Pad Thai, a renowned Thai noodle dish, is a delightful blend of sweet, savory, and spicy flavors, making it a perfect choice for lunch or dinner. This versatile stir-fry combines rice noodles with a mix of chicken, tofu, shrimp, and egg, all brought together by the distinctive Pad Thai Sauce.
Known for its popularity both as street food in Thailand and in Thai restaurants globally, Pad Thai is not just delicious but also quick to prepare, ready in under 30 minutes. Its adaptable recipe can be tweaked to suit vegan preferences, ensuring it's a dish everyone can enjoy.
Ideal for any meal or party, Pad Thai is a crowd-pleaser that replicates the taste of your favorite restaurant takeouts.
Explore More Noodles Based Delights:
Ingredients and Substitutions Overview
To create the richly flavorful Pad Thai, you'll need a selection of readily available ingredients from any Asian grocery store. Let's dive into what you'll need to bring this delicious dish to life.
Ingredients for Pad Thai Sauce:
- Tamarind Paste or Puree: The cornerstone of Pad Thai's signature tang, use ½ tsp of concentrated tamarind diluted in 2 tbsp of water.
- Fish Sauce: Fish sauce imparts an authentic, distinctive flavor. If the smell is too overpowering for your taste, you can omit it, but note that it contributes significantly to the dish's traditional taste.
- Oyster Sauce: A thick, dark sauce that adds depth and flavor to the noodles.
- Chilli Sauce: An optional ingredient for those who enjoy a bit of spice. Add 1 tsp for a mild heat.
- Brown Sugar: A stand-in for traditional Thai palm sugar, brown sugar adds a necessary sweetness to balance the flavors.
Ingredients for Pad Thai:
- Rice Noodles: While flat rice noodles are typically used, rice noodle cubes can be a great alternative, as proven in this recipe.
- Crushed Peanuts: These add a delightful crunch and rich flavor to each bite.
- Garlic Chives: Known for their unique garlicky aroma, they enhance the dish's flavor profile. Alternatively, regular chives combined with plenty of garlic can be used.
- Proteins: This recipe incorporates chicken breast, egg, and extra firm tofu. For seafood lovers, shrimps or prawns are a great addition.
- Paprika: Used to marinate the chicken, it imparts a smoky flavor. Kashmiri chili powder can be used as a substitute for a similar taste.
- Ginger Garlic Paste: Essential for eliminating any raw smell from the chicken.
- Lemon Juice: A squeeze of lemon juice at the end brings an extra zesty kick to the dish.
How to Make Pad Thai?
Begin your culinary adventure with our detailed guide to crafting authentic Pad Thai. Follow along with our photos and video for a seamless cooking experience, ensuring every stir and sizzle leads to delicious results. Let's get started!
- Thai Basil Chicken
- Chicken Stir Fry
- Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Shrimp Stir Fry
- Tofu Stir Fry
- Thai Green Curry
- Panang Curry
- Yellow Curry
- Thai Red Curry
Pad Thai Sauce
- ¼ lb Chicken Breast
- 8 oz Rice Noodles
- ½ cup Tofu, firm
- ½ cup Bean Sprouts
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup Oil
- 1 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste, optional
- 1 tsp Paprika
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Chili Flakes
- Water, to cook noodles
- 2 tbsp Peanuts, crushed
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
To Marinate Chicken (Optional)
- Mix boneless chicken pieces with ginger garlic paste, paprika, and salt in a bowl. Set aside for later use; this step, while not essential, was added to suit my family's taste preferences.
To Make Pad Thai Sauce
- In a bowl, combine tamarind concentrate (½ tsp diluted in 2 tbsp of water) or tamarind puree, fish sauce, oyster sauce, chili sauce, and brown sugar. Once mixed, set it aside. These elements together create a delightful balance of sweet and savory flavors.
To Cook the Noodles
- Boil the rice noodles in a pan over medium heat, following the package instructions.
- Once cooked, drain them through a fine mesh strainer and rinse with 1 cup of cold water to stop the cooking process. Set aside for later use.
To Make Pad Thai
- Heat oil in a wok over high heat and sauté garlic and onions until they soften.
- Stir fry the marinated chicken for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Move the chicken to one side of the wok, then add and scramble the eggs, mixing them with the chicken.
- Add the rice noodles, Pad Thai sauce, bean sprouts, and tofu, tossing well to combine.
- Stir in crushed peanuts, chives, and lemon juice for the final mix.
- Your delicious Pad Thai is now ready to be enjoyed.
- Enjoy this sweet and savory Pad Thai served with a topping of crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, chili flakes, and chives - perfect for a delightful lunch or dinner.
Chef's Notes and Tips
- Sauce Importance: The Pad Thai sauce is key for authentic, aromatic flavor. Adhere closely to the recipe for the best result.
- Fish Sauce: Despite its strong smell, fish sauce doesn't make Pad Thai taste fishy but adds essential depth of flavor. If the aroma is too intense for you, reduce or skip it, but this may slightly change the dish's authentic taste.
- Protein Choices: Use chicken, egg, tofu, or shrimp/prawns. For a vegan option, replace these with tofu and vegetables.
- Vegan and Vegetarian Variations: For vegans, omit fish sauce, egg, and chicken. Substitute with vegan alternatives like vegetarian oyster sauce. Vegetarians can add mushrooms, carrots, and cabbage.
- Crunch and Garnish: Crushed peanuts add a delightful crunch. Serve the dish garnished with bean sprouts, additional peanuts, and chili flakes for enhanced flavor and texture.
- Shrimp Option: Incorporate shrimp or dried shrimp flakes for extra taste and flavor, especially popular in traditional versions.
Disclaimer: We’re not nutrition experts. Nutritional info is estimated and should be used as a guide. For precise details, consult a professional.
Dive into our collection of Stir Fry recipes, Stir Fry sauces, and Thai dishes, perfect for expanding your culinary horizons. These recipes offer a journey through diverse and vibrant flavors, designed to elevate your cooking and introduce you to a world of delicious, authentic tastes.
Pad Thai is a standalone delight, offering a complete flavor experience on its own. If you wish to pair it with other dishes, it complements most chicken recipes beautifully, adding variety and balance to your meal.
For the best taste, enjoy Pad Thai fresh from the wok, when its authentic sweet-savory flavors are at their peak. If you have leftovers, they can be refrigerated for up to a day, though keep in mind that the dish may not retain the same delightful quality as when freshly made.