Making Home-Cooked Pad Thai

Pad Thai kit
Pad Thai Meal Kit for Two - Easy-to-Cook Thai Cuisine at Home!

Making Home-Cooked Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a delicious and popular Thai dish which is enjoyed all over the world.
It's a versatile dish that can be customized to suit your family's preferences.

If you're looking to enhance your Pad Thai recipe or explore variations, here's a basic recipe along with some tips.

Pad Thai ingredients
Pad Thai basic ingredients - at a glance

Ingredients needed for Pad Thai

The beauty of Pad Thai lies in its simplicity. The ingredients required are readily available in most supermarkets or Asian grocery stores.

The main components of a Pad Thai recipe are the noodles, the sauce, the protein, the vegetables, and the garnish. The noodles used in Pad Thai are typically rice noodles. They are soft, yet chewy, and soak up the flavors of the sauce beautifully.

The protein can vary depending on personal preferences. Traditional Pad Thai uses shrimp or chicken, but tofu is also a popular option.

The star of the show, however, is the Pad Thai sauce, which imparts the unique flavor profile. It is a blend of tamarind paste, fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version), and palm sugar, offering a balance of sweet, sour, and salty tastes. The vegetables add a refreshing crunch to the dish and commonly include bean sprouts and garlic chives. Finally, the garnish, often consisting of crushed peanuts, fresh lime wedges, and coriander, adds an extra layer of flavor and texture. Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients.

Once you have them all on hand, the cooking process is relatively straightforward and quick. Plus, it’s a small price to pay for the pleasure of enjoying an authentic Thai meal in the comfort of your own home.
And remember, Pad Thai is easy to customize so if you have any allergies or don’t like some of the of ingredients, you can easily skip or replace them with alternatives.

Stir frying Pad Thai
A well-seasoned wok works best, but a stainless-steel skillet works, too!

How to Make Pad Thai step by step

The key to a good Pad Thai is to have all your ingredients prepped and ready to go before you start cooking. This is because the actual cooking time is quite short, so you will need to work quickly to avoid overcooking the noodles and proteins.

Step 1: Prepare all the ingredients. Begin by soaking the rice noodles in warm water until they are flexible but not too soft, it’d take about 30-60 minutes (depends on brands). Prepare your protein and chop your vegetables.

Step 2: While the noodles are soaking, you can start preparing the Pad Thai sauce. Mix together tamarind paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar until you have a tangy-sweet sauce.

Step 3: Next, heat oil in a wok or large frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add garlic and dried shrimp and sauté until fragrant. Add your choice of protein and cook until done. Remove the protein from the pan (you’ll add this back later) or push them to one side of the pan.

Step 4: By this time, your noodles should be ready. Drain them and make sure there isn’t too much water before adding the noodles to the pan, then the Pad Thai sauce. Toss everything together until the noodles have absorbed all the sauce.

Step 5: Push the noodles to one side and add the eggs to the pan. Scramble the egg and put the noodles back on top of the eggs and let it cook for 15-30 seconds.

Step 6: Add bean sprouts and green onions, reserving some for garnish. Add the cooked protein back into the pan along with the vegetables. Stir-fry everything for another minute, until they are well mixed and heated through.

Step 7: Finally, serve your Pad Thai garnished with crushed peanuts, the remaining bean sprouts and green onions, a sprinkle of red chilli flakes, and a lime wedge on the side. Don't forget to adjust the flavors as needed with extra fish sauce, sugar, or lime juice.




Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Pad Thai Recipe

Here are some tips and trick to improve your Pad Thai and avoid mistakes.

  • Don't over soak your noodles. They should be pliable but still quite firm as they will continue to cook in the sauce.
  • Be generous with the Pad Thai sauce. It's the ingredient that gives Pad Thai its unique, tangy flavor.
  • Another tip is to cook in batches if serving more than two people. This prevents the wok from getting overcrowded and ensures that everything cooks evenly.
  • If you want multiple servings of Pad Thai, or if you are catering to a large group, consider making the Pad Thai sauce ahead of time and storing it in the fridge. The sauce stays fresh for several days and preparing it beforehand can truly be a lifesaver when cooking in batches, saving both time and effort.
  • Don’t forget to dry your vegetables and other ingredients thoroughly before cooking to avoid overly soggy Pad Thai. (Read our article “Common Stir-Fry Mistakes to Avoid”)
  • In Thailand, tofu and sweet pickled radish are often included for added flavor and texture alongside other proteins. To incorporate these ingredients into your stir-fry, you can start by dicing the tofu and radish into tiny pieces. These should be added in Step 3 along with dried shrimps and garlic.
  • Remember that the final flavor adjustment is key. Taste your Pad Thai and add more sugar, lime juice, or chili as necessary to get that perfect balance of sweet, sour and spicy.




Vegetarian and Vegan Variations of Pad Thai

Pad Thai is a versatile dish that can easily be adapted to suit vegetarian and vegan diets. Instead of shrimp or chicken, tofu or tempeh can be used for the protein.
The egg can be omitted for a vegan variant. Instead, add more vegetables like bell peppers, carrots, or zucchini for added texture and flavor. The result is a delicious, plant-based version of Pad Thai that is just as satisfying as the original. Preparing Pad Thai from scratch for family meals is always delightful. Still, if you want to get the taste of homemade Pad Thai without investing much time and energy in sourcing the right ingredients, our Pad Thai noodle kit might be exactly what you need.

This kit comes with pre-measured rice noodles and Pad Thai sauce for your ease of use. All that's left for you to do is add your preferred protein and vegetables, enabling you to whip up a delicious serving of Pad Thai in under 10 minutes. Discover more or purchase our convenient Pad Thai kit here.