Pad Thai is one of Thailand’s most famous and beloved street foods, known for its harmonious balance of sweet, sour, salty, and spicy flavors. This stir-fried noodle dish is not only delicious but also quick and easy to make at home. With the right ingredients and a little practice, you can enjoy authentic Pad Thai in the comfort of your kitchen.
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce (or soy sauce for a vegetarian version)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (adjust to taste)
For the Noodles:
- 8 oz rice noodles
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup tofu, chicken, shrimp, or your preferred protein (optional)
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten (omit for a vegetarian version)
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/4 cup crushed peanuts
- Lime wedges, for serving
- Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine the tamarind paste, fish sauce (or soy sauce), sugar, and chili powder. Stir well until the sugar dissolves. Adjust the flavors to achieve a balanced sweet, sour, salty, and slightly spicy taste. Set the sauce aside.
- Soak the rice noodles in warm water for about 20-30 minutes or until they become pliable but not overly soft.
- Drain and set aside.
- In a wok or large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat.
- Add the tofu, chicken, shrimp, or your preferred protein (if using) and cook until cooked through. Remove the cooked protein from the pan and set it aside.
- In the same pan, add another tablespoon of vegetable oil.
- Add the minced garlic and stir-fry for about 30 seconds until fragrant.
- Push the garlic to the side of the pan and pour the lightly beaten eggs (if using) into the other side. Scramble the eggs until they're just set.
- Add the drained rice noodles to the pan and pour the prepared sauce over them.
- Toss everything together to ensure the noodles are well coated with the sauce.
- Add the cooked protein (if using), bean sprouts, and half of the chopped green onions. Stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until everything is heated through.
- Transfer the Pad Thai to serving plates.
- Sprinkle crushed peanuts over each serving.
- Garnish with lime wedges and the remaining chopped green onions.
- Optionally, add fresh cilantro leaves for a burst of freshness.
- Serve your homemade Pad Thai immediately, allowing diners to squeeze fresh lime juice over their servings for an extra zing of flavor.