Gluten-Free Shrimp Pad Thai

Gluten-Free Shrimp Pad Thai

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
346 Calories
18g Fat
36g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 346
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 23%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 1415mg 62%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 18mg 89%
Calcium 75mg 6%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 400mg 9%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Found in street eateries in the local markets of Thailand, pad Thai is a traditional dish that makes a filling and complete meal that can be ready in less than 30 minutes. This gluten-free shrimp pad Thai combines fresh and crunchy bean sprouts, ginger, and onions with flavorful shrimp and noodles, all coated in a savory sweet-and-spicy sauce and topped with crunchy peanuts.

Many pad Thai recipes rely on the use of tamarind paste, a product made with the pulp of a tart and tangy fruit by the same name. Because it's difficult to find (but sometimes available at Asian markets), this recipe is made with lemon juice instead, which still gives a delicious tangy note to the dish. Serve the pad Thai with Thai chili sauce for an additional spicy kick.


Click Play to See This Tangy Gluten-Free Shrimp Pad Thai Come Together

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A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar, divided

  • 1/4 to 1/2  teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon tamari

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

For the Pad Thai:

  • 8 ounces rice noodles

  • 12 to 15 medium raw shrimp, cleaned, shells removed

  • 1 tablespoon tamari

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 to 3 cups bean sprouts

  • 2 to 3 green onions, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, from 1 lime, optional

  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped

  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

Steps to Make It

Make the Sauce

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gluten-Free Shrimp Pad Thai ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. In a medium-sized bowl, combine 3 tablespoons of the brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, and the rest of the sauce ingredients. Mix well and taste-test for a tangy balance between sweet and sour.

    brown sugar, cayenne pepper, and the rest of the sauce ingredients in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. If needed, add the remaining tablespoon of sugar and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne. Set aside.

    sauce in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Make the Pad Thai

  1. Gather the remaining ingredients.

    Gluten-Free Shrimp Pad Thai ingredients

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the noodles and boil until they are limp but still firm and a little crunchy. Rinse the noodles thoroughly with cold water and set them aside. ​The noodles must be undercooked at this stage to achieve their sticky-chewy texture later when fried.

    rice noodles in a colander

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  3. In a medium-sized bowl, toss the shrimp with the tamari. Set aside.

    toss the shrimp with the tamari in a bowl

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  4. Heat a large wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl it around, then add the garlic and ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute and then add the shrimp. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until the shrimp are pink and plump.

    shrimp cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  5. Push the ingredients to one side of the pan and drizzle a little more of the remaining oil into the open side. Crack in the egg and stir-fry quickly, about 30 seconds, to scramble.

    eggs and shrimp cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  6. Add the noodles and drizzle over 1/3 of the prepared pad Thai sauce.

    rice noodles with shrimp and egg in a wok

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  7. Using a gentle turning motion, stir-fry everything together. Add more sauce every 30 seconds to 1 minute until all the sauce is used up and the noodles are sticky and chewy, 5 to 8 minutes.

    pad thai cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  8. Turn off the heat. Fold in the bean sprouts and green onions and taste-test, adding more fish sauce if not flavorful enough. If too salty or sweet, add lime juice to taste.

    pad Thai cooking in a wok

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

  9. Sprinkle the peanuts and coriander on top. Serve immediately.

    Gluten-Free Shrimp Pad Thai served on a plate

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

How to Cook Your Noodles Properly

Avoid cooking more than 12 ounces of noodles at any one time, as it's hard to turn the noodles and get them cooked evenly. When making more than 8 ounces of noodles, make sure to double the amount of the pad Thai sauce.


All of the ingredients in this recipe are gluten-free but do check the labels of the chicken stock you're using as some have wheat ingredients.