Pad Thai Gai: Thai Stir-Fried Noodles With Chicken Recipe

Stir fried noodles with chicken pad Thai

The Spruce / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Yield: 5 to 6 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
482 Calories
22g Fat
39g Carbs
36g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3
Amount per serving
Calories 482
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 22g 28%
Saturated Fat 3g 17%
Cholesterol 127mg 42%
Sodium 1451mg 63%
Total Carbohydrate 39g 14%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 36g
Vitamin C 32mg 162%
Calcium 119mg 9%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 677mg 14%
*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.)

This scrumptious noodle recipe Pad Thai Gai is the real deal—a version of the famous Pad Thai (only easier!) direct from Thailand. It features stir-fried rice noodles with chicken in a tangy sauce along with toppings of chopped nuts and basil. The noodles are stir-fried until they have that famous Thai sticky/chewy taste. You'll love the sweet-sour balance of flavors along with the comforting combination of chicken and noodles. This easy, everyday dish is sure to bring a smile to your face.

"This pad Thai gai had excellent, well-balanced flavor. The prep time was mainly measuring and chopping, and the stir-fry was fast and easy. The garnishes give it great flavor and texture, and it's easy to adjust the seasonings by adding more or less of the sauce or extra fish sauce." —Diana Rattray

pad thai gai tester image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 8 ounces (220 grams) Pad Thai rice noodles

  • 1/2 pound chicken breasts, or thighs, boneless, chopped into bite-size pieces

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup grated carrot, or shredded cabbage

  • 1 large egg

  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts

  • 1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts, or cashews

  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced

  • 1 handful fresh basil leaves

  • Lime wedges, for serving

For the Stir-Fry Sauce:

  • 1/3 cup chicken stock

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce, more to taste

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar

  • Chili flakes, to taste, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for stir fried noodles
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  2. Boil rice noodles until too tough to serve but soft enough to eat, a firm al dente (noodles will finish cooking when you fry them so avoid overcooking at this point).

    Boil rice noodles
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  3. Drain, and rinse with cold water to keep from sticking.

    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  4. Combine all of the stir-fry sauce ingredients together in a cup. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of sauce over the chopped chicken in a bowl, and stir.

    Chicken and sauce
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  5. Heat a wok or large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil and swirl it around. Add garlic and stir fry 1 minute.

    Heat a wok
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  6. Add chicken, and stir fry 2 minutes. Add the carrot or cabbage, drizzling a little more stir-fry sauce into the pan if it becomes dry.

    Add chicken
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  7. Push ingredients aside, and crack the egg into the middle. Scramble quickly, and incorporate with other ingredients.

    Crack egg
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  8. Add noodles and 1/4 of the stir-fry sauce, using two utensils to lift and turn them in the pan. Stir fry 30 seconds, and add more sauce, continuing in this way until most of the sauce has been used.

    Add noodles
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  9. Add bean sprouts and continue stir frying another 2 to 3 minutes.

    Add bean sprouts
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga
  10. Taste test and add remaining sauce if you'd like more flavor. Add a little more fish sauce if desired for an even greater depth of flavor. Serve topped with chopped nuts, spring onion, and fresh basil. Garnish with lime wedges and squeeze over just before eating.

    Pad Thai Gai
    The Spruce / Diana Chistruga


  • You can find dried pad Thai noodles in most supermarkets these days and in Asian specialty stores. They are thin, flat rice noodles, about 1/2 cm thick.
  • If you want to double the recipe, stir-fry the noodles in 2 batches, as opposed to cooking double the amount all at once. It will be too difficult to properly stir the noodles in the wok or skillet and the dish won't turn out as flavorful.

Recipe Variations

  • For garnish, replace the fresh basil with fresh cilantro or leave out herbs entirely.
  • In place of spring onions, add cut garlic chives with the bean sprouts.
  • Replace the lime juice with tamarind paste in the stir-fry sauce as the sour element in the balance of flavors.
  • Instead of chili flakes, add about 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of sambal (Asian chili sauce) to the sauce mixture.
  • Add about 4 ounces of peeled and deveined medium shrimp to the wok along with the bean sprouts.

How to Store Leftover Pad Thai With Chicken

  • Refrigerate leftover pad Thai gai in a covered container within 2 hours and eat within 3 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan or skillet over medium heat. Add a few teaspoons of oil to the pan, and then add the pad Thai gai and a small amount of chicken broth or water to keep the noodles moist. Cook while stirring until heated through.

What does "gai" mean in Thai cooking?

The word "gai" in the name of a dish means it contains chicken.