Gluten-Free Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp pad Thai
Cherry Tantirathanon / EyeEm / Getty Images
Prep: 12 mins
Cook: 12 mins
Total: 24 mins
Servings: 2 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
700 Calories
36g Fat
73g Carbs
26g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2
Amount per serving
Calories 700
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 47%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 151mg 50%
Sodium 2827mg 123%
Total Carbohydrate 73g 26%
Dietary Fiber 6g 22%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 26g
Vitamin C 41mg 206%
Calcium 154mg 12%
Iron 4mg 22%
Potassium 810mg 17%
*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.)

Usually served in street eateries, pad thai is an everyday preparation for Thailanders and its variety is as vast as the number of ingredients and fresh produce that Thai cuisine is famous for. Thais rely on high-quality fruits and vegetables to enhance the flavor of sweet and savory dishes, and without them, no pad thai will be as succulent and fragrant as it can be.

Coming straight out of the boiling woks of street kiosks in local markets, pad thai makes a filling and complete meal; our shrimp pad thai is no exception and makes a great weeknight meal in less than 30 minutes. Fresh and crunchy bean sprouts, ginger, and onions are mixed with flavorful shrimp and noodles, all coated in a savory sweet-and-spicy sauce and topped with crunchy peanuts. All ingredients in our recipe are gluten-free but do check the labels of the chicken stock you're using as some have wheat ingredients.

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


For the Sauce:

  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/4 to 1/2  teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 tablespoon tamari

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock

  • 3 tablespoons vinegar

  • 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 ginger (grated)

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 to 3 cups bean sprouts

  • 2 to 3 green onions (sliced)

  • 1 lime (juiced)

  • 1/3 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (chopped)

  • 1 bunch cilantro (fresh, stems removed, chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

  3. Bring a large pot of water to a 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 to achieve their sticky-chewy texture later when fried.

  4. In a medium-sized bowl, toss shrimp with 1 tablespoon of tamari. Set aside.

  5. Heat a large wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of 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.

  6. Push ingredients aside and drizzle a little more of the remaining oil into the pan. Crack in the egg and stir-fry quickly to scramble, or about 30 seconds.

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

  8. 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, or about 5 to 8 minutes.

  9. Turn off the heat. Fold in 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.

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

  11. Enjoy!

How to Cook Your Noodles Properly

When making more than 8 ounces of noodles, double the amounts of the pad Thai sauce. 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 there are too many of them in the same pot.