In a nutshell, Pad Thai is a rice-noodle based stir-fry that generally incorporates eggs, tamarind, fish sauce, and veggies as a base. The rich and flavorful dish often features chicken, beef, shrimp or fish amongst other animal-derived proteins. Pad Thai comes in many forms, temperatures, and sauces, and can be vegan and vegetarian (if substituting the fish sauce for soy sauce).
Although the recipes below call for many ingredients and steps, they're fairly easy to make. Before you start, learn how to make perfect Pad Thai with an easy step-by-step set of instructions. Then choose from our suggestions below – from chicken to shrimp to vegetarian Pad Thai – to make a tasty Thai dinner at home.
01 of 06
This is a simple recipe for an amazing chicken Pad Thai. All you need is a wok, a pot for the noodles, and 30 minutes to prep and cook the dish. You control the heat by how many chili flakes you add. The dish calls for cashews or peanuts to add crunch, but use any allergy-friendly ingredient like sunflower seeds or pepitas to achieve the same result.
02 of 06
Tamarind paste isn't easy to find at your local supermarket. Specialty stores should carry it, but it's most likely found in Asian food stores, where it should also be fresher. If you can't get your hands on tamarind paste this recipe doesn't require it and it's equally authentic and flavorful.
If you're going to an Asian grocery, buy a root of galangal if they have one. Although you can use ginger instead, this ingredient delivers a pungent citrus-and-pine flavor that is different than ginger. Remember to slice it and not grate it!
03 of 06
This scrumptious noodle recipe for Pad Thai Gai features stir-fried rice noodles with chicken in a tangy sauce topped by chopped nuts and basil. You'll love the balance of sweet and sour flavors along with the comforting combination of chicken and noodles.
If you want to make this dish but need to make it fish-free, replace the fish sauce with soy sauce or gluten-free tamari (which will also make the whole dish gluten-free).
04 of 06
Originally, Pad Thai was made without tamarind and it didn't become part of the standard recipe until much later; lime juice was used instead, like in this flavorful recipe.
This quick-and-easy recipe is easier to put together than traditional Pad Thai and is simply wonderful thanks to the addition of aromatic cilantro and ginger.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
This shrimp-chicken combo is based on traditional Pad Thai dishes. The sauce is simple to make and will prove that bottled sauce isn't as tasty as homemade, nor better for your health.
Alternatively, if you need a more manageable version, check this easy chicken-shrimp Pad Thai.
06 of 06
This is an authentically gluten-free dish (because of the rice noodles and gluten-free soy sauce). It's for food lovers who want a lighter noodle dish minus the meat.
A generous serving of protein comes from the eggs (vegans can omit them) and crushed nuts, so it's filling and rich. You won't miss the meat for a minute.