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Shrimp Pad Thai

5 stars based on 26 votes

shrimp pad thai

I love this Pad Thai recipe but full disclosure (so the recipe police don’t come after me): it’s not quite authentic. Fact is, it’s difficult to find many ingredients for traditional Pad Thai – like dried shrimp, tamarind paste, and pickled white radishes – in most supermarkets. So I make this version with ingredients from the Asian food aisle of my neighborhood grocery store, and it tastes pretty close to the version we all know and love served at most Thai restaurants.

ingredients

Begin by placing the rice noodles in boiling hot water.

stiff-noodles

Let them soak, off the heat, until softened and al dente. They shouldn’t be completely cooked, but almost. Believe it or not, this is the trickiest part of making this dish: soak them too long and they’ll turn to mush in the stir-fry; under-soak them and they’ll be oddly chewy. I’ve had the best luck with Thai Kitchen Stir-Fry Rice Noodles — they seem to hold up better than other brands, even when I soak them for longer than the recommended time.

softened-noodles

Drain and rinse the noodles, then set aside. As with any quick stir-fry, you want to get all your ingredients prepped before you start cooking.

mise-en-place

Begin by making the sauce: whisk together the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter and red chili flakes. Set aside.

whisking-sauce

Next, heat some oil in a large nonstick pan or wok. Add the shrimp, ginger and garlic, and stir-fry for a few minutes until the shrimp are pink and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl.

cooking-shrimp

Add more oil to the pan, along with the broccoli and a bit of water, and stir-fry until the broccoli is cooked through.

cooking-broccoli

Transfer the broccoli to the bowl with the shrimp, then scramble the eggs in the hot pan. Add the eggs to the bowl with the shrimp and broccoli.

scrambling-eggs

Add more oil to the pan, then add the drained noodles and pad thai sauce.

cooking-noodles-with-sauce

Cook, tossing gently, until the noodles are tender and perfectly cooked.

adding-shrimp-and-broccoli

Add the shrimp, broccoli and eggs back to the pan, along with the green onions; toss well. Right before serving, sprinkle the peanuts, cilantro and bean sprouts over top and toss to combine.

final-mix-ins

Enjoy!

shrimp-pad-thai-1

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Shrimp Pad Thai

Servings: 4
Total Time: 45 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces flat rice noodles (linguini or fettuccini width)
  • 2 large eggs
  • Vegetable oil
  • 5 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (use gluten-free if needed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, from 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Salt
  • 2/3 pound (10 oz.) 1-inch broccoli florets
  • 4 green onions, light and dark green parts, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts, plus more for garnish if desired
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dry roasted peanuts
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lime wedges, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring 6 cups water to a boil in a large pot. Off the heat, add the noodles. Let sit, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until softened but still al dente, 5-20 minutes. (Note that the time varies greatly depending on the type of noodle and brand. The noodles I use -- Thai Kitchen Stir Fry Noodles -- take 20 minutes, even though it says 8-10 minutes on the package). Drain and rinse well with cold water. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, beat the eggs with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, sugar and dried chili flakes. Set aside.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large nonstick pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and shrimp; season with ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring constantly, until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, a few minutes. Transfer the shrimp, garlic and ginger to a large bowl, using a rubber spatula to scrape the pan clean.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to the hot pan. Add the broccoli, ¼ cup of water and ¼ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until the broccoli is cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the cooked broccoli to the bowl with the shrimp.
  6. Add 1 teaspoon of oil to the hot pan. Add the beaten eggs and scramble until cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Add to the bowl with the shrimp and broccoli.
  7. Add 4 tablespoons oil to the hot pan. Add the drained noodles to the pan, along with the fish sauce mixture. Cook, tossing the noodles gently so as not to break them, until perfectly cooked, a few minutes. Add the shrimp, broccoli and eggs to the pan, along with the green onions; toss gently to combine, cooking until everything is warmed through. Right before serving, sprinkle the bean sprouts, peanuts and cilantro over top and toss to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with lime wedges and bean sprouts, if desired.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (4 servings)
  • Calories: 558
  • Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Carbohydrates: 70g
  • Sugar: 14g
  • Fiber: 5g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Sodium: 3022mg
  • Cholesterol: 236mg

Reviews & Comments

  • 5 stars

    Absolutely amazing! As good as anything you can buy in a Thai restaurant. So easy to make and phenomenally delicious! I had to sub fresh cauliflower for the broccoli, but it was so yummy! I will definitely make it again!

    - Debbie on September 20, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I just made this a few hours ago – it turned out amazing ! The family loved it. The recipe was so easy to follow. Also love that all the ingredients are available at most grocery stores. The only change I would make next time is to cut down on the oil in the last step.

    - Rida on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is SO good! It’s a relatively quick and super easy recipe for weeknights, and most ingredients I already have on hand. I’ve made many ingredient subs too that work beautifully. I’ve used leftover rotisserie chicken in place of shrimp, if I don’t have fresh ginger I’ve used the ginger paste I keep in the fridge, and I’ve even used leftover rice in place of the noodles. Very versatile recipe, but is also perfect as is!

    - Jonnie Beth Bryan on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe was really good. BUT, like Jenn says, you really have to watch the noodles. I thought I had them at the perfect al dente(and maybe they were) but after adding them and everything else to the pan, I maybe cooked them a little too long and they got a little mushy, so watch that. Also the shrimp will also cook a bit once adding them back into the pan, so make sure to not overcook them in the first step. Great recipe though.

    - Dave on September 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    OMG I have been experimenting with Pad Thai recipes for years..this one is the best by FAR! I did it with thin slices of red pepper and carrot instead of broccoli. Yum Yum.

    - Sandi Jewell on September 11, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love the pad thai recipe. But I did not add any additional salt at all, because soy sauce and fish sauce are already high in sodium.

    Also, it’s best fresh. After storing in the fridge for a day, the whole dish tasted like broccoli.

    - Abraham on September 11, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Delicious! Nicely balanced flavor and texture. A nice amount of heat that allows the individual ingredients to be enjoyed.

    - Christine on September 10, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was awesome!! My whole family loved it!! The only problem was there were no leftovers. Jen, I have made at least 35 of your recipes and they have all been incredible! I cook and bake a lot and your site is by far the best site. So many favorites from your site. My husband and I only use your site now. Thanks for sharing such fantastic recipes!!! My favorite dessert is your Coconut Dream Pie!! It is unbelievable!!!

    - Denise Ksen-Smith on March 26, 2017 Reply
    • So glad you and your family are enjoying the recipes, Denise! And the Coconut Dream Pie is a favorite at our house as well ?.

      - Jenn on March 26, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I already had a pretty good Pad Thai recipe, but this one is better. My hubby doesn’t love Pad Thai like I do but he will eat it. This recipe he liked a lot. Thanks.

    - Patti A. on March 13, 2017 Reply
  • My husband and I both really liked your take on the recipe. I made it with chicken tenders because we had them on hand and added 1 T red Thai paste to the sauce per another reviewer’s suggestion. We like spicy! Another great recipe. Thanks so much.

    - Renee B on February 14, 2017 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is the easiest and most delicious Pad Thai recipe. I love that the ingredients are simple and easily accessible at my local grocery store.

    - Cindy Bryson on October 11, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Love this pad thai recipe. It comes very close to the pad thai I usually get at my favourite Asian restaurant. I substituted shrimp for chicken, and it still came out great.

    - Abraham on October 10, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I love this website, every recipe is a hit with my family! For me, the noodles turned out perfectly and the taste was delicious. I didn’t expect purely “authentic” thai food and felt highly satisified with this version.

    - Jessi on September 19, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is, by far, the best pad thai recipe I have ever made. The only thing I did differently was prepare the noodles toward the end, as there is a lot of prep work, and I was worried that they would get overcooked. My family really loved it.

    - Harriet on September 18, 2016 Reply
  • This recipe would need a sodium warning, having over a day’s recommended level. How would cut the level by 2/3s?

    - Tom on September 17, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Tom, Yes, this recipe is definitely high in sodium. You could reduce it a bit by replacing the fish sauce with additional soy sauce (and using the reduced-sodium variety of soy sauce). Without the fish sauce, this dish will not have the same authentic Thai flavor, but it will still be good. You could also use unsalted nuts on top of the dish. I’m not certain how much these changes reduce the sodium, but it should definitely help.

      - Jenn on September 19, 2016 Reply
  • 3 stars

    Thai people all say to soak the noodles in ordinary tap water, not hot water, for 30 or 40 minutes – using cold water lessens the worry around the time factor, since they soften so slowly. Peanut butter in the sauce is definitely a deviation from any Thai recipe I have seen:) While I prefer tamarind to soy sauce in my dish, there is wide variation in Thailand, and some people there do use soy sauce.

    A nice addition is to cut into small blocks and fry a half pound of tofu in advance until it is crispy on the outside, then add back into the dish at the end, for extra springy mouth-feel. This recipe is good too: http://www.rebelmom.com/chow-time/chow-time-the-art-of-pad-thai/

    - Ian Glen on September 17, 2016 Reply
  • I tried this recipe again and it was still enjoyable but next time one thing I would do differently towards the end is pour the sauce over all the ingredients, not just the noodles, to better distribute the sauce and to try and avoid “over-saucing” the noodles at the top (is that a word?). Also, this is a “note to self” but I would also try not to overcook the noodles…I find that after adding the noodles to the hot water, I tend to neglect them as I work on prepping all the other ingredients and I don’t like the noodles as much when they are super-soft. That is probably why you recommend actually following cooking times and rinsing the noodles with cold water once they are done…smart advice. 🙂

    - Jenn v. on September 10, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I’ve tried several Pad Thai recipes and this one is my new favourite. I’ll definitely make it again.

    Thanks, Jenn!

    - Jenn V. on June 29, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This is one of the best Pad Thai I’ve tasted. I added Thai red curry as suggested. It was easy and so tasty. Thank you Jenn.

    - MAA on April 24, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    I made this last night, and my family and I loved it! I followed most of the measurements, and it turned out great. I have always been told that recipes are merely guidelines, and you have to adjust to your liking. I didn’t have to make a lot of adjustments to this one. Thanks for another great recipe!

    - Regina on April 19, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    My husband and I love this dish. I did substitute the broccoli with snow peas as I have fresh peas in my garden. I accidentally left out the sugar and doubled the peanut butter, as my husband loves peanut butter. I’m looking forward to the leftovers for lunch!

    - Valerie on April 13, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This recipe is a keeper in our house. The broccoli is a different ingredient and oh so good! The dish had the perfect amount of heat for me – there, but not overpowering. Thank you!!

    - Catherine on March 30, 2016 Reply
  • 1 stars

    Most of the recipes I have tried on this website are excellent. Unfortunately this recipe was a huge miss. The sodium levels are through the roof. I ended up using lower sodium soy sauce and omiited any additional salt. The pad thai was still obsessively salty. Despite how much time it took to make, and the cost of all the ingredients, this one is going in the trash. I dont understand also why so much oil was needed. Seems like 4 TBl of oil at the end was excessive.

    - Danielle on March 26, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was so delicious! Everyone in my family loves it and had seconds. Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

    - Steph on March 21, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    This was excellent! I felt that it was of a lot of work between all of the chopping and different prep steps, but was rewarded in the end. I left the hot pepper out and the kids devoured this happily-and took multiple extra helpings! Will make again-on weekends and nights that I have time. Will try to make this with tofu and minus eggs and fish sauce (ideas on substitutions appreciated)for vegetarian family members. Thanks for another great recipe, Jen! I tell everyone about your site!

    - Jennifer on March 21, 2016 Reply
    • Jennifer, So glad you liked it! You could use soy sauce in place of the fish sauce but the dish will have more of a Chinese bent than a Thai one without the fish sauce. Still tasty, just different!

      - Jenn on March 21, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Terrific recipe!! The sauce was spot on – though I did add a Tbsp of Red Thai Curry paste for zing. Much better dish than any of the restaurants in our area. Even the left-overs, warmed up slowly so as not to make the shrimp rubbery, were delicious! Another WINNER =D

    - Julie Roedell on March 20, 2016 Reply
  • Hi!

    What if I don’t have fresh ginger, but granulated? How much of that should I use? Thanks! Can’t wait to try this recipe soon!

    - Lauren K on March 19, 2016 Reply
    • If you’re referring to ground ginger, I would use about 1/2 tsp., If you’re referring to the granulated/candied ginger, I wouldn’t suggest it. If that’s the case, you can just omit the ginger.

      - Jenn on March 21, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Loved this recipe! Pad Thai is my fav and even though I did not have ginger, cilantro to hand it tasted great. Hubby declared best pad Thai ever- and we ate pad Thai in Thailand:)

    - Ash on March 17, 2016 Reply
  • 5 stars

    Excellent. I made this according to the recipe, and it was very good.

    - margot on March 17, 2016 Reply
  • I actually have dried shrimp and tamarind paste in the house. How can I add that to make it more authentic (as well as how much)?

    - Anjli on March 16, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Anjli, Because this is just my “take” on Shrimp Pad Thai, I wouldn’t really know the best way to work those ingredients in- I’m sorry! I would suggest looking for a more traditional pad thai recipe if you really want to use those ingredients!

      - Jenn on March 18, 2016 Reply
  • I would love to try this but I am allergic to shrimp. I have had chicken pad Thai in restaurants. Could I substitute chicken; and if so, how much and how should I cook it?
    I’m new to the website and me and my husband have been loving the recipes we’ve tried so far! Thanks!

    - Amy on March 16, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Amy, you could definitely prepare this with chicken. Like the shrimp, use a pound, cut into roughly 1-inch pieces. The chicken will take a bit longer than the shrimp to cook; probably about 3 – 4 minutes per side. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 17, 2016 Reply
      • Thanks for the tip on switching out the shrimp for chicken. I love Pad Thai, but someone I cook for cannot eat shrimp. I cannot wait to try this. I also appreciate the comments as to the sodium content, as that is a concern for me too.

        - PaulainVA on November 17, 2016 Reply
    • 5 stars

      Hi
      I have tried this recipe with both Prawns and with chicken, and both are equally good. Love this recipe totally. The sauce is phenomenal and the beansprouts add the correct crunch to the dish.
      Thanks
      Vanita

      - Vanita Tondon on August 19, 2016 Reply
  • Asked and delivered! Thanks so much. Can’t wait to try it!

    - Mad on March 16, 2016 Reply
  • Hi Jenn- Love all your recipes and can’t wait to try this shrimp pad thai recipe. Can you suggest a good substitute for the peanut butter? My son has a peanut allergy.
    Thanks!

    - Teri on March 16, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Teri, you could use almond or other nut butter here or just omit it from the recipe. Enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 16, 2016 Reply
  • Questions

    1 Is the weight of shrimp (I pound) before or after peeling?

    2 What were the original ingredients for which you used substitutes?

    - Gordon on March 16, 2016 Reply
    • Hi Gordon, the weight of the shrimp is prior to peeling. And I didn’t really use substitutes for ingredients like dried shrimp and tamarind paste because there are no real substitutes. This is more of my “take” on Pad Thai. Hope you enjoy!

      - Jenn on March 16, 2016 Reply

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