, as this is an indication of high quality. Some lower-quality fish sauces contain added sugars, preservatives, and artificial flavors.
- Consider the color: Fish sauce should be amber-brown in color and relatively clear. If the sauce is very dark, it may indicate over-processing or the addition of caramel color.
- Choose a reputable brand: Look for well-established brands with a proven track record of producing high-quality fish sauce. You can also ask for recommendations from friends or family who have used fish sauce before.
How is fish sauce used?
In cooking, fish sauce is used to add saltiness and a rich umami flavor to dishes. It is commonly used as a seasoning in pho broth, as a dipping sauce in Vietnam, in marinades and sauces for Thai cuisine, and to enhance the flavor of various dishes.
Super Easy Homemade Pad Thai
- 8 cups water boiling
- 8 oz wide Thai rice noodles
- 1 serving store-bought Pad Thai Sauce
- ¼ cup neutral oil
- 12 oz shrimp defrosted, deveined
- 2 large eggs beaten
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 shallot minced
- 2 limes juiced, plus 1 additional lime, quartered
- 1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts de-shelled, smashed
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 bunch scallions trimmed, cut into 3 inch pieces
- Rice Noodles | Add the rice noodles to a large bowl. Slowly pour in boiling water. Allow the rice noodles to soak for at least 30 mins before draining. Set aside.
- Sauce | Add the fish sauce, soy sauce, sugar, tamarind paste / rice vinegar, and sriacha to a small bowl. Mix well.
- Pad Thai | Set a large pan over the stove on medium-high heat. Once the pan has come to full temp but before it begins to smoke, add in the oil. Add in the shrimp, stir fry until is partially pink, 2 mins. Push the shrimp aside, add in the beaten eggs, and cook until almost set. Make a well in the center, add in the aromatics, soaked noodles, lime juice, and pad thai sauce. Stir fry until the noodles are well coated. Turn the heat off and add in the bean sprouts. Serve with smashed roasted peanuts, lime and scallions.