Chicken Pad Thai

Chicken Pad Thai
The Spruce
  • Total: 27 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
1197 Calories
48g Fat
110g Carbs
89g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 1197
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 48g 61%
Saturated Fat 12g 58%
Cholesterol 209mg 70%
Sodium 4766mg 207%
Total Carbohydrate 110g 40%
Dietary Fiber 7g 27%
Protein 89g
Calcium 372mg 29%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A faster, easier version of Pad Thai, this yummy recipe will leave you craving more. The key to perfect Pad Thai is in the cooking (or "not" cooking) of the noodles - learn how to get them chewy-perfect with this recipe. Included is a simple, but authentic pad thai sauce which is tangy and a little spicy. When it's all put together, you'll find there isn't a noodle dish better than world-famous pad Thai!


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  • For the Pad Thai Sauce:
  • 3/4 tablespoon tamarind paste (dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water; look for tamarind at Asian/Chinese or Indian food stores)
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 to 3 teaspoons chili sauce (or 1/2 teaspoon or more dried crushed chili or cayenne, to taste)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • For the Pad Thai:
  • 8 ounces rice noodles (or enough for 2 people, linguini-width)
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups chicken breast (or thigh, chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (more or less as needed for stir-frying)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • Optional: 1 to 2 fresh red chilies (minced)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup cilantro (fresh; chopped)
  • 3 green onions (sliced)
  • 1/3 cup peanuts (crushed or roughly chopped; or other nuts, such as cashews)
  • Garnish: lime wedges

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Chicken Pad Thai Ingredients
    The Spruce
  2. Make the sauce by combining sauce ingredients together in a cup. Stir well to dissolve tamarind and brown sugar. Taste-test for a tangy balance between sweet and sour. Add more sugar if too sour, or more tamarind if too sweet.

    combine seasonings
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  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and dunk in rice noodles. Stir to separate. Only cook until they are soft enough to be eaten, but just barely: still firm and a little "crunchy" (they will finish cooking later in the pan). 

    cook pasta
     The Spruce
  4. Drain the noodles and rinse well with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.

    drain pasta
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  5. Place chicken slices in a small bowl. Stir together the cornstarch and soy sauce and pour over chicken. Stir well and set aside.

    prep chicken
     The Spruce
  6. Warm up a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil plus garlic and minced chili, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds).

    saute garlic
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  7. Add marinated chicken. When wok/pan becomes dry, add the chicken stock. Stir-fry 5 to 7 minutes, until chicken is cooked.

    cook chicken
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  8. Add noodles and pour Pad Thai Sauce over. Using two utensils, use a gentle "lift and turn" method to fry noodles (like tossing a salad). Stir-fry in this way 5 minutes, or until noodles are chewy 'al dente'. If you find your pan too dry, add a little more oil.

    add pasta
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  9. Add bean sprouts and continue frying 1 more minute, or until noodles are cooked. Noodles are done to perfection when they taste chewy and a little sticky. Taste-test for seasoning, adding more fish sauce until your desired flavor is reached (you can add up to 1 tablespoon fish sauce).

    add bean sprouts
     The Spruce
  10. Top with generous sprinklings of fresh cilantro, green onion, and crushed/chopped nuts. Add fresh lime wedges to be squeezed over before eating, and if desired, serve with Nam Prik Pao Chili Sauce (homemade recipe) on the side.

    Chicken Pad Thai
    The Spruce


  • For even more flavor, make a double batch of the pad Thai sauce. Then, as you're stir-frying the noodles, add more sauce until you're happy with the taste (you can also add extra fish sauce).
  • Any leftover sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.