What is Pad Thai? (And how to do it)

Pad Thai is one of the national dishes of Thailand. However, its popularity is international as it has good taste. It is mainly served as street food, but you can also eat it in many restaurants in Thailand. This delicious dish contains simple and accessible ingredients. It can be made with shrimp, chicken, or even tofu.

It contains a mixture of carbohydrates, vegetables and proteins, making it a nutritious and balanced meal. Since the ingredients can vary, several different recipes can be found. The recipe below is the most popular.

Ingredients for Pad Thai


  • 6 ounces flat rice noodles
  • 8 ounces uncooked shrimp
  • 2-3 cloves of chopped garlic
  • 1 shallot (finely diced)
  • 2 eggs (whisked with a fork)
  • salt and pepper
  • Boiling water
  • 3 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of fish sauce
  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 2 ounces bean sprouts
  • 1 ounce peanut (crushed)
  • 1 tamarind
  • 1 lime

How to cook pad thai with shrimp

  1. First, put the rice noodles in a deep bowl. Boil enough water to cover them. Cover the pasta with boiling water until soft.
  2. Then mash the tamarind with a fork in another bowl. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, and fish sauce and stir to make a dish. Put aside.
  3. Heat half of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat.
  4. Chop the shallot and fry it in the wok with the chopped garlic for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add the prawns then add some salt and pepper. Let cook for another 4-5 minutes.
  6. Rinse the pasta under cold water and drain. Add the noodles and stir.
  7. Add the prepared sauce and stir again.
  8. Make a space on one side of the wok and pour in the other half of the oil. Break the eggs and stir the whites and yolks well. When the egg is cooked, mix it with all of the other ingredients.
  9. Add bean sprouts and stir for the last time.
  10. Serve on plates with lime wedges and the crushed peanut. It is served hot.

Tips for the taste

If you want your homemade pad thai to be just as delicious as the traditional one, there are some useful tips to benefit from. First of all, you need to have all of the components ready before cooking. A good wok pan that heats up quickly is another key factor. A flat-bottomed carbon steel wok can come in handy as carbon steel woks conduct heat well. Heat conduction is very important for fried dishes like Pad Thai. Undercooking pasta is also important. Noodles will continue to absorb the liquid in the sauce. When overcooked, pasta can be mushy. Finally, you should stir the eggs separately, then add them to the other ingredients. This will preserve the texture and avoid overcooking all the ingredients in the wok.

the story of pad thai

The history of Pad Thai

The history of this popular dish is not too old. Although rice noodles go back much earlier, Pad Thai was introduced to Thailand in the 1930s by Plaek Phibunsongkhram, the then Prime Minister. Thailand then focused on building nations. The Prime Minister wanted to create a national dish to instill a sense of nationalism in the people. The noodles originally came from China, so he intentionally used Chinese noodles and called them “Pad Thai”. According to another scenario regarding the origin of the dish, Thailand suffered from a rice shortage during World War II. To reduce domestic rice consumption, the government under the rule of Plaek Phibunsongkhram encouraged noodle consumption instead. This is how the national dish Thai was created.

FAQ on Pad Thai

What does Pad Thai mean?

Pad means to stir fry and the word Thai obviously refers to Thailand. So the name of the dish stands for fried noodles from Thailand. Many dishes in Thailand have “pad” in their name.

Is it difficult to cook this dish?

No, it’s very easy to cook. It usually takes half an hour – 20 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to cook. If you prepare the ingredients in advance, it will take a maximum of 15 minutes.

Is there a vegetarian / vegan version?

Yes, both versions are available. If you are a vegetarian, you can replace fish sauce with soy sauce and make it with tofu instead of shrimp or chicken. You can replace tofu with different types of vegetables like red pepper strips and broccoli florets and leave out eggs entirely in the vegan version.

Where does it come from?

It is not easy to trace the origin of the judgment. However, many people believe that Chinese traders introduced it. On the other hand, others believe that it is a dish of Vietnamese origin.

Conclusion on Pad Thai

In this article we explained what kind of dish Pad Thai is, how to cook it, and how to make it tastier. We also covered the history and origin of the judgment. This internationally popular dish appeals to all the senses and is a must-try delicacy! Would you like to learn more about another kitchen? Then you should try the French toast!

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