An authentic recipe for Pad Thai made with spring veggies and authentic Thai ingredients, adapted from the Pok Pok Cookbook. 
 An authentic recipe for Pad Thai made with spring veggies and authentic Thai ingredients, adapted from the Pok Pok Cookbook. #padthai #pokpok #shrimppadthai
One of our favorite Thai dishes – Pad Thai – gets a vibrant Spring makeover, enlivened with fresh Spring veggies- like fresh peas and asparagus.
For many, making Pad Thai at home has been challenging and disappointing, only to discover that after all the work, “something was missing”.
It is my hope that this recipe will help change that. With authentic ingredients and a little practice, the recipe will teach volumes about the extraordinary balance of flavors – sweet, sour, pungent and salty- that makes Thai food so delicious.  I think of this as a teaching recipe, because once it’s mastered, it really expands our reach in the kitchen.
If pressed for time or ingredients, here’s a much simpler recipe for  15 Minute Pad Thai – that tastes great and comes together easily and quickly with common grocery store ingredients.
But if you want to challenge yourself, try this authentic recipe. You may be wondering what makes this recipe authentic? A few ingredients that will require you to take a trip to your nearest Asian Market: tamarind, dried shrimp, fish sauce, and salted radish.
Most of the other ingredients you can purchase a conventional grocery store, but while you are at the Asian market, you might as well explore, look around, soak it up and experience it- like the poem below, both the beauty and the terror.  
In this older post,  Thai Chicken Noodle Soup, I have written down a list of ingredients that I always take with me to the Asian market, so I don’t forget things- as it’s easy to get sidetracked and distracted there at times. Prices are generally less expensive than at a grocery store, so I stock up on staples like coconut milk, rice wine vinegar, tofu, fresh turmeric, lemongrass and sesame seeds. The list is really helpful.
So before you begin, make sure to have all the ingredients out and ready. Then the recipe is fast and easy.
Spring Vegetable Pad Thai- an authentic recipe with step by step instructions. Flavorful and delicious! |

Read the recipe all the way through to get a general idea. It seems like a lot of steps, but it’s really not hard or complicated. The prep takes 20 minutes, the cooking takes 10 minutes. It’s a fast meal really–but the key is to have everything ready before you start the wok.  If you don’t have a wok, use a large skillet- turning the heat down a bit.

The first step is to soak the rice noodles. Fill a large bowl with lukewarm water, break the noodles in half and soak the noodles for 20 minutes.   They will be bendy but not soft. Don’t worry that they are not soft, they will get soft in the wok. While the noodles are soaking get your other ingredients ready. 
Spring Vegetable Pad Thai- an authentic recipe with step by step instructions. Flavorful and delicious! |
The top bowl contains the dried shrimp. Chop it up a bit and toast it in a skillet, on medium heat until crispy, about 5 minutes. Set aside. The bottom bowl contains the salted radish ( fermented radish), which will need to be soaked in lukewarm water for 10 minutes, in order to remove a bit of the saltiness. If you can find garlic chives at the Asian market, grab them and use instead of scallions.
Spring Vegetable Pad Thai- an authentic recipe with step by step instructions. Flavorful and delicious! |
Toast the dried shrimp
Soak the salted, preserved radish in water.
Tamarind is an essential ingredient in Pad Thai. It’s what gives it its unique tang. I use a tamarind “concentrate” -because strait tamarind paste, is quite hard and dry and difficult to break up. While at the Asian market, a Thai woman, who saw me reaching for the tamarind paste, suggested I try the tamarind concentrate instead, to make Pad Thai, because it’s easier to work with. I took her word for it, and tried both. The concentrate is definitely easier and faster.

In a medium bowl, mix the tamarind, fish sauce, warm water and brown sugar (or palm sugar) .

To give this a seasonal quality, I added fresh shucked peas and asparagus. If your asparagus is big like this, you may want give it a quick blanch ahead. If it’s pencil thin, it will cook in the wok.
Spring Vegetable Pad Thai- an authentic recipe with step by step instructions. Flavorful and delicious! |

In this version, I added tofu and shrimp. But feel free to use one or the other. Cut extra firm tofu, and pat down hard with paper towels to release some of the moisture, into strips or cubes.

Spring Vegetable Pad Thai- an authentic recipe with step by step instructions. Flavorful and delicious! |
Have your prawns peeled and ready, and all your other ingredients prepped. You can use pre cooked prawns too. Group the egg, tofu, radish and dried shrimp together, next to the stove. Then fire up the wok. Once you start, it will only take a few minutes to cook everything on high heat, with constant stirring, so it’s really important to be completely ready, and have things close by. A metal spatula is very helpful.
Spring Vegetable Pad Thai- an authentic recipe with step by step instructions. Flavorful and delicious! |

Heat peanut oil (or vegetable oil), on high heat. Swirl it around the edges of the wok, coating it. Add the chopped shallot and garlic and stir until just golden. Crack the egg in the center. It will bubble and spatter. Add the tofu, radish and dried shrimp, around the edges of egg, stirring them constantly with a metal spatula, careful to keep the egg intact, for a minute, until they get golden. When the edges of the egg are golden brown, flip, and break it apart into a few pieces with the metal spatula, and then stir it all together, letting it brown up a bit, for another minute.

Add the noodles and bean sprouts –constantly stirring and flipping for a minute or more- until the noodles begin to soften. Add the prawns, peas, asparagus and tamarind-fish sauce. Stir until the prawns are cooked through, the noodles are soft, and the liquid has evaporated about 5 minutes. Add the scallions ( or garlic chives) and ½ of the peanuts.

 An authentic recipe for Pad Thai made with spring veggies and authentic Thai ingredients, adapted from the Pok Pok Cookbook. #padthai #pokpok #shrimppadthai

And serve immediately, garnishing with lime, more peanuts, scallions ( or chives) , fresh bean sprouts and chili flakes.

 An authentic recipe for Pad Thai made with spring veggies and authentic Thai ingredients, adapted from the Pok Pok Cookbook. #padthai #pokpok #shrimppadthai
God speaks to each of us as he makes us,
then walks with us silently out of the night.
These are the words we dimly hear:
You, sent out beyond your recall,
go to the limits of your longing.
Embody me.
Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.
Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.
Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.
Give me your hand.
Rilke, translated by Joanna Macy -Book of Hours
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Spring Vegetable Pad Thai |

Spring Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review


An authentic Pad Thai recipe made with Thai ingredients and Spring Vegetables- (adapted from Pok Pok Cookbook).


Units Scale
  • 4 oz. thin flat rice noodles- soaked in lukewarm water
  • 1 T shredded salted radish ( optional)
  • 1 tablespoon dried, toasted shrimp, chopped very small ( optional)
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste mixed with 2 tablespoons warm water ( or sub 3 T rice vinegar)
  • 3 tablespoon palm sugar or brown sugar or white sugar
  • 3 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 large shallot finely chopped
  • 45 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup extra firm tofu (optional)
  • 1/2 cup scallions or garlic chives
  • 68 medium shrimp- peeled and de-veined ( raw or cooked- or sub tofu)
  • 1/2 cup fresh peas ( or snap peas, or snow peas,)
  • 1/2 cup asparagus ( or green beans, or mushrooms)
  • 12 cups fresh bean sprouts
  • Garnish with 1/4 cup roasted chopped peanuts,lime wedges, chili flakes


  1. Soak the rice noodles in a large bowl of lukewarm water for 20 minutes
  2. Soak the salted radish in a small bowl of lukewarm water for 10 minutes, drain.
  3. Toast the dried shrimp in a skillet until crispy, over medium heat, 4 minutes, then chop small.
  4. Mix tamarind water, fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl, set aside.
  5. Pat dry tofu with paper towels, pressing down to release water, and cut into 1inch long strips, ⅓ inch thick. ( see photo).
  6. Chop scallions and peanuts, cut limes into wedges, set all aside for garnish.
  7. Place tofu, salted shrimp and drained radish, next to stove, and have metal spatula handy.
  8. Drain the noodles, keep in the same bowl, placing the sprouts in the bowl with them. ( After 20 minutes, the noodles will still be somewhat firm but flexible– they will soften up in the wok)
  9. In a wok, heat oil on medium high heat. Swirl it around to coat sides. Add shallot and garlic and stir until just golden, about 1-2 minutes. Add egg, and sprinkle with salt, and let it bubble and sizzle, only flipping after the edges turn crispy, then breaking it up into small bits, let it crisp a bit. Move to the side.
  10. Add the tofu, radish and dried shrimp, around or next to the egg, stirring until the tofu starts to brown- about 2 minutes.
  11. Add the drained noodles and ½ the bean sprouts, and stir constantly, flipping the noodles continuously for 1 minute.They will not be completely soft yet.
  12. Add the shrimp, peas, asparagus and the tamarind mixture into the wok and keep stir frying, until the shrimp are cooked thru, the noodles are softened, and the liquid evaporates some, about 4-5 minutes.( This will smell quite fishy at first as it cooks… but it will mellow out) If the noodles are not quite soft, you can a bit more water a little at a time, until they soften up.
  13. Toss in the scallions and ½ the peanuts.
  14. Serve immediately, garnishing with peanuts,lime wedges, fresh bean sprouts and chili flakes.


  • Calories: 496

Share this with the world!

to get recipes via email

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star


  1. I make this (or an adaptation of) almost weekly because it is so good! I don’t care for tofu, so use thinly sliced chicken breast strips with the shrimp. I can’t find dried shrimp, nor salted radish, but I add a good amount of lime juice to the tamarind sauce, and also put in mushroom and julienned carrot sticks. I usually cook the chicken, shrimp, and vegetables in batches because once the noodles are in, the wok gets pretty full with all of my extra ingredients….then just throw everything back in together to get hot again! We love it!

  2. Sorry Brian. Yes, the ads are annoying. There is a “skip to the recipe button” at the very top of each post. Then you can screen shot it?

  3. very authentic and easy to make. I made a vegetarian version with eggs only. It was sticky in beginniing but after leaving it for 1 hour became really nice and non stick

  4. Amazing amazing amazing!! IT WAS SOOO GOOD! My kids ask that I make this dish once a week! I love The little poem about God! I LOVE MY FATHER! He is such a Good Good Father!

  5. I was so excited about this recipe, but my attempt did not have much taste to it. I used the Tamarind Concentrate as suggested. I did not taste it in the sauce, so I doubled it before adding it to the Wok. Once done it was ….”eh”. Yes, Used the dried shrimp as well.
    Is there a brand of Tamarind I should look for? Could I have gotten the wrong kind?

    1. Erica there was a typo. I’m so sorry about that. I updated the recipe. Yes, it needs way more tamarind!

  6. Unfortunately mine tasted extremely fishy… I love seafood, but this was too much. Not necessarily the taste I’d want on my pad thai… maybe next time I make it, I will leave out the dried shrimp altogether.

  7. This looks delicious, BUT where is the actual recipe? I would love to try to make it, but w/o the recipe I am stuck….

  8. I don’t know why, but mine came out waaaay darker than what is in your pic. It also seemed to have too much sauce. The only thing I did different was leave out the dried shrimp and radish since I couldn’t find it in my rural town. I used 1/4 cup of the tamarind concentrate. But, yours in the pic is a lot lighter in color and much thinner than mine is.

    1. That is strange! I wonder, did you possibly use less noodles or veggies than the recipe called for? I feel like when I make this its not overly saucy, so something’s off. I will double check my recipe.

  9. Let me start off by saying I had never made or even eaten pad thai before attempting this recipe, but I was feeling adventurous. Next time I make it I’m going to be more on top of things when I heat up the wok… with the temp set to high the egg got crispy faster then I was able to get everything else in the wok and then I had trouble cutting it up because it was over-cooked. I also think I over-cooked the noodles because I didn’t pre chop the asparagus… fail. However, I will attempt this again!

    1. Well you get and A+ for being adventurous and attempting to make a dish like this without ever having it before!! Yes, the wok part, is ridiculously fast. The first time I made it, I had similar issues, primarily because I didn’t have all the ingredients ready. Since then, it’s gotten progressively easier and tastier…it takes a little practice. I hope you try again!!

Our Latest Recipes