Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe

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Recreate your favorite restaurant’s Shrimp Pad Thai recipe in minutes at home with all of the flavor and none of the wait!

The first time I had this meal at a restaurant, I came home determined to find a Shrimp Pad Thai recipe so I could make it at home. See, I’m just not someone who enjoys the “restaurant experience.”

It’s not the noise or the crowds, although I find both irritating. Mostly, I just don’t enjoy dining at someone else’s pace or feeling pressured to wrap up a meal to make room for the next round of hungry patrons.

This dish almost changed my mind, though. It was delicious, with just the right combination of spice and heat, and wonderfully slurpy noodles. From the very first bite, I knew that I’d want to eat it regularly. But when our family’s dining bill came, well, I remembered the other reason I don’t like to eat out.

So, I began my hunt for a good Shrimp Pad Thai recipe. Some called for ketchup or Canola oil. Ketchup? Seriously?! And Canola oil, when sesame would give it a more authentic flavor?

Homemade Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe

Easy Homemade Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe on a plate

Tamarind Paste is Optional

Admittedly, truly Shrimp Pad Thai recipes use tamarind pulp, an ingredient I can’t find in my small Kansas town. If you live in a more cosmopolitan area, you may be able to find it in the store. (I ordered it from Amazon.)

Don’t fret if you can’t get it, though: many Thai restaurants in the States don’t use it, either. Instead, they add tomato paste to get the same color with a little hit of acidity. (Related: Homemade Chili Garlic Sauce.)

Authentic homemade shrimp pad thai recipe on a plate with chili garlic sauce in background

The History of Shrimp Pad Thai

Despite its name, Pad Thai originated in China, and it was initially made with rice! Explorers brought it to Thailand where it quickly became popular. Then, during World War II, both war and floods led to a rice shortage in Thailand. Since rice was one of the country’s leading exports, the government encouraged people to use noodles instead.

And thus was born this delicious, noodle-based variation. It’s so popular and well-loved throughout the world that it’s been called one of the world’s most delicious foods. It is also now the National Dish of Thailand.

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Make-Ahead Tips

Although this is already a speedy recipe, you can speed up the prep even more if you want. How can you make this faster?

  • Shake the sauce ingredients together in a Mason jar in the morning and pop it into the fridge.
  • Defrost the shrimp in 20 minutes by putting them in a bowl of cold water. Change the water halfway through.

Storage

This Shrimp Pad Thai recipe stays good up to five days in the refrigerator. It can be frozen, but the noodles will absorb most of the sauce, so you’ll want to make a bit extra to add before serving.

Shrimp Pad Thai

The perfect balance of spice and heat, with slurpy noodles and juicy shrimp. No wonder this is known as one of the World’s Most Delicious Foods!
Print Recipe
Easy Shrimp Pad Thai Recipe
Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:15 mins
Total Time:25 mins

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rice noodles stir-fry style
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste or 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • 1 lb. shrimp tail off
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted peanuts chopped (optional)
  • fresh lime wedges
  • fresh basil and/or cilantro leaves chopped

Instructions

  • Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, combine fish sauce, tomato paste, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and sugar in a small bowl.
  • Heat oils in a large skillet. Add shrimp and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring frequently, until the shrimp turn pink. (About 3 minutes.)
  • Add sauce mixture and eggs. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
  • Add drained noodles and stir until coated with sauce and the shrimp is mixed through. Remove from heat.
  • Serve garnished with chopped basil or cilantro, chopped peanuts, and lime wedges on the side.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 38g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 245mg | Sodium: 1651mg | Potassium: 193mg | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 210IU | Vitamin C: 4.3mg | Calcium: 126mg | Iron: 2.2mg
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 336kcal
Author: Katie Berry

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Recipe Rating




11 Comments

  1. I LOVE Pad Thai but have never made it before! Thank you so much for sharing this! Now, perhaps I’ll have the courage to try and make it 🙂

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It’s actually a pretty easy recipe, Nikki. A lot of Asian dishes are; it’s the chopping and prepping that’s difficult.

  2. Mariette's Back to Basics says:

    4 stars
    Dearest Katie,
    This is so well thought out; THANKS a million for sharing it here with us! Oh, you are so right about the pricing… we all have to make do with less; a LOT less. Especially when faced with high medical bills.
    I might be able to impress my Thai friend with this one…
    Wishing you all the very best and a tight hug for you!
    Mariette
    gplus.to/MariettesBacktoBasics

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Thank you for the nice compliment, Mariette! I was able to impress my Korean friend with this recipe, so much so that she didn’t believe that I hadn’t brought it home from the restaurant. Hope you have the same success with your friend, too. 🙂

  3. Mariette's Back to Basics says:

    5 stars
    Back again… I left a star off unintentionally…
    gplus.to/MariettesBacktoBasics

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Much appreciated!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Oh yeah, Amy, it’s a definite YUM. 🙂

  4. Jackie Karlic (The Non-Martha Momma) says:

    Hi! Followed you over from Ginger Snap Crafts blog hop. This looks great and I love Pad Tai. I would probably add the creamy PB the way your hubby likes it because I am not a fan of the crunchy texture. Pinned the recipe and now following via FB.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Jackie! Thank you so much for the Pin and the follow. It’s great to “meet” you. 🙂

  5. Katie Berry says:

    Thank you for the invite, Diane! I’m sorry I didn’t make it on Friday — we had company coming — but I’ll try to make it this week. 🙂