Pad Thai

Pad Thai

I have attempted pad thai before (see my Shrimp and Tofu Pad Thai) but I admit I never could get it quite right. My noodles were either too soggy or the sauce just too sweet. I finally got the chance to redeem myself during my Thai Cooking Class in Phuket and now I am more confident I will be able to make this properly back home.

I think the key things to get right is the sugar content and the noodles. Pad Thai at western restaurants tend to be very sweet using only white sugar but in Asia, the sauce is much less sweet and prepared with brown and white sugar. The sugar is the main reason for different tasting pad thais. The noodles are also key- I think brand matters and if you can find fresh noodles versus dry, it would be even better.

local rice noodles

For fresh noodles, you should soak them for at least 30 minutes; dry noodles for at least 2 hours before cooking. Last time, I felt I over soaked the noodles when I only did it for 20 minutes but I think I may have just had the wrong noodles.  Tamarind you can buy the jar kind in the store, but if you do get fresh tamarind, just soak it for 10 minutes and the squeeze by hand.

I loved how simple this recipe is; after prepping all the ingredients and making the sauce, actual cooking time was probably 5 minutes.

Pad Thai (recipe courtesy of Kata Thai Cooking Class)

Yields: 1 serving

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 T brown sugar
  • 1 T white sugar
  • 1/2 T tamarind
  • 1 1/2 T fish sauce
  • 1 T white vinegar

Pad Thai Ingredients:

  • 50g rice noodles soaked in water (at least 30 min for fresh, 2 hrs for dry)
  • 80g chicken or beef or seafood
  • 1 C bean sprouts and sliced carrots
  • 1 stalk garlic chives or spring onion, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 T shallots, thinly sliced
  • 1 T firm tofu, diced
  • 1/2 T pickled mixed vegetables
  • 1 1/2 T oil (soybean or canola)
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • Garnish: crushed peanuts, red pepper chili flakes, lime wedges


In a small bowl, mix well the sauce ingredients and put aside.

mix the sauce ingredients

In a large wok, heat the oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the shallots and tofu and cook for 1 minute.  Add your meat to the pan and let it cook fully. Do not over stir.

cook the shallots, tofu, and meat

Next, add the egg to the pan and cut only the yolk. Swirl the wok around like you are making pancakes in order to spread the egg around the pan. Let the egg cook for about a minute, the add the noodles and and mix it all together.

swirl the egg around like a pancake before mixing with noodles

Pour the mixed sauce in and keep stirring for another couple minutes until the sauce is fully soaked into the noodles. Add the paprika powder for color and optionally sugar to taste.  Cook the pad thai until it starts to become dry in the pan, then stir in your bean sprouts and chives for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate.

mix in the noodles and season

Sprinkle some crushed peanuts and red pepper chili flakes on top, and serve with a lime wedge.  Enjoy!

2 Responses to “Pad Thai”
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  1. […] I combined various recipes found online, but primarily used the recipe from Thai Table.  To try making Pad Thai from scratch, check out the recipe I learned from my Thai Cooking Class in Phuket. […]

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