Pad Thai Sauce Recipe

Shrimp Pad Thai
Sutthiwat Srikhrueadam / EyeEm/Getty Images
  • 10 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 2/3 Cup of Sauce (2-4 Servings)
Ratings (112)

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). 

What You'll Need

  • 1 to 1.5 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 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons palm sugar OR brown sugar

How to Make It

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  1. 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.

    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.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 58
Total Fat 0 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
Unsaturated Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 1,326 mg
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 1 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)