Pad Thai Recipe

Pad Thai Recipe: Unravelling the Secrets of a Thai Culinary Icon

The Allure of Pad Thai

My Pad Thai recipe, with its tantalizing blend of sweet, sour, and savoury flavours. Pad Thai stands as one of Thailand’s most celebrated culinary exports. Its irresistible aroma and the mouthwatering sight of noodles sautéed in a wok have won hearts worldwide.



Origins and Evolution

To truly appreciate Pad Thai, it’s essential to delve into its roots. Originating as a street food dish, Pad Thai has journeyed from humble beginnings to global fame. Its evolution mirrors the changes in Thai society and the influence of various cultures.

Exploring the Essentials

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll not only uncover the secrets behind a classic Pad Thai recipe but also explore its historical significance, regional variations, dietary adaptations, and the culinary techniques that make it an enduring favourite.

Ingredients Unveiled

Rice Noodles: The Heart of Pad Thai

At the core of any Pad Thai recipe are rice noodles, soft and chewy strands that readily absorb the rich flavours of the dish. The choice of noodles greatly affects the final texture and taste.

Proteins: Beyond the Basics

Traditional Pad Thai features shrimp and tofu, but today, you have a spectrum of protein options. From chicken to beef, or even a vegetarian twist, the choice depends on your preferences.

Tamarind Paste: The Tangy Twist

Tamarind paste brings the signature tangy note to Pad Thai. Understanding its role and sourcing quality tamarind is crucial to nailing the perfect balance of flavours.

The Essential Oils: Soy Sauce vs. Fish Sauce

Pad Thai’s umami essence relies on the choice between soy sauce and fish sauce. Dive into the nuances of each, and you’ll discover the impact it has on your final creation.

The Heat Factor: Chilies and Heat Levels

Pad Thai’s heat factor can be tailored to your spice tolerance. Explore the types of chillies and their intensity levels to find your ideal balance of heat and flavour.

Preparing the Pantry

Procuring Authentic Ingredients

To create an authentic Pad Thai experience, sourcing genuine Thai ingredients is essential. Seek out speciality stores or online retailers for authentic rice noodles, tamarind paste, and fish sauce.

The Substitution Conundrum

While authenticity is admirable, don’t fret if you can’t find every ingredient. We’ll explore suitable substitutions that maintain the integrity of the dish without compromising flavour.

Balancing Sweet, Sour, and Savory

Pad Thai’s charm lies in its harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and savoury notes. Understanding the balance between palm sugar, lime juice, and tamarind paste is crucial to achieving the desired flavour profile.

 The Art of Prep

Noodle Soaking and Draining

Achieving the perfect texture for rice noodles begins with soaking and proper draining techniques. Learn how to prevent them from becoming mushy or overly sticky.

Protein Marination and Searing

Unlock the full potential of proteins by marinating and searing them to perfection. Discover tips for ensuring your proteins are tender and packed with flavour.

Dicing and Slicing: Vegetables Matter

The art of dicing and slicing vegetables is more than just aesthetics. Properly cut vegetables ensure even cooking and a visually appealing final dish.

Crafting the Perfect Pad Thai Sauce

The Pad Thai sauce is where the magic happens. We’ll guide you through combining tamarind paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar to create a harmonious blend of flavours.

The Stir-Fry Technique

The Searing Symphony

Master the wok’s searing heat to impart a smoky depth of flavour known as “wok hei.” It’s a technique that elevates Pad Thai from good to exceptional.

Noodles in the Spotlight

Discover the art of stir-frying rice noodles—how to prevent them from clumping and achieving the ideal chewiness that defines Pad Thai.

Folding in the Flavours

Learn the step-by-step process of stir-frying Pad Thai, starting with proteins and ending with vegetables and eggs, ensuring that each ingredient absorbs the sauce’s essence.

Achieving the Ideal Texture

Balancing the crispiness of bean sprouts, the crunchiness of peanuts, and the tenderness of proteins is an art. We’ll show you how to nail it.

 Garnishes and Greens

The Role of Garnishes

Pad Thai’s garnishes aren’t just for show; they add texture, freshness, and complexity to the dish. Explore the importance of bean sprouts, lime wedges, and cilantro.

Fresh Herbs: Cilantro and Thai Basil

Delve into the world of Thai herbs and discover how cilantro and Thai basil can elevate your Pad Thai to new heights.

Lime and Peanuts: A Necessity

Lime wedges provide the essential burst of acidity, while crushed peanuts contribute a delightful crunch. Learn the techniques for incorporating these essential elements.

 Presentation and Plating

Dish Selection: Traditional vs. Contemporary

The choice of serving dish can influence the dining experience. Explore traditional Thai serving options or embrace contemporary presentation for a modern twist.

Serving Styles: Individual or Family-Style

Consider whether you want to serve Pad Thai as individual portions or embrace the communal, family-style approach. The choice depends on the occasion and your dining preferences.

Dietary Considerations

Vegan and Vegetarian Variations

Discover how to adapt the classic Pad Thai recipe for vegans and vegetarians without compromising on flavour or protein content.

Gluten-Free Options

If you’re navigating a gluten-free diet, we’ll guide you through selecting gluten-free noodles and ensuring all other ingredients are safe for consumption.

Nut Allergies and Substitutes

For those with nut allergies, we’ll explore alternative garnishes and proteins to ensure your Pad Thai is both safe and delicious.

Regional Variations

Bangkok Pad Thai: The Classic

Explore the original Pad Thai recipe from Bangkok, the birthplace of this iconic dish. Discover how it differs from the versions commonly found outside Thailand.

Northern Thailand’s Chiang Mai Noodles

Venture north to Chiang Mai, where a unique version of Pad Thai features distinct ingredients that provide a delightful departure from the classic.

Phuket’s Seafood Sensation

Phuket’s Pad Thai places seafood at the forefront, offering a fresh take on the dish that perfectly complements the coastal surroundings.

Vegetarian Delights from Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is also known for its vegetarian Pad Thai, which boasts innovative plant-based protein sources and a unique blend of herbs and spices.

The Perfect Pairing

Beverage Complements

Discover the ideal beverages to accompany Pad Thai, from traditional Thai iced tea to coconut water, and even beer or a zesty lemonade.

Wine Pairings

Explore the world of wine pairings with Pad Thai. We’ll recommend whites, rosés, and even light reds that complement the dish’s diverse flavours.

Beer, Cider, and Non-Alcoholic Alternatives

If you’re not a wine enthusiast, we’ll also delve into beer, cider, and non-alcoholic alternatives that provide a refreshing contrast to the richness of Pad Thai.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Sticky Noodles or Gluey Pad Thai

We’ll tackle the common problem of sticky noodles and explore techniques to ensure your Pad Thai has the perfect noodle texture.

Balancing Sweet and Sour

Achieving the right balance between sweetness and sourness can be a challenge. We’ll share tips to fine-tune your Pad Thai sauce.

Achieving Wok Hei (Breath of the Wok)

Unlock the secrets of wok hei, the elusive smoky aroma that distinguishes great Pad Thai. Learn the techniques to capture this essential element.

Historical and Cultural Significance

Pad Thai’s Street Food Origins

Journey back to the bustling streets of Thailand and discover how Pad Thai became an iconic street food dish loved by locals and tourists alike.

The Symbolic Ingredients

Uncover the cultural symbolism behind key Pad Thai ingredients and how they reflect Thailand’s history and identity.

Pad Thai Around the World

Explore how Pad Thai has transcended its Thai roots to become a global sensation, finding a place on menus worldwide.

The Pad Thai Experience

Local Restaurants vs. Homemade

Consider the merits of dining out at Thai restaurants versus the joys of creating Pad Thai in the comfort of your own kitchen.

The Joys of DIY Pad Thai

Discover the satisfaction of crafting Pad Thai from scratch, customizing it to your taste, and sharing it with family and friends.

Inviting Friends for a Pad Thai Party

Explore the idea of hosting a Pad Thai-themed gathering, where friends and family can assemble their perfect plates.

Health Benefits of Pad Thai

Balanced Nutritional Profile

Explore the nutritional benefits of Pad Thai, which combines carbohydrates, protein, and vegetables in a well-rounded dish.

The Role of Spices and Herbs

Discover the health benefits of the spices and herbs commonly used in Pad Thai, from anti-inflammatory properties to antioxidants.

The Timeless Appeal of Pad Thai

In closing, we reflect on Pad Thai’s enduring appeal, from its humble origins as a Thai street food staple to its status as a beloved international dish.

The Journey from Street Food to Global Icon

Pad Thai’s journey from the bustling streets of Thailand to dinner tables worldwide is a testament to its universal appeal and cultural significance.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ve journeyed through the intricate world of Pad Thai, from its roots and ingredients to the art of preparation, regional variations, dietary considerations, and cultural impact. Armed with this knowledge, you can confidently embark on your own Pad Thai culinary adventure, whether you’re seeking the perfect homemade dish or exploring Pad Thai’s cultural significance and global influence. Enjoy your Pad Thai journey!

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Pad Thai Recipe

pad thai recipe

Pad Thai Recipe

Indulge in the authentic flavours of Chicken Pad Thai - a classic Thai dish with rice noodles, succulent chicken, and a tangy tamarind twist. Perfectly balanced, it's a delightful culinary adventure

How many stars do you give this recipe

Recipe Cost Under £5.00
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Midweek Meals, Main Course
Cuisine 15 minutes or less, Thai, Asian
Servings 4 People
Calories 520 kcal


  • 350 g Rice Noodles
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 4 Chicken Breasts Sliced
  • 3 cloves Garlic Crushed
  • 3 Eggs Beaten
  • 200 g Bean Sprouts
  • 200 g Spring Onions Chopped
  • 1 Red Pepper Chopped
  • 40 g Peanuts Crushed
  • 1 Lemon/Lime Cut into wedges, for garnish

For the Pad Thai Sauce

  • 4 tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 3 tbsp Fish Sauce
  • 3 tbsp Brown Sugar
  • 2 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Chilli Flakes


Prepare the Rice Noodles

  • Place the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover them with hot water. Let them soak for about 10-15 minutes or until they become tender but not mushy
    350 g Rice Noodles

Make the Pad Thai Sauce

  • In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind paste, fish sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Set the sauce aside
    4 tbsp Tamarind Paste, 3 tbsp Fish Sauce, 3 tbsp Brown Sugar, 2 tbsp Soy Sauce, 1 tsp Chilli Flakes

Cook the Chicken

  • Heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok or large frying pan or wok over high heat
    3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Add the sliced chicken breasts and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes or until they're cooked through and slightly browned
    4 Chicken Breasts
  • Remove the chicken from the pan and set it aside

Scramble the Egg

  • In the same pan, add the remaining two tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • Add minced garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds until fragrant
    3 cloves Garlic
  • Push the garlic to one side of the pan and pour the beaten eggs into the other side
    3 Eggs
  • Scramble the eggs until they are mostly cooked but still slightly runny

Combine Ingredients

  • Add the soaked and drained rice noodles to the pan with the scrambled eggs and garlic
  • Pour the prepared Pad Thai sauce over the noodles and toss everything together until the noodles are evenly coated with the sauce
  • Add the cooked chicken back to the pan and toss to combine

Add Vegetables and Finish

  • Stir in bean sprouts, sliced red bell pepper, and chopped green onions
    200 g Bean Sprouts, 200 g Spring Onions, 1 Red Pepper
  • Continue to cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are slightly tender


  • Transfer the Chicken Pad Thai to serving plates
  • Garnish with crushed peanuts, lemon wedges, and fresh coriander leaves
    40 g Peanuts, 1 Lemon/Lime


  • You can adjust the level of spiciness by adding more or fewer red pepper flakes to the Pad Thai sauce.
  • Feel free to customise your Pad Thai with additional toppings like sliced Thai chillies, extra lime wedges, or coriander sprigs.
  • This recipe serves 4 people, making it perfect for a family or group meal.
Enjoy your homemade Chicken Pad Thai for four!


Calories: 520kcalCarbohydrates: 58gProtein: 28gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 3.5gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 155mgSodium: 1050mgPotassium: 390mgFiber: 4gSugar: 9g
Keyword chicken, asian, easy cooking, easy recipe, easy meals, chilli, fakeaway, takeaway, noodles, 0-15 Minutes
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Nutrition Facts
Pad Thai Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
Trans Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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