How to Cook Authentic Pad Thai: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Cook Authentic Pad Thai: A Step-by-Step Guide

Apr 28, 2024 - 16:49
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How to Cook Authentic Pad Thai: A Step-by-Step Guide
Prep Time 90 min
Cook Time 60 min
Difficulty Intermediate

Pad Thai is a beloved Thai street food dish known for its delicious blend of flavors and textures. If you're craving homemade Pad Thai and want to recreate this iconic dish in your own kitchen, follow this comprehensive guide to cooking authentic Pad Thai from scratch. Let's dive into the ingredients, preparation steps, and cooking techniques to make a mouthwatering plate of Pad Thai.


  • dried rice noodles
  • peeled and deveined shrimp
  • firm tofu
  • bean sprouts
  • green onions
  • peanuts
  • Cooking oil (such as vegetable or peanut oil)
  • Lime wedges


Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 8 oz (about 225g) of dried rice noodles
  • 1/2 lb (about 225g) of peeled and deveined shrimp (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup of firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of dried shrimp (optional)
  • Cooking oil (such as vegetable or peanut oil)
  • Lime wedges, for serving
  • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

For the Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons of tamarind paste
  • 3 tablespoons of fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of chili flakes (adjust to taste)


1. Prepare the Rice Noodles:

  • Soak the dried rice noodles in warm water for about 30 minutes or until they are pliable but still slightly firm. Drain and set aside.

2. Make the Pad Thai Sauce:

  • In a small bowl, mix together tamarind paste, fish sauce, white sugar, soy sauce, and chili flakes until well combined. Adjust the sweetness and saltiness to your preference.

3. Cook the Protein and Tofu:

  • Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add some cooking oil.
  • If using shrimp, stir-fry them until pink and cooked through. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the cubed tofu to the pan and cook until golden brown. Remove from the pan and set aside with the cooked shrimp.

4. Scramble the Eggs:

  • Push the tofu to one side of the pan and crack the eggs into the empty space.
  • Scramble the eggs until they are cooked but still moist. Mix them with the tofu and shrimp.

5. Stir-Fry the Noodles:

  • Add the soaked rice noodles to the pan along with the Pad Thai sauce. Use tongs or chopsticks to toss and coat the noodles evenly with the sauce.
  • Stir-fry the noodles for 2-3 minutes until they are tender and have absorbed the flavors of the sauce.

6. Add the Remaining Ingredients:

  • Add the bean sprouts, chopped green onions, and dried shrimp (if using) to the pan. Toss everything together for another minute until the bean sprouts are slightly wilted.

7. Serve and Garnish:

  • Transfer the cooked Pad Thai to serving plates or a large platter.
  • Sprinkle chopped roasted peanuts over the top and garnish with lime wedges and fresh cilantro leaves.
  • Serve hot and enjoy your homemade Pad Thai!

Tips for Perfect Pad Thai:

  • Use a high heat and keep the ingredients moving in the pan to achieve that classic wok-charred flavor.
  • Adjust the level of sweetness, saltiness, and spiciness in the sauce according to your taste preferences.
  • Feel free to customize the protein by using chicken, beef, or tofu instead of shrimp.
  • Serve Pad Thai immediately for the best taste and texture.

Now that you know how to cook authentic Pad Thai, gather your ingredients and kitchen tools to whip up this iconic Thai dish at home. With practice, you'll master the art of creating flavorful and satisfying Pad Thai that rivals your favorite restaurant version. Enjoy the delightful combination of sweet, sour, savory, and spicy flavors in every bite of this classic Thai noodle dish!

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