The best Pad Thai recipe! Deliciously flavorful, easy to make and perfectly satisfying. It’s made with ingredients you can find at the regular grocery store and it’s sure to leave you craving more!
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is Thailands National dish and likely the most popular order at the majority of Thai restaurants here in the U.S.
It is a noodle stir fry dish traditionally made up of rice noodles, shrimp, tofu, eggs and a deeply flavored, sweet and sour sauce. The sauce is usually consists of ingredients such as fish sauce, tamarind paste, dried shrimp and palm sugar.
Is This Authentic Pad Thai?
I’ll be the first to admit this is not the typical Pad Thai you’d find in Thailand. My version uses common ingredients found in the U.S. with a similar, and equally as delicious flavor to an authentic version.
So, you won’t have to make a special trip to the Asian grocery store that may be 30 miles or more away from home.
In this Pad Thai you’ll find tender pieces of chicken and lots of fresh vegetables and it’s all tossed with the most crave-worthy sauce, and of course, finished with an abundance of crunchy peanuts.
You’ll see based off of the reviews and comments this has been a reader favorite! Try it for yourself and please leave a review in the comments below, I love to get reader feedback!
Pad Thai Recipe Video
Ingredients for Homemade Pad Thai
- Rice noodles – you can find these in the Asian foods section of the grocery store. I usually use A Taste of Thai brand.
- Chicken breasts or shrimp – this makes it hearty and adds protein. Tofu can also be used here as well.
- Vegetable oil – used for sautéing.
- Brown sugar – to sweeten the sauce. This is added instead of the traditional palm sugar.
- Soy sauce – to add deep flavor, it adds a nice saltiness and umami flavor and balances the sweetness.
- Rice vinegar and lime juice – to add brightness. This is added in place of traditional tamarind paste.
- Fish sauce – adds key flavor, don’t skip it. You can find it in the Asian section of the grocery store. Feel free to add more to taste.
- Vegetables (bell pepper, carrots, bean sprouts, green onions, garlic and cilantro) – these make it a meal in one and they add lots of flavor and bright, appetizing color.
- Eggs – a classic part of Pad Thai. Scramble them using a fork.
- Peanuts – for that crave-able crunch. Be sure to use unsalted so it doesn’t make the dish overly salty.
How to Make Pad Thai and Pad Thai Sauce
- Cook noodles: Prepare rice noodles according to directions listed on package. This usually includes soaking in very hot water or boiling noodles, until al dente. Then rinsing briefly to prevent sticking.
- Prepare sauce: In a mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce, set aside.
- Cook chicken or shrimp: Heat oil in a wok or a 12-inch deep saute pan set over medium-high heat.
- Add chicken and saute until cooked through, about 6 minutes.
- If using shrimp cook about 1 1/2 minutes per side or until opaque.
- Transfer to a plate, leaving oil in pan.
- Saute vegetables until crisp tender: Add bell pepper and carrots saute 1 – 2 minutes then add garlic, green onions and bean sprouts saute 1 minute longer.
- Cook eggs: Push veggies to edges of pan and crack eggs into center.
- Cook and scramble until eggs have just set.
- Stir fry everything together: Add in chicken, noodles and sauce and toss everything together and cook 1 – 2 minutes.
- Garnish: Serve warm topped with cilantro, peanuts and optional red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.
How can I Make a Healthier Pad Thai?
If you want to make this healthier:
- Swap the white rice noodles with brown rice noodles
- Use low-sodium soy sauce
- Replace brown sugar with honey
- Use avocado oil or light olive oil in place of vegetable oil
What if I Can’t Find Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts may be the only ingredient you have difficulty finding in this recipe. Some grocery stores don’t carry them so if you can’t find them simply omit them from the recipe. If you’d like you could replace with another vegetable such as napa cabbage, snow peas or zucchini noodles.
Can I Use Beef in Place of Chicken or Shrimp?
This recipe can also be made with beef in place of chicken or shrimp. Use 1 lb. skirt steak cut into thin 2-inch strips (against the grain) and sear on high heat just briefly on each side (about 1 minute per each, to medium doneness).
More Thai Recipes You’ll Love:
- Thai Chicken Curry (Slow Cooker)
- Thai Butternut Squash Soup
- Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps
- Thai Basil Beef Bowls
- Thai Chicken Tacos With Peanut Sauce
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Pad Thai (with Chicken or Shrimp)
- 10 oz Thai rice noodles
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced into small strips, or 1 lb extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup packed dark-brown sugar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips and strips halved
- 1 1/2 cups matchstick carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 green onions, whites minced, greens sliced into 1-inch pieces
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- Red pepper flakes and sesame seeds (optional)
- Prepare rice noodles according to directions listed on package. In a mixing bowl, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice and fish sauce, set aside.
- While noodles are cooking, heat oil in a wok or a 12-inch deep saute pan set over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until cooked through, about 6 minutes. If using shrimp cook about 1 1/2 minutes per side or until opaque.
- Transfer to a plate, leaving oil in pan. Add bell pepper and carrots saute 1 - 2 minutes then add garlic, green onions and bean sprouts saute 1 minute longer.
- Push veggies to edges of pan and crack eggs into center. Cook and scramble until eggs have cooked through. Add in chicken, noodles and sauce and toss everything together and cook 1 - 2 minutes.
- Serve warm topped with cilantro, peanuts and optional red pepper flakes and sesame seeds.
- If you like it extra saucy you can double the sauce mixture.
- For a creamy, peanuty sauce you can add 2 Tbsp peanut butter to mixture.
- If you can't find bean sprouts they can be omitted or you can replace with napa cabbage.