Pad Thai

We pillaged the web for the best-reviewed recipes of the now-ubiquitous Pad Thai, tweaked it to perfection and post it now for your pleasure. This is simple to follow and the resulting dish is the best we've tasted. 

Makes 2 servings


• 4 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra as needed
• 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
• 1 tablespoon dried shrimp, optional
• 2/3 cup sliced pork
• 1/2 cup whole shrimp, shelled and deveined
• 1 tablespoon (shredded) preserved radish
• 1/4 pound medium-size dried rice noodles (soaked 60 minutes in cold water and drained)
• Water
• 5 tablespoons Pad Thai sauce, recipe follows
• 2 large eggs
• 1/2 teaspoon ground hot chiles, or more to taste
• 3 tablespoons ground roasted peanuts
• 1/2 cup sliced garlic chives or green onion
• 2 cups bean sprouts, rinsed, plus more for garnish
• 1 wedge lime
cilantro to garnish

Pad Thai Sauce:
• 1 cup tamarind juice*
• 1 cup palm sugar plus 3 tablespoons
• 1 cup water
• 1/2 cup fish sauce
• 2 teaspoons salt


Heat the oil in a wok. Add the garlic and stir-fry until golden brown. Add the meat and shrimp and keep stirring until the shrimp changes color. Remove the shrimp to prevent overcooking and set aside.

Add the noodles. They will stick together so stir fast and try to separate them. Add a little water, stirring a few times. Then add the Pad Thai sauce, and keep stirring until everything is thoroughly mixed. The noodles should appear soft and moist. Return the cooked shrimp to the wok.

Push the contents of the wok up around the sides to make room to fry the eggs. If the pan is very dry, add 1 more tablespoon of oil. Add the eggs and spread the noodles over the eggs to cover. When the eggs are cooked, stir the noodles until everything is well mixed-this should result in cooked bits of eggs, both whites and yolk, throughout the noodle mixture.

Add chiles, peanuts, garlic chives and bean sprouts. Mix well. Remove to a platter. Serve with raw bean spouts and a few drops of lime juice.

For the sauce:

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan for about 60 minutes until it is well mixed and syrupy. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.

Have everything chopped, measured, and ready to go into the dish as it cooks pretty quickly.

*You can buy premixed tamarind concentrate or make your own tamarind juice. Buy a package of compressed tamarind pulp at any Asian market, cut off 2-3 tablespoons of paste and soak in 1 1/2 cups of warm water for 20 minutes. Squeeze out the pulp and discard; the remaining liquid is tamarind juice. Store any leftover juice or noodle sauce in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer.
The sauce recipe makes a larger portion than needed but don't be tempted to use more than the recipe calls for as it can quickly over power the other ingredients.

A good substitute for palm sugar is: 1 cup dark brown sugar and 3 tsps molasses = 1 cup palm sugar.

Also if you like it hot, use Sambal Oelek, it's a chili paste used in Thailand. Suggest each person add their own Sambal Oelek to their portion though because it's fairly spicy.

If you want to double this recipe, DO NOT double the ingredients, for the bulk will be too much to work with. Rather, make the dish twice. If you plan to make this for company, cook noodles ahead of time and add bean sprouts and garlic chives when you heat it up. If it is an informal gathering, it is fun to let your guests cook their own noodles.

You may also be interested in Cooking with Tamarind



Adapted from a recipe by Nongkran Daks.