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
- 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.
Tamarind Concentrate: This recipe is made to taste more like authentic Pad Thai, which has more tang and less sweetness than you will typically find in some American restaurants. If you would like a less tangy dish, I recommend adding just half of the tamarind concentrate to begin (then you can also toss the noodles with extra in the end, if you want more). And if you would like the dish to be on the sweeter side, I recommend increasing the amount of brown sugar to 1/2 cup. Also please note that different brands of tamarind paste can vary significantly in terms of potency and tartness.
How To Make 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.
How To Make 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.
How To Make 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.
How To Make 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.