Pad Thai Sauce Recipe

Pad Thai
The Spruce
Ratings (125)
  • Total: 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 2/3 Cup of Sauce (2-4 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
58 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pad Thai sauce is very easy to make, and this simple recipe will tell you how to do it. Pad Thai noodles are becoming very popular around the world, and can easily be made at home if you have the right ingredients. The key to good Pad Thai sauce is tamarind. Tamarind is a kind of tropical fruit that comes in pods. The best way to buy tamarind is as a prepared paste (available by the jar or bottle at Asian or Indian food stores). 


Watch Now: Pad Thai Sauce


  • 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons tamarind paste (to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili sauce (or 1/3 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons palm sugar (or brown sugar)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place all ingredients in a cup and stir to dissolve both tamarind paste and sugar (note you will need lots of sugar to balance out the sourness of the tamarind). When taste-testing, keep in mind the following tips: In order to achieve the best results, your pad Thai sauce should taste sweet first, followed by spicy-salty and sour last.

    Mixing pad thai sauce ingredients.
     The Spruce
  3. Add more sugar if it tastes too sour to you, or add more chili for more intense spiciness. Also note that the sauce will taste almost too strong at this point, but once distributed throughout the noodles, the flavor will be perfect.

    Adding sugar to pad thai sauce.
     The Spruce
  4. Your pad Thai sauce is now ready to be used, or store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.

    Pad Thai Sauce
     The Spruce
  5. Note: this recipe makes 2/3 cup Pad Thai Sauce (enough for 1 batch of Pad Thai, enough for 9 ounces of noodles to serve 2 to 4 people)

Cooking Tips and Ingredient Variations

Tips for Making Pad Thai out of this Sauce: For authentic-tasting Pad Thai, be sure to soak your rice noodles (instead of boiling them) until they are softened but still firm and a little bit "crunchy", then fry them up with the sauce. Garnish this dish with chopped peanuts or fresh cilantro. Pair it with Thai Iced Tea or a ginger chamomile tea served cold or piping hot. Add chili sauce for extra heat.

For complete instructions on how to make pad Thai, see this easy Pad Thai for the recipe, or classic Pad Thai recipe. For vegan Pad Thai, see our vegan Pad Thai recipe.