Shrimp Pad Thai combines rice noodles, veggies and tender shrimp tossed in the tastiest sweet and tangy Pad Thai sauce. This restaurant style Pad Thai recipe is easy to make and can be customized to your taste!
There’s no denying, Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines. Thai food dishes are full of flavor and this easy Pad Thai recipe is no exception.
Shrimp Pad Thai is cooked in one single wok or skillet in under 25 minutes! Pad Thai is also easily customizable and although this recipe is made with shrimp, you can use any protein that you prefer. Chicken, beef, tofu or simply vegetable Pad Thai.
Take a look at one of my favorite Thai recipes. This Tom Yum Soup recipe is incredibly easy to make and so full of flavor!
What Is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a common street food dish from Thailand and one of the most popular Thai dishes in the United States. Pad Thai is made with rice noodles stir fried with eggs, chicken, shrimp and tofu smothered in an exotic savory, sweet and tangy Pad Thai sauce. Then it’s tossed with different vegetables like scallions and bean sprouts then topped with chopped peanuts.
What Is Pad Thai Sauce Made Of?
Authentic Pad Thai sauce includes tamarind paste, fish sauce, lime juice, rice vinegar and sugar. I wanted to make this recipe as authentic as possible and although that may require you to visit your local Asian market to find tamarind paste, I promise it’s totally worth it (and cheaper than going to a Thai restaurant).
Shrimp Pad Thai Ingredients
Pad Thai Sauce:
- Fish Sauce: A must for all Thai recipes. It may be stinky but the complexity of the flavor that this sauce adds to Thai recipes is hard to replicate with any other ingredient. If you want to make vegan Pad Thai, use liquid aminos.
- Tamarind Paste: Definitely a key ingredient for authentic Pad Thai.
- Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed is best.
- Rice Vinegar: Use white wine vinegar, if needed.
- Sugar: I use granulated sugar. Palm sugar can be used.
Pad Thai Noodles:
- Oil: Use a mild flavored oil like vegetable or canola oil.
- Garlic: I use fresh garlic.
- Eggs: I use large eggs.
- Shrimp: Large and medium shrimp both work well.
- Rice Noodles: These noodles are made with rice flour and are gluten free. I prefer the medium size noodles instead of the extra wide ones.
- Paprika: It gives this dish it’s reddish hue.
- Green Onions: (Scallions)
- Roasted Peanuts: I always buy dry roasted salted peanuts so if I have some leftover we can have them as a snack. You can get unsalted, if you prefer.
- Bean Sprouts: If you cannot find bean sprouts, omit them.
How To Make Shrimp Pad Thai
- Make The Sauce: First, mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and reserve.
- Soak and Drain The Noodles: Soak the noodles in lukewarm water until pliable. This will take between 5 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse.
- Stir Fry: Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet swirling the oil to coat the entire wok. Add the garlic and cook for just a few seconds. Crack the eggs into the wok.
- As the egg whites start to set, break the yolks and add the shrimp and mix with the runny yolk. Cook for about a minute or until the eggs looks scrambled and the shrimp is just turning pink.
- Stir In Noodles: Add the soaked and drained noodles and stir fry for a few minutes.
- Stir In Sauce: Add the Pad Thai sauce and the paprika. Toss until the paprika is distributed and colors the noodles and the sauce is absorbed.
- Add Onions: Place the green onions in the middle and fold the noodles on top, This will help steam the green onions. Add half of the peanuts and toss.
- Serve: Remove from the heat and served topped with bean sprouts and the remaining chopped peanuts.
You have questions? We have answers!
What’s A Good Substitute For Tamarind Paste?
If you can’t find tamarind paste (or tamarind pulp), there are a couple of options for you. The easiest one is to mix equal parts of brown sugar and lime juice. If the recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste, use 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar and lime mixture.
The second option is ketchup. Yes! It’s not authentic but if Pad Thai cravings strike, ketchup is a good option.
What’s A Good Substitution For Pad Thai Noodles Or Rice Noodles?
If you don’t have any rice noodles at home, use linguine or spaghetti noodles.
What Goes With Shrimp Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a tasty and filling stand alone meal usually served with raw bean sprouts. As part of a meal, you can serve Shrimp pad Thai with a soup like Tom Yum soup, Thai cucumber salad or green papaya salad.
Tips for Making Authentic Shrimp Pad Thai
- Have all your ingredients ready before you start stir frying.
- Do not overcook the noodles. After soaking, the noodles will be pliable. After they stir fry, they should be tender and have a chewy (al dente) texture.
- Palm sugar, brown sugar or honey can be used instead of the granulated sugar.
These Are Some Of The Best Thai Recipes:
- Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce
- Red Curry Chicken with Vegetables
- Coconut Curry Soup with Shrimp
- Thai Basil Chicken
- Chicken Larb
- Mango Sticky Rice
- Thai Iced Tea
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Authentic Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe
Pad Thai Sauce
For the Pad Thai Sauce
- In a small bowl, combine the sauce ingredients and mix until the sugar has dissolved. Reserve.
Soak The Pad Thai Noodles
- Heat a large pot of water until it becomes lukewarm. Turn off heat.
- Soak the rice noodles for about 5 to 10 minutes or until flexible but solid. You don’t want the noodles completely cooked. Drain noodles and rinse with cold water.
For the Pad Thai
- Heat a skillet or wok over high heat. Add the oil and swirl the pan to coat completely. Add the garlic and stir for about 10 seconds.
- Crack the eggs into the pan and as the egg whites start to set, pierce the yolks to let them ooze. Add the shrimp and mix with the runny egg yolk. Cook for about 1 minute until the shrimp is just starting to turn pink and opaque and the eggs look scrambled.
- Add the soaked and drained rice noodles and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until soft. Add the sauce and paprika and fold together until the paprika evenly colors the noodles and all the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Place the green onions in the center of the noodles, and then spoon some noodles over the green onions to cover and let steam for 30 seconds. Stir in most of the peanuts. Transfer to a serving plate and garnish with bean sprouts and the remaining peanuts.