Pad Thai

How to Make Good Pad Thai at Home

Course: Entree, Noodles
Cuisine: Thai
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Soaking noodles: 30 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 servings
Author: Marvellina
In this post I share with you what makes a good pad Thai that you can recreate at your very own kitchen.
Print Recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 oz dried pad thai noodles see notes
  • 3 Tbsp cooking oil divided
  • 2 cups fresh bean sprouts or you may use 2 cups shredded cabbage

Protein:

  • 4 oz extra-firm tofu
  • 1/4 lb medium raw shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 2 eggs lightly beaten
  • 2 oz ground pork preferrably with some fat

Aromatics:

  • 2 Tbsp dried shrimp
  • 1/4 cup preserved radish
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 shallots peeled and minced
  • 5 stalks Chinese chives cut into 2-inch pieces

Pad Thai Sauce:

Serve with:

  • 1 tsp crushed red chili flakes or more if you like more heat I added this last so it won't be spicy for my kids
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts for garnish
  • fresh limes
  • 3 stalks Chinese chives cut into 2-inch pieces

Instructions

Things you can prepare ahead:

  • If you are using tofu, press the tofu down by putting paper towels at the bottom and top of the tofu and then weigh it down by placing a heavy pan/pot on top for about 15 minutes. This will "squeeze" out the water: Discard the excess water and pat the tofu dry and cut into about 1x 1/2 inch pieces
  • Meanwhile, soak dried shrimp in warm water to cover until softened, about 10 minutes; drain and chop finely
  • To make  pad thai sauce, combine the tamarind paste with water and then use the back of the spoon to keep mashing it until you get thick mash. Add in sugar and fish sauce and stir to combine. Set aside

On the day of cooking:

  • Soak the dried pad thai noodles in water to cover until softened, about 30 minutes. The noodles should pliable after soaked. Discard water
  • Place a wok or cast-iron skillet over high heat until hot. Add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add  the noodles and stir fry until they started to get soft. Dish them out and set aside.  
  • In the same wok, bring the wok back to hot and add 1 more Tbsp of oil, add dried shrimp and the rest of the aromatics and stir fry for about 30 seconds, crumble in the ground pork and stir fry until they just about to turn color, push them to the side. Add the shrimp and stir fry until they are about to turn pink, not fully cooked yet, do not overcook, push them to the side. Add 1 Tbsp of oil. Add the eggs and let them cook for about 10 seconds and then start scrambling them to big pieces
  • Add noodles and pour in pad thai sauce. Continue to stir fry to move the noodles around and the sauce will get absorbed by the noodles. Turn off the heat. Add the bean sprouts and stir to mix. The residual heat will soften the bean sprouts but they should be still crunchy
  • Place noodle mixture on serving platter. Garnish with peanuts, cilantro leaves,  red chili flakes, few stalks of chives, squeeze of lime juice and serve immediately

Notes

Some dried pad Thai noodles come in sizes like S,M,L, and XL. The size usually indicates the wideness of the noodles. For Pad Thai, I will stick with size S or M. I usually use S, which means it's flat and thin.