This Pad Thai recipe is hands-down one of the easiest, tastiest recipes on the blog. It’s a Thai noodle dish made with simple ingredients and can be made with chicken, shrimp or tofu! Vegan-adaptable. Includes a video.

The best Pad Thai, made with simple accessible ingredients that is fully customizable! Make this with your choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu! Simple, easy and fast with the BEST flavor! 

Do not let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace. 

Dalai lama

Here’s a simple easy recipe for the best Pad Thai that contains very accessible ingredients and only takes about 15 minutes of actual cooking time, once the ingredients are prepped.

The Pad Thai Sauce is so flavorful and balanced- it is as close as comes to the real deal without having to take a trip to the Asian market.

What is Pad Thai?

Pad Thai is a classic stir-fried rice noodle dish hailing from Thailand made with chicken, shrimp or tofu, scrambled eggs, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts and lime.

Why I love this recipe

Believe me, when I tell you, I’ve had a lot of Pad Thai in my life. Here and all across Thailand! It’s one of my favorite things to eat, and so I’ve made a practice of learning how to perfect this dish. It’s all about the flavor balance of the sauce, and the texture of the noodles.

  1. It’s adaptable! ( it can be made with chicken, shrimp or tofu)
  2. Vegan-adaptable! ( use vegan fish sauce and tofu, leave out the eggs)
  3. This Pad Thai recipe is fast and delicious!
  4. It’s made with simple accessible ingredients.

So yes, I may be biased but I think this tastes pretty darn amazing! Seriously! But don’t take my word for it….give it a try yourself and see what you think.


Pad Thai Video


How to Make Pad Thai (in a nutshell):

  1. Soak the rice noodles in hot water
  2. Whisk together Pad Thai Sauce
  3. Prep the protein and vegetables
  4. Whisk the eggs
  5. Stir-fry the pad thai all together!

 NOODLES TO USE IN PAD THAI:

  • Pad Thai is typically made with Rice Noodles, about 1/4 inch in width.
  • They are also called Rice Stick!

HOW TO COOK RICE NOODLES:

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Each package is different.

Or try pouring boiling water over rice noodles in a big bowl or shallow baking dish and let them soak until they are pliable (about 7-8 minutes) but not overly soft, drain.

How to cut chicken

Thinly slice, for the fastest cooking- perfect when using a wok!

chicken thinly sliced

You can also poach the chicken in water, for a lower oil version. 

chicken poaching for pad thai

Whisk the eggs and make the Pad Thai Sauce.

Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients

The secret to the best Pad Thai is the sauce! It must be balanced. Salty, sweet, and sour!

  1. Fish sauce ( or vegan fish sauce) and soy sauce add the salty component.
  2. Brown Sugar or honey add sweetness. (In Thailand it is traditional to use palm sugar.)
  3. Rice Vinegar or tamarind paste and lime juice, add the sour component.

TIP: There is a delicate balance between salty, tart and sweet, and when you find it, totally elevates the dish!  This sauce to my palate is perfectly balanced.

The best pad thai recipe!

EXPERT TIPS:

  1. Read the whole recipe through before you give it a go.
  2. Prep everything first, then place it near the stove. Cooking goes very fast here!
  3. Cut chicken very thinly to cut down on cooking time. Remember to cut across the grain.  So here I’ve cut it into ⅛ -¼ thin strips about two inches long.
  4. To lower calories, poach the chicken in a little salted water, until cooked through which just takes a couple of minutes. Then set it aside.
  5. Use shallot.  Shallot adds so much flavor here- much more so than onion. 

Pad Thai Dont’s:

  • Please, do not add ketchup or peanut butter. This is not Pad Thai. 🙂
  • Don’t skip the sugar- you will lose the balance of the dish.  You will end up with fishy, sour pad thai that tastes terrible. TRUST ME.
  • Don’t try to make too big a batch. You want the noodles to get slightly crispy in the wok or skillet, and it’s difficult to achieve if making more than two servings.
The BEST Pad Thai Recipe made with simple accessible ingredients that is fully customizable! Make this with your choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu! Simple, easy and fast with the BEST flavor!  | #authenticpadthai #easypadthai #padthai #bestpadthai #thai recipes #padthainoodles #bestpadthai www.feastingathome.com

Can Pad Thai be Made Vegan?

How to Garnish Pad Thai:

The BEST Pad Thai Recipe made with simple accessible ingredients that is fully customizable! Make this with your choice of chicken, shrimp or tofu! Simple, easy and fast with the BEST flavor!  | #authenticpadthai #easypadthai #padthai #bestpadthai #thai recipes #padthainoodles #bestpadthai www.feastingathome.com

I hope that after you make this, you’ll think this is the best Pad Thai recipe you’ve ever had too! 😉 Haha! Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

Happy weekend.

xoxoxo

Sylvia

PS. It is my hope that through cooking, we not only learn new ingredients and techniques but also learn more about the culture and people from which the food we make originates. Cooking can be a way of celebrating all our unique and beautiful differences. I’d like to believe expanding our repertoire in the kitchen can also expand our hearts. 

 

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Best Easy PAD THAI- an easy, authentic recipe with made with accessible ingredients that can be made with chicken or tofu! Gluten free, Vegan adaptable with Incredible flavor ! | #authenticpadthai #easypadthai #padthai #padthainoodles www.feastingathome.com

Easy Pad Thai Recipe ( Chicken, Shrimp or Tofu)


Description

An easy recipe for Pad Thai with simple accessible ingredients with the most amazing flavor! The best part … once you have your ingredients prepped it only takes 15 minutes of actual cooking time! See recipe notes for tips and tricks! Read the directions all the way through before starting. Watch the video above!


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 4 ounces dry pad thai noodles (rice noodles)
  • Boiling water to cover noodles
  • 1 large shallot, finely diced (much better than onion here)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, chopped (optional)
  • 2 eggs, whisked with a fork with a generous 3-finger pinch salt ( if vegan, leave it out)
  • 68 ounces tofu, chicken breast or peeled prawns
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, wok oil or coconut oil
  • 1 lime

Pad Thai Sauce:

Garnish:

  • lime wedges, fresh bean sprouts, chili flakes, chopped scallions, roasted peanuts.

Instructions

  1. COOK NOODLES: Cook noodles according to package instructions (or place rice noodles in a shallow bowl or baking dish and boil enough water to cover them. Cover with boiling water for 7- 8 minutes, until tender, then drain. They don’t have to be totally soft, just bendy and pliable)
  2. Chop shallot, garlic and ginger and set aside.
  3. Whisk the two eggs in a bowl with a fork and add a generous, 3-finger pinch of salt. Set aside.
  4. Make the Pad Thai Sauce: whisk fish sauce,  rice vinegar, brown sugar and soy sauce. (see notes) in a small bowl. Set aside.
  5. Prep the protein. Chicken: slice chicken into very thin strips and season with salt and pepper. Crispy Tofu: Blot tofu with paper towels pressing down firmly. Cut tofu into ¾ inch cubes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and for extra crispy, dredge in a little corn starch. Shrimp:  Peel and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Cook the protein: Sear the seasoned chicken, shrimp or tofu in a wok with hot oil until cooked through over medium-high heat. Set aside, on top of a paper towel, wipe out the pan. Turn heat off.
  7. STIR FRY the PAD THAI: Gather your chopped shallots, whisked eggs, cooked noodles, cooked protein and Pad Thai sauce around the stove. Heat 2 tablespoons peanut oil in the wok over medium heat, add shallot-garlic-ginger and stir, cooking just a few minutes until golden and fragrant.
  8. Make a well in the center of the wok, scooting the shallot mixture to the side of the pan, add the whisked eggs. With a metal spatula, scramble them and break them apart into little bits, letting them brown just a little, and incorporate them into the shallots continuing to break them into small bits.
  9. Add the drained, semi-soft noodles and toss with the egg mixture, stirring, flipping, frying constantly for 3-4 minutes until noodles become soft and pliable. 
  10. Add the Pad Thai Sauce and cook 1 minute.  It will smell quite fishy at first – turn your fan on – but it will mellow out perfectly. Add the cooked chicken, tofu or shrimp and turn and toss the noodles for a few more minutes. Cook until the noodles are soft (but still a little chewy) adding just a little water if it seems too dry.
  11. Toss in the bean sprouts and roasted peanuts (or serve on the side) and sprinkle with chili flakes and scallions. Squeeze with a little lime juice. Taste. Adjust salt, lime and sweetness to your liking adding a pinch of salt, more lime or more a pinch more sugar to taste. Give one more toss and serve immediately. Divide among two plates.
  12. Garnish with more bean sprouts, fresh scallions, cilantro or basil, chili flakes, lime wedges and roasted crushed peanuts. Or make this Peanut Chili Crunch!

Notes

DO NOT BE tempted to cut out the sugar  – understand that Pad Thai Sauce is a very delicate balance between sweet (sugar), salt (fish sauce) and acid (vinegar or tamarind) . I’ve already lowered the sugar as much as I could while preserving the balance. That being said, if you are intent on cutting the sugar back, cut back the on the vinegar and fish sauce as well. 🙂 *Leaving the sugar or honey out will result in terrible Pad THAI! Also the same with leaving out the fish sauce (or vegan fish sauce) or leaving out the acid. 

Fish sauce: If you are not accustomed to fish sauce, or are using a brand you haven’t tried before (some are fishier than others) feel free to go a little lighter on the fish sauce- like 2 tablespoons.   It is an acquired taste. If going less, you will need to may add a little more salt to taste.

DOUBLING:  Doubling the recipe will double the time and be much harder to manage all at once, in one wok.  If doubling, I highly recommend cooking in two batches in the wok. 

Use time-saving ingredients like store-bought peeled garlic (or minced garlic) and ginger paste in a tube. Using pre-cooked chicken is fastest -leftover rotisserie chicken is perfect. Also you could make the Pad Thai sauce ahead!

Tips for health: An easy way to cut back on the oil in the recipe is to poach the thinly sliced chicken in a little salted water (just enough to barely cover) and poach in the pan or wok for just a few minutes. Drain and set aside. The thinner you slice the chicken the faster it will cook.

TIPS for flavor: 

  1. Peanut Oil and chili flakes really really elevate this dish!
  2. Tamarind: If using tamarind (instead of rice vinegar) make tamarind “water” by mixing 1 -2 teaspoons tamarind paste with 2 tablespoons water. Or use 1-2 teaspoons of tamarind “concentrate” with 2 tablespoons water. Use this in place of the vinegar. This is more traditional but I realize not everyone has access to tamarind. Tamarind is extremely sour so if unfamiliar, go light. You can always add more.
  3. TEXTURE IS KEY! Everything from frying the noodles to adding the bean sprouts and roasted peanuts elevates this.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: ( with chicken breast)
  • Calories: 588
  • Sugar: 16.9 g
  • Sodium: 1063.3 mg
  • Fat: 21.4 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 65.3 g
  • Fiber: 1.2 g
  • Protein: 30.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 248.1 mg

Keywords: Pad Thai, best pad thai, pad thai recipe, best pad Thai recipe, vegan pad Thai pad, easy pad thai, authentic pad thai, chicken pad thai, pad thai recipe with tofu, vegan pad thai recipe, vegetarian pad thai recipe

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Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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Comments

  1. So good. I even forgot the ginger and added a bit of siracha vs chili flakes. The smell was off putting at first, but it tasted amazing. I will try a different fish sauce next time and not forget the ginger!

  2. I’ve tried various Pad Thai recipes and this is the only one that has ever turned out well for me! Thanks for the very detailed instructions – it makes all the difference! What kind of vegetable dish would you suggest to have on the side?

  3. Absolutely delicious and easy! I even doubled the portions (I knew it was against your advice but I had too many people to feed with too little time!) and it still turned out well. This was so much more like what I ate on the streets in Thailand than anything I have ever eaten at a Thai restaurant (too much sugar in the restaurants). And yep, the chili, lime and roasted peanuts definitely elevated the dish. Thank you!

  4. Perfect!
    Followed recipe as written (used GF soy), adjusted to taste as instructed and WOW!
    So good!

  5. Easy and perfect on my first try, the family is asking me to make it again.

  6. Came together quick. Only thing that was different was that mine looked more like a noodle omelet.

  7. You have the most delicious recipes, thank you so much for sharing your expertise and creative ideas. This pad Thai was great, I’ve had a problem with the rice noodles sticking together when I’ve used them, do you have any suggestions for how to prevent this?

    1. Thanks Doreen! Yes, the noodles do tend to stick- I just keep them in the water until ready to use, or just rinse with water.

  8. This was delicious! I lived in a big city and had many thai restaurants nearby, but now that I live in a rural farming town with no thai restaurants around, I was craving this dish and came across your recipe! Thank you so much! I cant wait to try the other recipes on here too! 🙂

  9. 4 ounces of Rice Noodles? IE- the link redirects to a 14oz box.
    Is this correct b/c I dont see multiplying the sauce directions by a factor or 3.5 when using the entire box.

    1. Yes, correct Jim, the noodles really don’t come in a 4-ounce box. So you’ll have enough to make more. 😉

  10. This recipe tastes EXACTLY like my local Thai restaurant. Now I swap in sesame oil for cooking, add a 1/4 tsp of key lime juice to the sauce, and I top it with chopped honey roasted peanuts and red pepper flakes for a spicy-sweet crunchy kick.

    So glad I found this recipe! My spouse doesn’t even mind the fish sauce smell when I make it because she knows something good is coming soon 🙂