Thai Street Food: Pad Thai with Shrimp (gluten-free) Recipe

Shrimp pad Thai
Cherry Tantirathanon / EyeEm / Getty Images
  • 24 mins
  • Prep: 12 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: SERVES 2
Ratings (62)

This pad Thai recipe comes to you direct from the eateries of Thailand. Many of you are discovering that tamarind paste - a traditional ingredient in pad thai - is difficult to find. Originally, pad thai was made without tamarind, hence this recipe made with lime juice instead of tamarind. This simple swap makes the pad Thai sauce easy to put together, and so much better than bottled or packaged pad Thai sauces, which can never give you the same taste as fresh.

What You'll Need

  • 8 oz. pad Thai rice noodles, or enough for 2 people
  • 12 to 15 small to medium raw shrimp (shells removed)
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tsp. grated ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 2 to 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 to 3 green onions (sliced)
  • Handful fresh coriander/cilantro
  • 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts (chopped)
  • 2 to 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup strong chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 4 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce (use wheat-free for gluten-free diets)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste

How to Make It

  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Dunk in noodles and boil until they are limp but still firm and a little "crunchy" to taste. Rinse noodles thoroughly with cold water and set aside. ​Noodles must be undercooked at this stage in order to achieve their sticky-chewy texture later when fried.
  2. Toss shrimp in 1 tbsp. soy sauce and set aside. For the pad Thai sauce, combine ingredients in a cup, starting with 3 tbsp. sugar and increasing to 4 as needed. Taste-test for a tangy balance between sweet and sour. Set aside.
  1. Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tbsp. oil and swirl around, then add garlic and ginger. Stir-fry 1 minute and add the shrimp. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until shrimp are pink and plump. Push ingredients aside and drizzle a little more oil into the pan. Crack in the egg and stir-fry quickly to scramble (30 seconds).
  2. Add noodles and drizzle over 1/3 of the pad Thai sauce. Using a gentle turning motion, stir-fry everything together. Add more sauce every 30 seconds to 1 minute until sauce is used up and noodles are sticky and chewy tasting ('al dente' - 5 to 8 minutes).
  3. Turn off heat. Fold in bean sprouts and green onion. Taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not flavorful enough. If too salty or sweet, add a good squeeze of lime. Sprinkle the nuts and coriander on top. Thai chili sauce can be served on the side for those who like it extra spicy.

Tip: When making more than 8 oz. of noodles, double the pad Thai sauce. Avoid making more than 12 oz. of noodles at any one time, simply because it's hard to turn the noodles and get them cooked evenly without overcooking them.

Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
Calories 821
Total Fat 38 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Unsaturated Fat 22 g
Cholesterol 132 mg
Sodium 2,634 mg
Carbohydrates 101 g
Dietary Fiber 7 g
Protein 31 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)