This easy Pad Thai recipe tastes just as good (or better!) as anything I’ve had in a restaurant. Plus it’s easy to make and customize with whatever ingredients and spice level you love! Chicken, steak, pork, shrimp, tofu and veggie-only options included below.
Pad Thai Ingredients:
- 1 batch Pad Thai Sauce (see below)
- 10 ounces thin rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced and cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 eggs, whisked
- 3 green onions, sliced into 1-inch pieces
- toppings: lots of chopped peanuts, extra crushed red pepper flakes, lime wedges
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- juice of 1 fresh lime
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more/less to taste)
- Make the sauce. Whisk all ingredients together in a medium bowl (or shake together in a mason jar) until completely combined. Set aside.
- Cook the noodles. Meanwhile, cook your noodles al dente according to package instructions. Drain the noodles in a strainer, then rinse with cold water briefly to halt their cooking. Toss with one tablespoon oil briefly, to prevent the noodles from sticking.
- Cook the chicken (or see other options below*). Heat one tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add the chicken and sauté for 3-5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until the chicken is lightly golden on the edges and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a clean plate.
- Cook the veggies. Add the remaining one tablespoon oil to the sauté pan, along with the bean sprouts, carrots, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Cook the eggs. Push the veggies to one side of the pan, and add the eggs on the other side. Cook the eggs until scrambled, stirring often.
- Put it all together. Then add everything back in — the cooked noodles, chicken, sauce and green onions. Give the mixture a good toss until everything is evenly coated in the sauce. Remove pan from the heat.
- Serve. Then serve the Pad Thai while it’s nice and hot, sprinkled with lots of crushed peanuts, extra crushed red pepper flakes (if desired) and a good squeeze of fresh lime juice.
SHRIMP PAD THAI: Season 1 pound of large shrimp (peeled and de-veined) with salt and pepper. Sauté in 1 tablespoon oil over high heat until the shrimp are bright pink and cooked through, stirring occasionally, about 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
BEEF PAD THAI: Thinly slice 1 pound of lean steak (against the grain), then cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté in 1 tablespoon oil over heat until the steak is browned on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
PORK PAD THAI: Thinly slice 1 pound of lean boneless pork chops, then cut into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté in 1 tablespoon oil over heat until the pork is browned on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
TOFU PAD THAI: Slice 1 (14-ounce) block of extra-firm tofu into 1/4-inch slices. Sandwich the slices between paper towels, press and drain for 30 minutes. Cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the tofu in 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick pan in a single layer for 2 minutes, undisturbed. Then flip the tofu and cook on the second side for 1-2 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.