This recipe shows you how to cook an amazing Pad Thai at home.
Pad Thai is commonly served as street food and at most restaurants in Thailand as part of that country’s cuisine.
Pad thai is made with rehydrated dried rice noodles that are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce, dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper, and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roasted peanuts. It may contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, pickled radishes or turnips, and raw banana flowers. It may also contain fresh shrimp, crab, squid, chicken or other animal proteins.
Many of the ingredients are provided on the side as condiments, such as the red chili pepper, lime wedges, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts, and other miscellaneous fresh vegetables. Vegetarian versions may substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce and omit the shrimp entirely.
- 5 ounces pad Thai rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 6 medium shrimp, peeled, deveined (optional)
- 2 tablespoons 1x½x⅛-inch slices pressed tofu (bean curd)
- 1 tablespoon sweet preserved shredded radish, rinsed, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 5 tablespoons tamarind water, or 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon tamarind paste mixed with 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon water
- 1½ tablespoons (or more) Thai fish sauce (nam pla)
- 1½ tablespoons simple syrup, preferably made with palm sugar
- 4 garlic chives, 2 cut into 1-inch pieces
- ½ teaspoon ground dried Thai chiles, divided
- 2 tablespoons crushed roasted, unsalted peanuts, divided
- 2 lime wedges
- Place noodles in a large bowl; pour hot water over to cover. Let soak until tender but not mushy, 5–10 minutes. Drain; set aside.
- Heat vegetable oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add egg; stir until barely set, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, if using. Cook, stirring, until shrimp and egg are almost cooked through, 2–3 minutes. Add tofu and radish; cook for 30 seconds. Add noodles and cook for 1 minute. Stir in sprouts. Add tamarind water, fish sauce, and simple syrup and stir-fry until sauce is absorbed by noodles and noodles are well coated, about 1 minute. Stir in chopped garlic chives. Add 1/4 tsp. ground chiles and 1 Tbsp. peanuts and toss well. Transfer to serving plates.
- Garnish with remaining 1/4 tsp. ground chiles, 1 Tbsp. peanuts, and lime wedges.
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