Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of my favorite noodle dishes to cook when I’m looking for meal prep ideas. It is a well-known Thai noodle dish with salty, sweet, and sour elements.

pad thai

I would find myself craving Pad Thai for days on end and knew I had to find a way to recreate it at home. This recipe was developed after a few attempts to make it simple yet close to the real deal as possible.

This famous noodle dish can be made with shrimp, chicken, or tofu. In this recipe, I use shrimp and tofu because I love both, and that is what I love about this recipe, you can add all three or whichever protein you like!

pad thai ingredients

This is a quick and easy dish that many love because:

  • It is adaptable (chicken, shrimp, or tofu)
  • Vegan-friendly (use vegan fish sauce, add more veggies and tofu)
  • Simple with pantry-staple ingredients

This Pad Thai recipe is well-balanced and super flavourful. It only takes 15 minutes to whip up when all ingredients are prepped.

pad thai

Before we get started, there are some important ingredients to note:

  • Rice noodles: This is usually made with rice noodles, some packets may state ‘pad thai noodles’, or your local Asian market will carry ‘rice stick’.
  • Fish Sauce: Fish sauce varies from brand to brand, but for cooking, I would recommend the Squid brand. It is my all-time favorite fish sauce to use in my recipes. It’s salty and punchy, a little bit of this will get you very far.
  • Sugar: I suggest you do not skimp out on sugar, otherwise the dish will be very sour. I also use palm sugar in this but you can use white or brown sugar.
  • Tamarind: I used tamarind pulp and turned it into a paste. This provides a sour element to the dish. You can purchase this in a pack and it will last for a few batches of pad thai. If you do not have access to this, you can substitute it with rice vinegar.
pad thai

Let’s make Pad Thai!

Ingredients

Serves 4
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Room temperature water, enough to soak noodles
  • 4 eggs, whisked
  • 3-5 tbl spoon of Peanut oil
  • 3 tbl spoon of Sesame oil
  • Peeled with/without prawn tails
  • 300g of firm tofu or fried tofu (I used whatever I have on hand)
  • 1 whole packet of rice stick noodles (approx. 375g)
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 1/8 cup of Tamarind pulp
  • 3-4 tbl spoons of fish sauce
  • 3 cubes of palm sugar
Garnish
  • Limes
  • Roasted crushed peanuts
  • Chilli flakes
  • Bean sprouts
  • Chinese chives
noodles

Steps:

  1. Soak rice noodles according to packet instructions. Avoid hot water as it makes noodles mushy. Soak in cold or room temperature water for 30 min to 1 hour then drain. Noodles should be soft and firm, retaining their shape.
  2. Melt palm sugar on low heat in a saucepan and combine all sauce ingredients, including tamarind paste*. Tamarind and fish sauce may be an acquired taste, so start light and adjust to taste. Tamarind adds sourness, while limes are used for garnishing. Aim for a balanced blend of salty, sweet, and sour flavors.
  3. Meanwhile, add a couple of spoons of peanut oil to sear tofu and prawns separately and remove them. (Keep an eye on the sugar)
  4. Add shallot and garlic to the pan, add more oil where necessary.
  5. Add noodles and ensure there is enough oil coating everything so noodles don’t stick to each other.
  6. Make room in the pan/wok for the eggs and scramble.
  7. Fold through the noodles.
  8. Add shrimp and tofu.
  9. Add sauce and combine evenly.
  10. Season accordingly. Add fresh sprouts and chives just before turning off the stove.

Tamarind is very sour. So trust your taste buds and add as you go. Don’t forget you will garnish with lime, so go light as it is acidic.

*making tamarind paste with tamarind pulp: Break the pulp into small pieces and pour over 1-1 1/2 cups of boiling water. Let it sit for 20 minutes, then break and remove the seeds as best as you can. Press it through a colander until only the fibers remain behind and dispose of.

pad thai

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