Shrimp Pad Thai

Tested & Perfected Recipes

Made with easy-to-find ingredients, this shrimp pad thai tastes just like the one at your favorite Thai restaurant.

shrimp pad thai

I love this shrimp 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.

What you’ll need to make shrimp pad thai

ingredients

How to make shrimp pad thai

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

Made with easy-to-find ingredients, this shrimp pad thai tastes just like the one at your favorite Thai restaurant.

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 (31/35) shrimp, peeled and deveined, thawed if frozen
  • 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

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Wonderful recipe! I didn’t have broccoli so I used carrots and it was great. I agree that the hardest part is the noodles – mine were ready quickly, when I make it again I need to watch the noodles a bit more carefully. Thanks Jenn!

    • — Theresa on March 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • Came out great. I used oyster sauce in place of fish sauce as it was all I had, added an extra tablespoon of peanut butter, and substituted edamame for the broccoli (as I didn’t have any broccoli left). I thought it was fabulous! Thank you for a simple Thai recipe that is always a favorite at my house.

    • — Debbie on February 15, 2021
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  • This recipe is absolutely amazing and so authentic. It’s rare not to see a perfect 5 star sweep for recipes on this great website so I was keen to read the reviews before trying it out but I didn’t alter a thing and it was perfect. One thing I hoped to get help with is this… my daughter is so sensitive to the fish sauce smell (literally gags at the smell alone) that I won’t be able to use it going forward in this recipe or the Vietnamese salad. Is there an adequate substitute for fish sauce?

    • — Janie on February 4, 2021
    • Reply
    • Glad you like the recipes! You can replace the fish sauce with more soy sauce. The dish won’t have that authentic Thai flavor w/o the fish sauce, but it will still be good!

      • — Jenn on February 4, 2021
      • Reply
  • I think this recipe has potential but it was WAY too salty for me–yikes! I reduced the fish sauce by 1 TBSP, but as I’m eating this I feel like all I can taste is salt. If I do try it again, I would reduce the soy sauce, and use reduced sodium soy sauce as well. I would also up the peanut butter because I prefer pad thai with a stronger peanut-y flavor. I did get a tip from another website for the noodles: fill a bowl with water that is 110 degrees. Then you can soak the noodles, stirring occasionally, and they came out really well without clumping together.

    • — Lori on February 2, 2021
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  • I will definitely be making this again. Made it just as the recipe directed in both ingredients and quantities. My husband does not have an adventurous palate but he actually loved this and asked that I make it again. Our friend who has traveled extensively said it was perfect! It was great as are most of your recipes.

    • — Deborah on January 31, 2021
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  • This recipe is wonderful! Better than any restaurant! We loved it! Another winning recipe from Jenn. She is always spot on. I have enjoyed every recipe I have made. I always look forward to trying something new. THANKS JENN!!!

    • — Nancy Gregory on January 28, 2021
    • Reply
  • We liked this a lot. However, we use very little salt when we cook and have become sensitive to it. Is there a way to reduce the amount of fish sauce without sacrificing the taste? Is there a substitute we could use?

    • — Beth on December 12, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Beth, you could try reducing the fish sauce and replacing it with more soy sauce and (and you could use reduced-sodium soy sauce). Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 13, 2020
      • Reply
  • The seasoning of this dish was delicious . It tasted like restaurant food . The only problem I have noticed is that I struggle to cook noodles properly . This is the third time I have found that my noodles – be they udon , flat rice etc noodles comes out sticky despite rinsing in cold water – they end up with a ‘slimy’ texture . Any tips Jenn to avoid this ? I will definitely make this dish again once I manage to handle the noodles as it would be perfect for guests as well.

    • — Louise on December 1, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Louise, After they’ve been sitting and before you incorporate them back in at the end, I’d give them a quick rinse under warm water and use your fingers to manually un-stick any noodles. Shake out any excess water and then proceed. Hope that helps!

      • — Jenn on December 1, 2020
      • Reply
  • Jenn, if you do have tamarind paste, what would be your recommendation for how much and when to add?

    • — Julie on October 22, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Julie, I’d guesstimate you’d need about 2 teaspoons and I’d add it to the sauce ingredients (so with the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, sugar and dried chili flakes). Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on October 22, 2020
      • Reply
  • Unfortunately, the extreme quantity of fish sauce called for here rendered this dish borderline unpalatable. From now on, I would use a MAXIMUM of 2 tbsp, maybe just 1 tbsp, of fish sauce here. The sauce was horribly salty and fishy – 5 tbsp completely overwhelms the dish. Quantities could definitely use tweaking.

    • — Jenn V on September 19, 2020
    • Reply
  • Wow this was so good and I made it! This is the best Pad Thai that I have ever made I left the broccoli out and added sliced jalapenos to give it a little heat. This is a restaurant quality recipe thanks so much for sharing this with us.

    • — Barry Schwenzer on September 9, 2020
    • Reply
  • I made this recipe yesterday and followed it as written EXCEPT that we used regular green cabbage instead of broccoli only because I forgot to get the latter on my shopping trip and we had cabbage in the fridge. No problem! We cooked the cabbage until tender/crisp before combining everything and the dish was absolutely delicious! It’s a keeper, this one.

    I found the tip on cooking the noodles especially useful and made them just right, too. No more mushy rice stick! 🙂

    • — Joel Duncan on July 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! I plan to make this tomorrow evening for the first time and was wondering if I use half tofu/half shrimp, at which stage would I add the tofu? Also, love ALL of your recipes I have tried and am now working my way through your cookbook. Thanks so much for all you do and keep up the good work! 😊

    • — Candice on July 20, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Candice, So glad you like the recipes and thanks for your support with the cookbook! I’ve never cooked tofu before so I don’t know exactly when it should be added — I’m sorry I can’t be more helpful!

      • — Jenn on July 21, 2020
      • Reply
      • Thanks for the reply Jenn….I’ll let you know how it turns out! 🙂

        • — Candice on July 21, 2020
        • Reply
  • Made the Shrimp Pad Thai for dinner tonight. It was wonderful! Yes, salty…but wonderful! Made it with fresh Beaufort, SC shrimp – right from the roadside shrimp shack. Added some diced zucchini, onion, and shredded carrots, otherwise followed the recipe as written. Another great Jen recipe to add to our rotation!

    • — Diane on July 10, 2020
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn, I’d love to make this recipe, but my husband is allergic to nuts. Is there a good substitute for the peanut butter?

    • — Zahra Juma on June 2, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Zahra, you could use a different nut butter like almond or sun butter hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on June 2, 2020
      • Reply
  • I made this tonight with one major substitution, I spiralized a couple of kolrabi for the noodles and it turned out great. Kolrabi spiralizes very nicely and looks much like real pasta. I skipped the pre-boil step but I should have done a quick pre-fry with them as they released a lot of water and diluted the sauce but it still tasted really good. We’ll have this again!

    • — Brian McGill on May 22, 2020
    • Reply
  • I love most all of Jenn’s recipes and thank her for sharing them however this one was just too salty. SO much sodium in fish sauce and would have liked to have incorporated something a little more healthy.

    • — Dani M on May 16, 2020
    • Reply
  • Killer and easy Pad Thai! Loved by all in my home. I usually don’t have bean sprouts, so add a little finely shredded cabbage (red this time) at the end. Added 1 T or so of tamarind paste since I had it (adds extra tangyness), also slightly reduced the sugar. You can switch up the veggies some, but the sauce, peanuts, green onions and cilantro are non-negotiable in my opinion. I wouldn’t even miss the shrimp that much. Also I always top with some sriracha. this was my third time making it and definitely not waiting so long to make it again!

    • — Natalie on May 2, 2020
    • Reply
  • I’ve attempted to make Shrimp Pad Thai several times. But this recipe is the absolute best, most authentic that I have tried. I did make a few alterations based on personal taste:
    * I inverted the ratio of fish sauce to soy sauce as I find fish sauce, in abundance, to taste like funky feet
    * I added crisply sauteed, sliced carrots
    * I made 1.5 x the amount of sauce and added garlic red chili paste ~1 Tbsp.
    * I used prepared, refrigerated minced garlic instead of fresh and added the same type of ginger ~ 1 Tbsp.
    After we enjoyed this so much, I recreated it using chicken and regular spaghetti noodles. Still absolutely delish!
    Thanks for this recipe!

    • — Kendra on April 23, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi! My shrimp is frozen but already cooked. Should I just warm it at the same time I cook the broccoli? Thanks!

      • — Allison on May 27, 2020
      • Reply
      • Hi Allison, that should work, but I’d add the shrimp at the tail end of the broccoli cooking-time as they won’t need 3-4 minutes in there. I think you could get away with about a minute or so as it will be added back in and warmed again right before serving. Hope that helps!

        • — Jenn on May 27, 2020
        • Reply
  • I make this recipe at least once a month! I actually add tofu in addition to the shrimp and it is so delicious. Highly recommend!!

    • — Claire D. on April 4, 2020
    • Reply
  • Way too salty — not my cup of tea, but I’m glad others enjoyed!

    • — jj on March 5, 2020
    • Reply
  • How bad is it to use crunchy peanut butter?

    • — Ssd on February 10, 2020
    • Reply
    • Hi Ssd, I like this with smooth peanut butter, but it’s certainly doable with chunky. Hope you enjoy!

      • — Jenn on February 10, 2020
      • Reply

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