Pad thai recipe | Thai story fry noodles

Pad thai recipe

Pad Thai is a beloved and iconic Thai stir-fried noodle dish that has gained international popularity. This flavorful and satisfying dish is characterized by its balanced combination of sweet, savory, and tangy flavors. It features thin rice noodles stir-fried with a variety of ingredients, making it a versatile and customizable meal.

Pad thai recipe
Pad thai recipe

Common components of Pad Thai include shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and a mix of fresh herbs and vegetables. The key to its distinct taste lies in the aromatic blend of ingredients such as tamarind paste, fish sauce, and palm sugar in the sauce. Pad Thai is typically garnished with lime wedges and chili flakes, allowing each diner to adjust the dish’s spiciness and acidity to their liking.

Whether enjoyed at a bustling Thai street food stall or made at home, Pad Thai offers a delightful and harmonious fusion of flavors and textures that captivate the taste buds and make it a favorite among Thai cuisine enthusiasts worldwide.

Table of contents

History of Pad thai

Pad Thai is a beloved Thai dish with a rich history that reflects the culinary influences and cultural changes in Thailand over the years. While the exact origins of Pad Thai are debated, its development can be traced to the early to mid-20th century. Here’s a brief history of Pad Thai:

1. Influences from China and Vietnam: Thailand’s culinary history has been greatly influenced by its neighboring countries. It’s believed that rice noodles, a key component of Pad Thai, were introduced to Thailand by Chinese immigrants. Additionally, the use of stir-frying techniques is reminiscent of Chinese cooking.

2. World War II and Thailand’s Nationalism: During World War II, Thailand faced economic challenges due to rice shortages. To promote the consumption of rice noodles (a local product), the Thai government, led by Prime Minister Plaek Phibunsongkhram, launched a campaign to create a national dish. Pad Thai was born as a result of this effort.

3. The Official Name: The Thai government officially named the dish “Pad Thai” in the 1940s as part of the nation-building campaign. “Pad” refers to stir-frying, and “Thai” signifies the dish’s Thai origins.

Characteristics or flavor profile

Pad Thai, the popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish, is known for several key characteristics that contribute to its distinct and beloved flavor profile:

Noodles: Pad Thai is made with flat, wide rice noodles. These noodles have a unique texture, slightly chewy and tender, and they absorb the flavors of the sauce and ingredients well.

Sweetness: Pad Thai is known for its sweet and savory flavor balance. The sweetness comes from ingredients like palm sugar and tamarind paste used in the sauce.

Savory and Umami: Fish sauce, a staple in Thai cuisine, provides the dish with a rich umami and salty depth of flavor. It adds complexity to the overall taste.

Tanginess: Tamarind paste or juice is responsible for the tangy element in Pad Thai. It provides a pleasant sour note that balances the sweetness.

Proteins: Pad Thai typically includes proteins like shrimp, tofu, or chicken, although there are vegetarian and vegan versions as well. These proteins add substance and variety to the dish.

Crunchy Peanuts: Crushed roasted peanuts are sprinkled on top of Pad Thai, providing a satisfying crunch and nutty flavor.

Fresh Herbs and Vegetables: Bean sprouts and fresh herbs like cilantro and Thai basil are common garnishes. They add a refreshing contrast to the other ingredients.

Chili Heat: While Pad Thai is not traditionally very spicy, it’s often served with chili flakes or chili sauce on the side, allowing diners to adjust the heat to their liking.

Variations of pad thai

Pad Thai is a versatile and customizable dish, and its popularity has led to numerous delicious variations to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some notable variations of Pad Thai:

1. Pad Thai Goong (Shrimp Pad Thai): This is the classic and most well-known version of Pad Thai, featuring succulent shrimp as the primary protein.

2. Pad Thai Gai (Chicken Pad Thai): Chicken replaces the shrimp as the main protein in this variation. It’s a popular choice for those who prefer poultry.

3. Pad Thai Taohu (Tofu Pad Thai): Perfect for vegetarians and vegans, this variation replaces meat with tofu. It’s often marinated and pan-fried for added flavor and texture.

4. Pad Thai Moo (Pork Pad Thai): Thinly sliced pork is used as the protein source, offering a different taste profile compared to shrimp or chicken.

5. Pad Thai Nua (Beef Pad Thai): Beef is used as the primary protein, creating a heartier and meatier Pad Thai.

6. Pad Thai Jay (Vegetarian/Vegan Pad Thai): This version is entirely plant-based and often includes an assortment of vegetables, tofu, and sometimes mushrooms for umami.

7. Pad Thai Goong Sod (Fresh Shrimp Pad Thai): Instead of cooked shrimp, this variation uses fresh, raw shrimp that “cooks” in the residual heat of the noodles and sauce.

8. Pad Thai Goong Mae Nam (River Prawn Pad Thai): River prawns are a regional delicacy in Thailand, and this variation features these large prawns, known for their sweet and tender meat.

9. Pad Thai Kung Dang (Red Curry Shrimp Pad Thai): This spicy variation incorporates red curry paste into the sauce, adding a delightful kick of heat to the dish.

10. Pad Thai Thale (Seafood Pad Thai): A seafood lover’s dream, this version combines various types of seafood such as shrimp, squid, and mussels.

11. Pad Thai Kee Mao (Drunken Noodles or Spicy Pad Thai): This spicy rendition includes Thai bird’s eye chilies and Thai basil for an extra kick of heat and flavor.

12. Pad Thai Woon Sen (Glass Noodle Pad Thai): In this variation, thin, transparent glass noodles are used instead of traditional rice noodles. They have a different texture and absorb flavors beautifully.

13. Pad Thai Khao Soi: Inspired by the northern Thai dish Khao Soi, this variation combines the flavors of Pad Thai with the rich, coconut-based Khao Soi sauce.

14. Pad Thai Salad: A lighter version of Pad Thai, this dish incorporates similar ingredients but is served cold as a refreshing noodle salad.


If you’re looking for substitutes for specific ingredients in Pad Thai or alternative dishes with similar flavors and characteristics, here are some options:

1. Noodles:
– Substitute traditional rice noodles with wide rice noodles, rice vermicelli, or even soba noodles for a different texture.

2. Proteins:
– Replace shrimp with chicken, tofu, beef, pork, or a combination of these proteins to suit your preferences.
– For a vegetarian or vegan option, use marinated and pan-fried tofu, tempeh, or seitan as the protein source.

3. Fish Sauce:
– For a vegetarian or vegan version, substitute fish sauce with soy sauce, tamari (gluten-free soy sauce), or a vegan fish sauce made from ingredients like seaweed or mushrooms.

4. Tamarind Paste:
– If you don’t have tamarind paste, you can use tamarind concentrate or make a tamarind substitute by mixing equal parts of lime juice and brown sugar.

5. Palm Sugar:
– Replace palm sugar with brown sugar, white sugar, or coconut sugar for sweetness.

6. Bean Sprouts:
– Mung bean sprouts can be substituted with other types of bean sprouts, such as soybean or lentil sprouts.

7. Peanuts:
– If you have a peanut allergy or prefer a different nut, substitute peanuts with cashews, almonds, or toasted sesame seeds for a crunchy element.

8. Eggs:
– For a vegan Pad Thai, omit the eggs or use scrambled tofu as an egg replacement.

9. Chili Heat:
– Adjust the level of spiciness by adding or reducing the amount of chili flakes, or use a milder chili variety like red bell peppers for a less spicy option.

10. Vegetables:
– Customize the vegetable mix to your liking. Bell peppers, broccoli, carrots, and snap peas are great additions or substitutions.

Remember that these substitutions can alter the flavor and texture of the dish, but they can also cater to dietary restrictions or personal preferences. Feel free to get creative and adapt Pad Thai to suit your taste while preserving its essence as a flavorful stir-fried noodle dish.

Equipments and ingredients

1Our Pick
Chinese Wok

Wok is an exclusive utensil for making extraordinary Asian dishes with its quick stir fry techniques and also has good flavor impact.


Chicken Pad thai | Thai stir fried Noodles

Chicken Pad Thai is a delectable and iconic Thai stir-fried noodle dish known for its harmonious fusion of flavors and textures. It features tender strips of chicken, rice noodles, and a medley of fresh ingredients. The magic of Chicken Pad Thai lies in its sweet, savory, and tangy sauce, typically crafted from tamarind, fish sauce, and palm sugar. It’s often garnished with an array of crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, and a squeeze of lime, providing a delightful crunch and a burst of freshness.

This dish strikes a perfect balance between the umami-rich chicken, the tender and slightly chewy rice noodles, and the delightful complexity of the sauce. Chicken Pad Thai is a beloved Thai classic that can be customized to suit individual preferences and is widely enjoyed both in Thailand and around the world.

Prep Time 15 min Cook Time 10 min Total Time 25 mins Difficulty: Beginner Servings: 4 Calories: 495 kcal Best Season: Suitable throughout the year



  1. Prepare the sauce

    Prepare the sauce by mixing the tamarind paste, brown sugar, soy sauce, oyster sauce, fish sauce and mix well and keep aside.

    Check the sweet and sour balance and adjust accordingly if its too sweet add more tamarind water or if its too sour add more brown sugar.

  2. Blanch the noodles

    Bring a large pot of water to boil and dunk in rice noodles. Stir to separate. Only cook until they are limp but still firm and slightly crunchy around 5-8 minutes (they will finish cooking later in the pan). 

    Drain the noodles and rinse well with cold water to prevent sticking. Set aside.

  3. Cook the Pad thai

    In a wok or pan, add sesame oil, minced garlic, chopped onions and saute for 2 minutes. 

    Add the minced red chilies and chicken strips and stir fry them till 3 minutes.

    Add the prepared sauce and cook in slow flame for 10 minutes until the sauce gets thickened and chicken is cooked.

    Add the blanched rice noodles and stir it nicely and toss it.

    Finally add the bean sprouts and toss it and switch off the flame.

  4. Plate the Pad thai

    Add the cooked pad thai in a bowl or plate and garnish by adding roasted peanuts, lemon wedges on the side and chives on top.

Nutrition Facts

Servings 4

Amount Per Serving
Calories 495kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16.9g26%
Saturated Fat 2.6g13%
Cholesterol 29mg10%
Sodium 1400mg59%
Potassium 491mg15%
Total Carbohydrate 71.2g24%
Dietary Fiber 5.7g23%
Sugars 22g
Protein 17.1g35%

Calcium 52 mg
Iron 2 mg

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.


You can marinate chicken in soy sauce before cooking which adds more flavor.

You can add egg if you like it and the main important think is the sauce.

It is basically known as nam phrik sauce and it should be more darker side and balanced between sweet and sour.

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Frequently asked questions

What is Chicken Pad Thai?

Chicken Pad Thai is a popular Thai stir-fried noodle dish that features chicken, rice noodles, and a flavorful sauce made from tamarind, fish sauce, and other seasonings.

Can I use other proteins in place of chicken?

Yes, you can substitute chicken with shrimp, tofu, beef, or pork to create different variations of Pad Thai.

Can I make a vegetarian version of Chicken Pad Thai?

Yes, you can make a vegetarian version by omitting the chicken and using tofu or additional vegetables as a protein source.

Adventure foods

Adventure foods

I am a culinarian and experienced in knowledge of world cuisine. Specialized in Indian rustic cooking and modern molecular Gastronomy. I am here to share my experience and recipes that I learned and experienced and experimented throughout to everyone so everyone can have a great meal time with their loved ones. I tend to learn more and share more in the food world.

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