Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Pad Thai is one of those dishes I think I could eat for every meal and never get sick of. You could get lost in all the variations of this dish, but this one is a pretty straight forward shrimp pad Thai.
Thai cooking is a very complex merging of different flavors, you usually have sweet, salty, sour, bitter, and spicy all in one dish. If you love Thai takeout but are new to cooking it yourself, just try experimenting with all the different flavors and see what is hitting you the most. For instance, I really love the sour and spicy elements in this dish so I typically use more peppers and lime than this recipe calls for.
Pad Thai can really go in any direction you want, feel free to swap out any veggies, add chicken or pork, try a different sauce, whatever. The only ingredient I find is absolutely essential is tamarind paste. It can be a bit hard to find if don't live near an Asian market, but it's sour-fruity flavor really screams pad Thai to me.
Shrimp Pad Thai
- 2 tablespoon palm sugar, (or brown sugar)
- ½ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup tamarind paste, (preferably fresh or 1-2 tablespoon tamarind concentrate)
- 1 lime, (juiced)
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- ¼ cup fish sauce
- 2-5 thai bird eye chilies, (minced and pounded with a mortar)
- 5 cloves of garlic, (minced and pounded with a mortar)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch or tapioca starch
- ½ cup neutral oil, (divided)
- 8 oz rice noodles or rice sticks
- 1 sweet onion, (peeled and sliced into ½" wedges)
- 2-3 cups Chinese broccoli or broccoli, (sliced at an angle into ½" pieces)
- 12 raw shrimp, (peeled)
- 1 egg
- 1 cup mung bean sprouts
- 3-4 green onions, (cut into 1" peices)
- 1 cup peanuts, (roughly chopped)
- lime, cilantro, mung bean sprouts, fish sauce, and crushed peanuts for topping
If you have access to a variety of rice noodle brands, I recommend springing for a higher quality noodle. Sometimes the supermarket brands seems to fall apart really fast when stir-frying. If this is the case, try soaking the noodle for less time.
- Bring about 1 liter of water to boil in a large wok, and then add the rice noodles and take the wok off the heat. Let the noodles soak for about 2-3 minutes and then drain.
- In a small bowl, combine all the sauce ingredients and stir together until sugar is dissolved. Prep all other stir-fry ingredients before cooking.
- Heat the wok under your hottest burner and when the pan begins to smoke a little, add half of the oil, Chinese broccoli, and onion. Stir fry the veggies for about 4-6 minutes or until just tender with a bit of a crunch. Remove from the wok.
- Add the remaining oil and the soaked rice noodles and toss in the wok for about 3-4 minutes or until the noodles are well coated in oil. Try not to break the noodles too much. If the noodles start to stick add a splash of water.
- After the noodles are cooked, move them to one side of the wok and crack an egg into the other side. Working quickly, scramble the egg for 1 minutes and toss back into the noodles.
- Then, add the cooked veggies, shrimp, mung bean sprouts, green onions, peanuts, and stir-fry sauce into the wok and gently toss until the shrimp turns pink, about 2-3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, plate the noodles and top with some lime wedges, mung bean sprouts, fish sauce, and peanuts. Add some thai chili-garlic paste if you want some more heat.