This is THE BEST Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe! I learnt it in a cooking class in Chiang Mai. The gluten free noodle stir fry tastes just as amazing as on the streets of Thailand.
Pad Thai was my first love in Thai food and as such it will always hold a special place in my heart (and tummy). Just like you will never forget your first crush 😉
I still remember when we had just moved to Thailand the first time. It was 2011. My husband and I were still newlyweds and somehow he had convinced me that moving to South East Asia was a good idea.
Surprisingly, we had never had Thai food in Canada before leaving for Thailand. So there we were. In a new country (where we didn't know anyone) with strange customs and food we were completely unfamiliar with.
Only in the following years of travel have I turned into a somewhat adventurous eater who gets excited about foreign foods. Back then it took us about a week of daily strolling the night market, before we found the courage to actually eat there (instead of a restaurant catering to Western palates).
The details are a bit blurry, but I am certain Pad Thai was one of the first dishes I ordered and came to love there!
Since then I have ordered and enjoyed countless plates of this delicious Thai noodle stir fry. Some were definitely better than others and a few unfortunately weren't that great. Whenever the noodles have an unusual pinkish hue, I can't help but wonder if ketchup or sweet chili sauce were used. Those never taste right.
Now we are living in Thailand again. These days my favorite place to order this dish is from a street food stall called "Moustache Pad Thai". The owner and proprietor indeed has an impressive moustache. He puts up his stall right down our street here in Chiang Mai. The only problem is, that he shows up after 7 or 8 pm only.
With a toddler there aren't too many nights that we can wait to have supper this late. Also, he is HUGELY popular. Wait times of around half an hour are unusal for street food but not out of the norm for him.
He prepares everything to order and never fries more than 3-4 servings of Pad Thai at once. (In fact, for a home set up I wouldn't recommend attempting more than 2 servings. The risk of overcrowding the pan and gummy noodles are just too high.)
You can imagine my excitement, when I learnt to make Pad Thai in a cooking class I took here in Chiang Mai. When I sat down to eat the noodles I had just fried up myself, I was ecstatic to realize it tasted amazing! Better than in most restaurants and just as fantastic as street food Pad Thai.
I had indeed just learnt and cooked the BEST Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe!
As I was sitting and eating, I kept thinking how I couldn't wait to share this recipe with you here on my blog. It actually took me longer than I thought. Although I had the recipe in hand, it needed to undergo the home test. First, I had to go out and find all the different ingredients myself. Navigating Thai markets can be daunting with a long shopping list and a toddler strapped to you in a sling.
Once I finally had all my ingredients and had made my first serving of Pad Thai at home, I was disappointed. I hadn't taken notes in my cooking class, fully trusting that the recipe booklet they gave me would include the same information. Turns out they must have measured the noodles after soaking. I weighed them dry and ended up with a lot of dry noodles because there wasn't enough sauce to coat them. Also, the sweet, sour, salty balance of the sauce was way off.
But I wasn't about to give up on figuring out this Pad Thai recipe and a few test runs later, I tweaked it to satisfaction for home use. I am confident, you and I both can now make the Best Pad Thai at home. With a great recipe it is totally worth the effort of gathering all the ingredients needed for this popular Thai food classic.
If you like this, please:
Best Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe
- 100 g 3.5 oz Pad Thai rice noodles (flat rice stick noodles 3-5 mm wide)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons tamarind puree
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- ¼ teaspoon ground chili powder
- 3 tablespoons cooking oil
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tablespoon chopped shallot
- 100 g (3.5 oz) peeled, deveined large shrimp (or sliced chicken)
- 60 g (2.1 oz) firm tofu, cut into thin sticks
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (60 g / 2.1 oz) bean sprouts
- 2 tablespoons garlic chives cut into 1-inch pieces
- Condiments: finely chopped peanuts, lime, ground chili, sugar
- Soak the rice stick noodles for at least ½ hour in hot tap water (or according to directions).
- In a small bowl stir together fish sauce, tamarind puree, palm sugar, oyster sauce and chili to make the Pad Thai sauce.
- Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and shallot and fry until fragrant. Add the shrimp and tofu and stir fry until the shrimp are cooked. Push to the cool edge of the wok/pan or remove.
- Crack the eggs into the pan, let set for a moment before stir frying until they look scrambled. Push the eggs to the cool edge as well, or remove from pan.
- Add the drained rice noodles to the pan and pour the prepared Pad Thai sauce over top. Cook for a few minutes and toss gently until the noodles have softened (I usually try one just to make sure it's not too chewy anymore). Stir in the shrimp mixture and scrambled egg.
- Toss in the bean sprouts and garlic chives then remove from heat.
- Serve Pad Thai with chopped peanuts, a key lime half, ground chili, sugar, extra bean sprouts and garlic chive ends.
Ingredients Used For The Best Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe:
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Shrimp pad thai typically consists of rice noodles, shrimp, eggs, tofu, tamarind paste, fish sauce, garlic, shallots, and a variety of toppings like peanuts, lime wedges, and bean sprouts.
In Thai cuisine, "pad" typically refers to stir-fried dishes. It denotes the cooking technique of stir-frying ingredients in a wok or a pan with various seasonings and sauces.
Pad thai is a popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish known for its sweet, savory, and tangy flavors. It has a perfect balance of sweet tamarind, salty fish sauce, and sour lime, combined with the umami richness of shrimp, eggs, and tofu.
Pad thai's deliciousness stems from its harmonious blend of sweet, sour, salty, and umami flavors, along with the contrasting textures of soft noodles, crunchy peanuts, and fresh bean sprouts. Its complex yet balanced taste profile makes it an irresistible Thai classic.