Easy Pad Thai Noodles

Easy Pad That

The Spruce

Ratings (176)
  • Total: 40 mins
  • Prep: 25 mins
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 3 Servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
908 Calories
46g Fat
65g Carbs
63g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This recipe for Pad Thai noodles with chicken and shrimp is authentic and simple enough for any aspiring Thai cook to make. The Pad Thai sauce is easier to create than the more-common tamarind-based variety. (In fact, the original Pad Thai didn't contain tamarind at all.) If you live in a place where Asian ingredients are difficult to find, then this tamarind-free recipe might be perfect for you.

Ingredients

  • 1 boneless chicken breast, or 1 to 2 boneless thighs (chopped into small pieces)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 8 ounces Pad Thai rice noodles (or enough for 2 people)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 to 2 fresh red or green chilies, or to taste (finely sliced)
  • 1 teaspoon grated galangal ​or ginger
  • 10 to 15 medium-sized raw shrimp (shells removed)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions (sliced)
  • 1 lime (cut into wedges, for serving)
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts (chopped)
  • For the Pad Thai Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup good-quality chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather ingredients.

  2. Combine Pad Thai sauce ingredients together in a cup, stirring to dissolve sugar. Set aside.

    Pad Thai spices and sauces.
     The Spruce
  3. Place chopped chicken in a bowl and toss with soy sauce. Set aside.

    Chicken for pad thai.
     The Spruce
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Dunk in rice noodles and cook approximately 6 minutes, or until soft enough to bend easily but still firm and a little crunchy when you try to eat it (undercooked by regular standards). Drain and rinse noodles briefly with cold water to keep from sticking. Set aside.

    Drained pad thai noodles.
     The Spruce
  5. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in oil and swirl around, then add the garlic, chili, and galangal. Stir-fry 1 minute.

    Garlic and chilies for pad thai.
     The Spruce
  6. Add chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add the shrimp, continuing to stir-fry until they turn pink and chicken is opaque, 2 to 3 minutes.

    Chicken and shrimp cooking in wok.
     The Spruce
  7. When pan becomes dry, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the Pad Thai sauce—just enough to keep ingredients frying nicely.

    Adding pad thai sauce.
     The Spruce
  8. Push ingredients to the side of the pan (if the pan is dry, drizzle in a little oil). Crack the egg into the center and stir-fry quickly to scramble.

  9. Add noodles, plus 3 to 4 tablespoons of the Pad Thai sauce. Using two utensils, lift and turn the noodles with the other ingredients. Continue in this way, adding more sauce every minute or two, until all has been added and noodles are chewy and a little bit sticky, 8 to 10 minutes.

    Add pad thai noodles.
     The Spruce
  10. Fold in bean sprouts and green onion. Remove from heat and taste-test, adding more fish sauce until desired taste is achieved.

    Mixed pad thai.
     The Spruce
  11. Portion out onto individual plates and add a lime wedge on the side. Top with a small heap of chopped nuts.

    Easy homemade pad thai.
     The Spruce
  12. Serve and enjoy!

About This Pad Thai Sauce 

Although today we associate Pad Thai sauce with tamarind, in this authentic southern-Thai recipe, the sourness comes instead from a combination of rice vinegar and lime juice. Several hundred years ago, traditional Pad Thai was made in just this way—without tamarind—and versions of this original recipe can still be found in various regions of Thailand.

For a gluten-free version, use wheat-free soy sauce.