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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Comments

    1. Great to hear Amy! I’m constantly surprised how often I hear that kids enjoy this one. It means you got the balance, just right!

  1. Thank you for another great recipe. Your website is the first place I go before cooking a meal. Thank you for sharing your knowledge. This recipe was easy & the kids loved it!

  2. Super easy and the best pad thai I’ve ever made at home. I recommend making it with tamarind!

  3. This was so good! And simple! I substituted xylitol for the sugar, and brown rice pad thai noodles instead of regular, and it was amazing! I added some broccoli. Yum. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Excellent. Be sure to have everything prepped ahead. It really does go so quickly! It is so easy and delicious. I’ll be making this often.

  5. Easy recipe. However mine turned out far too salty and I reduced the fish sauce. My brand of fish sauce has 1600 mg of sodium per tbs, never having used it before, Is that common? Unfortunately, I had not read the label when purchasing. I’ll definitely try it again.

    1. That is the challenge here- all fish sauce brands have different levels of salt. That does seem higher to me.

  6. This recipe is amazing. The flavors are bright and fresh. Made this for my two busy mom besties and they loved it. So did the kiddos that kept sneaking bites. Such a pleasure to make a deeply satisfying meal for friends. Thank you!

  7. This is so true:

    “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. ”

    ♥️ ♥️ ♥️

  8. I tried this tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I used red onions instead of shallots and doubled the pad Thai sauce. Thank you for a great recipe.

  9. Excellent recipe. I managed to double the recipe in my wok pan . Probably a smaller pan wouldn’t have worked to do such. I’d be making this again . Took me time as I was doing the recipe first time and being very careful abt getting the amount of ingredients right esp for the pad thai sauce. Fish sauce smells and taste horrible in my opinion but works wonders as a cooking ingredient. Thank you so much for sharing this .

  10. This recipe was excellent! I’ve never made pad thai sauce from scratch, so it was a very tasty experiment. I used an anchovy-based fish sauce and reduced the amount slightly, while slightly increasing the soy sauce to even out the saltiness. I wasn’t sure about the poached chicken method (especially since the poached chicken smelled a little weird to me!) but it mixed beautifully with the noodles and sauce and ended up perfectly seasoned.

    I did leave out the bean sprouts and peanuts due to preference, but added lots of fresh lime, scallions and cilantro. It is very easy to tailor this dish to your preferences.

    I’ve always been afraid to use fish sauce due to its pungency but this recipe increased my confidence! Now I want to try it with tofu and shrimp!

  11. Very good recipe. Thank you. One thing I added to the sauce is peanut butter creamy since I do not use peanut oil. I used olive oil. In addition, I used dark soy sauce to make to noodle more colorful. I also added sweet color pepper.

  12. Awesome recipe! Thank you for creating and sharing these recipes. Made the vegan sauce with mushrooms and seaweed. Excellent flavour. First time making pad thai completely vegan. Everyone enjoyed it. Thank you very much!

  13. When it said “gather near the stove” I thought you meant gather all of the ingredients together and I mixed it all before frying it :/ still tasted good though

  14. Made this last night and it was so easy, delicious and versatile (chicken, shrimp, tofu). Never ordering take-out Pad Thai again. Definitely a keeper!

  15. Thank you so much! This was such an easy recipe to follow and absolutely delicious! No more ordering in 🙂
    I appreciated the modification notes about fish sauce (used 2 Tbsp instead of 3) and also the flavour adjustment recommendations for individual preferences. For me, it was a bit of extra lime and a very happy outcome. Like other reviewers, I have added this recipe to my ‘regulars’ list now!

  16. Absolutely delicious. Having never made this dish I loved the simplicity. Taste was amazing. I also think I have found a love for tofu. Thank you

  17. Proud to say I made pad Thai and it was edible! Lol all my previous attempts were fails. This recipe was thorough and easy. Great tasting! Will make again!

  18. Hi Sylvia,
    I made this for the first time today and it will be a “go-to” recipe in future.
    The flavours were amazing and it was easy to make with your clear instructions.
    If like me you’re only started cooking Asian foods, this is the place for excellent recipes which are easy to follow.
    Thank you
    Loraine

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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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