Easy Pad Thai with Shrimp, tofu, rice noodles, and peanuts in a quick sauce made from fish sauce, sugar, crushed red pepper and vinegar in less than 30 minutes. Skip the delivery!
Traditional Pad Thai Recipe
This is an authentic pad thai recipe given to me by a friend’s grandmother and it’s COMPLETELY EASY. I promise it is in fact. Once you gather the ingredients, the hardest ones are the rice noodles and the fish sauce, the rest of the dish is a breeze to make.
How do you cook Rice Noodles?
There are two schools of thought about rice noodles. Some people like the all soaking method where you soak in cold water for 30-45 minutes before draining. The second method is to boil them for one minute, steep for 5 minutes, then drain and rinse before adding to recipes.
I prefer to boil/steep and rinse because I can do that while cooking the rest of the ingredients in the wok.
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a rice noodle dish traditionally made with chicken, shrimp and tofu that with eggs, fish sauce, sugar and vinegar. A quick stir fry with soaked rice noodles it is a classic Thai recipe that is very popular in Thai restaurants.
In most restaurants they’ll offer a version of pad thai that includes shrimp, chicken and tofu. I stuck with shrimp and tofu in this version to help create an easy recipe and because Shrimp Pad Thai is one of my absolute favorite dishes. To me adding the chicken flavor in on top of it only muddles the flavors instead of enhancing them.
Pad Thai Sauce:
Pad Thai Sauce is actually a very easy mix of fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and chili peppers. The sugar helps to temper the strong fish sauce flavor, the vinegar adds acidity and a bright flavor while the chili peppers add the traditional spice.
One of the most prominent flavors of Thai food is the inclusion of fish sauce. Though fish sauce can seem like a scary ingredient it is actually similar to eating anchovies in caesar dressing. You can taste a flavor of umami (a savory/salty flavor) but you don’t actually taste a “fishy” taste from it. Many people who make chicken pad thai would never even guess that there was seafood in the dish based on the fish sauce.
What do you serve with Pad Thai? We love to serve Light Crispy Chinese Chicken Salad or papaya salad. Other great appetizers include crab rangoon or egg rolls.
Can you make Pad Thai ahead? Sometimes I’ll cook the ingredients minus the shrimp and noodles ahead of time. Then when ready to eat I’ll soak/cook the noodles while cooking the shrimp and toss it all together. The whole recipe is such a breeze to make though, it would also work to just prep the ingredients ahead and stir fry when ready.
This is the best pad thai recipe, take my word for it.
Easy Pad Thai Recipe
- Yield: 6 Servings
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Course: Main Course
- Cuisine: Thai
- Author: Sabrina
- 14 ounce rice noodles
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined
- 8 ounces extra firm tofu cut into 1/2" cubes
- 3 eggs
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 3 carrots julienned
- 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
- 2 green onions chopped
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- cilantro for garnish (optional)
Note: click on times in the instructions to start a kitchen timer while cooking.
Add the rice noodles to boiling water for 1 minute, then turn off the heat and let sit for five minutes.
When softened rinse with cold water and set aside.
Add canola oil to a wok on high heat and add the shrimp and tofu cubes.
Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, then remove the shrimp and tofu from the pan (leave the oil in the pan).
Add the eggs into hot oil, and chop with a spatula into little pieces as your cooking them.
Add softened noodles, shrimp, tofu, rice vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and red pepper.
Serve topped with bean sprouts, carrots, green onions and lime wedges.
Yield: 6 Servings, Amount per serving: 555 calories, Calories: 555g, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 26g, Fat: 16g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 272mg, Sodium: 1549mg, Potassium: 387mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 14g, Vitamin A: 106.1g, Vitamin C: 13.6g, Calcium: 17.5g, Iron: 20g
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