Pad Thai


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Pad Thai is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and beloved dishes in Thai cuisine. With its perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors, it’s a crowd-pleaser that’s adored by food enthusiasts around the world. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you on a culinary journey to create authentic, restaurant-quality Pad Thai right in your own kitchen.

Pad Thai is one of the most popular and iconic dishes in Thai cuisine. Its origins can be traced back to Thailand’s capital city, Bangkok. While the precise history of Pad Thai is debated, it is widely believed to have been created during the early to mid-20th century as part of a broader effort by the Thai government to promote a sense of national identity and unity.

One of the key figures associated with the creation of Pad Thai is Plaek Phibunsongkhram, the Prime Minister of Thailand in the 1930s and 1940s. His government actively promoted Thai culture and sought to establish a national cuisine. Pad Thai was introduced as a symbol of Thai identity and pride, and its popularity quickly spread across the country.

Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish typically made with rice noodles, eggs, tofu or shrimp, bean sprouts, and a flavorful sauce consisting of tamarind, fish sauce, sugar, and chili. It’s often garnished with crushed peanuts, lime wedges, and fresh cilantro. Over time, it has evolved, and variations with different proteins and additional ingredients have emerged to cater to various tastes.

Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish that combines chewy rice noodles with a medley of fresh ingredients and a mouthwatering sauce. It's a harmonious blend of textures and flavors, featuring succulent shrimp, tender chicken, or tofu, along with crunchy bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and vibrant herbs. Whether you're a Thai food aficionado or a newcomer, this recipe will walk you through the process of making Pad Thai from scratch, ensuring a dish that's bursting with authentic flavors.

Tools and Equipment

Prep Time 15 mins Cook Time 15 mins Rest Time 30 mins Total Time 1 hr Difficulty: Intermediate Servings: 6 Calories: 315.17 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year


Pad Thai sauce:

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover them with hot water. Allow them to soak for about 30 minutes or until they become pliable. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together the fish sauce (for a vegetarian/vegan version, use soy sauce), tamarind paste, sugar and soy sauce to create your Pad Thai sauce.

  3. Heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cubed tofu, shrimp, or chicken and cook until they're cooked through. Remove them from the pan and set them aside.

  4. In the same pan, add another tablespoon of oil and minced garlic. Push the garlic to one side of the pan and crack the eggs into the other side. Scramble the eggs until they're almost fully cooked.

  5. Add the drained noodles to the pan and pour the prepared Pad Thai sauce over them. Stir-fry everything together, ensuring the sauce coats the noodles evenly.

  6. Return the cooked protein (tofu, shrimp, or chicken) to the pan and toss it with the noodles.

  7. Add the bean sprouts and half of the crushed peanuts to the pan. Continue to stir-fry until everything is heated through.

  8. Divide the Pad Thai among serving plates. Garnish each plate with chopped green onions, the remaining crushed peanuts, fresh cilantro, and lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6

Amount Per Serving
Calories 315.17kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.65g17%
Saturated Fat 1.91g10%
Trans Fat 0.01g
Cholesterol 95.81mg32%
Sodium 1055.2mg44%
Potassium 204.45mg6%
Total Carbohydrate 41.78g14%
Dietary Fiber 2.31g10%
Sugars 6.8g
Protein 14.04g29%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Please note that the nutritional values provided are approximate and may vary depending on the specific ingredients and portion sizes used. It's always best to double-check with your specific ingredients and measurements for accurate nutritional information.


Tips and Variations:
  • Customize the level of spiciness by adding chili flakes or Sriracha sauce.
  • For a vegan Pad Thai, use tofu or simply omit the protein and eggs.
  • Feel free to add your favorite vegetables, such as bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli.
  • If tamarind paste is not available, substitute it with rice vinegar for a similar tangy flavor.
Serving Suggestions:
  • Pad Thai is delicious on its own but pairs well with Thai-style spring rolls, Thai iced tea, or a refreshing cucumber salad.
Allergen Information:

The allergen information for Pad Thai can vary depending on the recipe and any modifications made. Here are some common allergens to be aware of:

  • Peanuts: Many traditional Pad Thai recipes include crushed peanuts as a garnish. If you have peanut allergies, you can omit the peanuts or use an alternative garnish like toasted sesame seeds.

  • Fish Sauce: The traditional Pad Thai sauce contains fish sauce, which is a common source of fish allergens. Look for vegetarian or vegan fish sauce alternatives if you have a fish allergy.

  • Shellfish: Some variations of Pad Thai include shrimp or other shellfish. If you have shellfish allergies, choose a vegetarian or protein alternative like tofu or chicken.

  • Gluten: While rice noodles are gluten-free, some commercially available Pad Thai sauces may contain soy sauce with wheat. Check the sauce label for gluten-free options or use tamari sauce instead.

Wine or Drink Pairing:

Pairing beverages with Pad Thai can be a delightful experience, enhancing the flavors of this dish. Here are some pairing suggestions:

  • White Wine: A crisp, aromatic white wine like Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc complements the sweet, sour, and slightly spicy flavors of Pad Thai.

  • Beer: Consider a light lager or a wheat beer like a Hefeweizen. The mild, effervescent qualities of these beers can balance the dish's heat and acidity.

  • Thai Iced Tea: A classic choice for those who prefer non-alcoholic options. The creamy sweetness of Thai iced tea pairs harmoniously with Pad Thai's flavors.

  • Coconut Water: For a refreshing and hydrating choice, coconut water can be an excellent accompaniment to Pad Thai, especially if you find it spicy.

Storage and Leftovers:

While Pad Thai is best enjoyed fresh, you can store leftovers for later enjoyment:

  • Refrigeration: Place leftover Pad Thai in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. Reheat it in a microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water to prevent drying out.

  • Freezing: Pad Thai can be frozen, but the texture of the noodles may change slightly upon thawing. Freeze it in airtight containers for up to 2-3 months.

  • Fresh Ingredients: Pad Thai is best made with fresh ingredients, so if you plan to have leftovers, consider cooking only what you can consume in one sitting and keeping the remaining ingredients separate until you're ready to cook again.

Keywords: Pad Thai, Thai cuisine, Homemade Pad Thai, Asian Street Food, Vegetarian, Vegan

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