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Pad Thai is a popular Thai dish made with rice noodles, chicken, peanuts, scrambled eggs, and bean sprouts, all tossed in a delicious sweet and spicy sauce. It is everyone’s favorite!

Thai food is a favorite in our home and is made weekly. If you love Thai food as much as we do, try this Thai Quinoa Salad, this delicious Sheet Pan Thai Glazed Salmon with Vegetables, or this yummy Thai Peanut Skillet Chicken.

Pad Thai in a dish with lime wedges and garnished with cilantro.

What is Pad Thai?

Thai food is so delicious, but Pad Thai is a favorite! If you have never had it, it is a Thai stir-fry dish made with rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, tofu, peanuts, scrambled eggs, and bean sprouts. The ingredients are sautéed together in a wok and tossed in a delicious Pad Thai sauce.

Traditional pad Thai recipes call for tamarind paste, but because it’s not easily found at your local grocery store, I substituted for ingredients most people have. However, if you would like to use tamarind paste to make the sauce authentic, substitute about 2 Tablespoons in place of the rice vinegar in this recipe.

Ingredients in Homemade Pad Thai

It looks like a lot of ingredients, but don’t let that scare you! Most of the ingredients you will have on hand and ready to go in minutes. There is no prepping, just throwing it all together to make one impressive meal. Check out the recipe card at the bottom of the post for all of the exact measurements.

Pad Thai Ingredients

  • Rice Noodles: Flat noodles are best, but any width will work too.
  • Oil: You will want a mild oil to use, such as olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil.
  • Garlic: This adds a delicious and enhanced flavor.
  • Chicken: I used chicken breasts and cut them into bite-sized pieces. If you are a vegetarian, you can use extra firm tofu (cut into small cubes) instead!
  • Eggs: I always like to use large eggs when I am cooking.
  • Bean Sprouts: This is a classic Asian vegetable. You can also add shredded carrots along with it.
  • Red Bell Pepper: This adds color and flavor to the Pad Thai.
  • Green Onions: These garnish the dish with a bit of flavor and color.
  • Crushed Peanuts: These are a must in Pad Thai and bring a deliciously crunchy texture to the dish.
  • Limes: You can’t go wrong adding a squeeze of lime to anything!
  • Fresh Cilantro- This is optional, but it is a great garnish to add color and flavor.

Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients

  • Fish Sauce: You do not want to leave out this fish sauce. It is the main ingredient.
  • Soy Sauce: I used light soy sauce or low sodium soy sauce so that it doesn’t add any extra salt to the flavor.
  • Brown Sugar: The brown sugar adds a sweet and savory flavor.
  • Rice Vinegar: The vinegar has a distinct flavor often described as rich, nutty, and slightly sweet.
  • Sriracha: I use Sriracha sauce to add in some more heat! Use little to a lot depending on your preference for spicy. I like to make my own sriracha sauce at home using this recipe.
  • Peanut Butter: Creamy peanut butter is best for that smooth taste.

How Do You Make Pad Thai?

This Pad Thai is packed with fresh ingredients and a simple homemade Pad Thai sauce you will love. This simple recipe comes together in a matter of minutes, which makes it perfect for a weeknight meal!

  1. Cook Noodles: Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain, and rinse.
  2. Make Sauce: Whisk fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sriracha, and creamy peanut butter in a small bowl. Set aside. 
  3. Cook Chicken and Eggs: In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and garlic. Then, add the chicken or tofu and cook until no longer pink. Slide the chicken over and add the bell pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes until almost tender. Slide them to the side, add the eggs, and cook until scrambled.
  4. Combine and Toss: Add the noodles, sauce, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Then, toss until it is fully coated in the sauce and heated throughout. 
  5. Garnish: Garnish with green onions, chopped peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges.
The process of making pad Thai being cooking in a dutch oven on the stove top.

Variations

It is always fun to mix and match different varieties of Pad Thai. The options are endless! Here are a few ideas you can try out to change this up every time!

  • Protein: You can use other types of protein like chicken, beef, pork, or even salmon. To make it vegetarian, add tofu instead.
  • Vegetables: In addition to the vegetables already in the recipe, you can add shredded carrots, peas, broccoli, onions, and mushrooms.
  • Noodles: Zoodles (zucchini noodles) work well with this Pad Thai recipe or any type of flatter noodle to soak up the sauce.
  • Peanut Butter: Try adding an extra 1 to 2 tablespoons of peanut butter for that added flavor and creamy sauce.
  • Make it Sweeter: If you like it more on the sweeter side, then brown sugar will be your best friend. Add in 1 to 2 tablespoons more for a sweet sauce.
  • Make it Spicy: Try topping with red pepper flakes or add more sriracha sauce, depending on your preferred heat.

A close up of Pad Thai in a pan.

Storing Leftovers

  • In the Refrigerator: If you have leftover Pad Thai, then you can store it in an airtight container in your fridge for up to 3 days.
  • To Reheat Pad Thai: The best way to reheat your Pad Thai and make sure that it isn’t soggy is to cook it on the stove. Add a little bit of oil to the pan, heat it on medium heat, and add in your leftover pad Thai with 1-2 tablespoons of water. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until it’s heated through.

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  • Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain, and rinse.

  • Whisk fish sauce, light soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sriracha, and creamy peanut butter in a small bowl. Set aside.

  • In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and garlic. Add the chicken or tofu and cook until no longer pink. Slide the chicken over and add the bell pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes until almost tender. Slide them to the side and add the eggs, and cook until scrambled.

  • Add in the noodles, sauce, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Toss until it is fully coated in the sauce and heated throughout.

  • Garnish with green onions, chopped peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges.

Originally Posted on August 30, 2019
Updated on September 11, 2023

Calories: 328kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 19gFat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 225mgSodium: 1915mgPotassium: 366mgFiber: 3gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 1155IUVitamin C: 58.3mgCalcium: 141mgIron: 2.8mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Pad Thai noodles up close photos.



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