When we were dating, my now-husband took me out for Thai food. I’d never had it before and I was blown away by the flavors. To this day, Pad Thai remains a favorite of mine. Now the kids love it too, and when the cravings strike, I make it at home with wholesome ingredients. Don’t let a different cuisine scare you from the kitchen…this Pad Thai recipe is easy and so delicious, you’ll throw out those takeout menus!
Best Pad Thai Recipe
Pad Thai is a melding of sweet and savory with salty, nutty, and spicy flavors. It has that perfect balance that Thai cuisine is known for. It’s Thailand’s national dish for a reason, and the reason is because it’s absolutely amazing.
What is traditionally in Pad Thai?
Traditionally, pad Thai has flat rice noodles, bean sprouts, chicken, eggs, green onions, lime, and cilantro, along with a peanut butter-based sauce that delivers on sweet, spicy, savory, and sour flavors.
What is the difference between Pad Thai and lo mein?
Both are noodle dishes though they come from different regions. Pad Thai is from Thailand while lo mein is from China and is a Cantonese dish. They also feature different sauces with different flavors.
Pad Thai Ingredients
- Flat rice noodles – These are the noodles used to make authentic Pad Thai.
- Chicken – For this Chicken pad thai recipe I used uncooked chicken breast cut into cubes. You can use any other boneless cuts of raw chicken you prefer (or even pork, beef, tofu (for vegetarian Pad Thai), or shrimp).
- Veggies – True Pad Thai features bean sprouts, sliced bell pepper, and matchstick carrots.
- Eggs – Adds more protein and a lovely texture.
- Garlic – Everything is better with garlic.
- Cilantro – Use it fresh for finishing.
- Limes – Add that sour component for contrast.
- Green onions – Another contrast in garnish with a pungent taste.
- Dry roasted peanuts – For that texture of crunch.
- Pad Thai Sauce – Your homemade Pad Thai sauce recipe will be made from soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sriracha, and peanut butter.
Easy Pad Thai Recipe
This stir-fry Pad Thai is more simple than it looks. It seems like a lot of ingredients, but you should have most of that in your kitchen already. All it takes is 15 minutes to get everything ready, then another 15 to cook it. In 30 minutes, you can have authentically-prepared Pad Thai on your table!
My warrior name is Beyonce Pad Thai.
How do you Make Pad Thai from Scratch
For an authentic Pad Thai recipe, start by cooking the noodles first and as you do, make the sauce. Then heat up the wok, cook the chicken, garlic, and vegetables. Move those out of the way to cook the eggs, then add the noodles, sauce, sprouts, peanuts, and toss everything together to combine. You’ll garnish with the green onions, remaining peanuts, cilantro, and wedges of lime.
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Pad Thai Every Time
- Follow the directions for making the noodles on the package. Many of them require soaking in cold water for a designated amount of time.
- Know how to slice. With those carrots, you can cut them lengthwise so they’re about 1/8th inch thick. The stack then, slice lengthwise again and you’ll have them all in perfectly-sized matchsticks.
- Keep everything close to your wok. Prep everything so that as you need to add it, you’re not scrambling around your kitchen.
- Use a skillet. A traditional Pad Thai recipe uses a wok. But if you don’t have a wok, a deep skillet will work fine!
How to Cook Pad Thai
Cooking Pad Thai is as simple as preparing the rice noodles, cooking the chicken and veggies, scrambling the egg, and then adding the prepared noodles and sauce. Once complete, the garnishes give it more texture, flavor, and color for an authentic presentation.
What is Pad Thai sauce made of?
Pad Thai sauce tastes so exotic, but chances are you have everything you need to make it right now. It’s made with oyster sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, rice, vinegar, sriracha, and creamy peanut butter.
How do you make Pad Thai sauce from scratch?
This recipe will show you how to make Pad Thai sauce from scratch. You’ll need soy sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, sriracha, and peanut butter.
What can I substitute for Pad Thai sauce?
You can make your own pad Thai sauce with oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sriracha, creamy peanut butter, and brown sugar.
Does Pad Thai have peanut sauce?
Peanut butter makes up part of the sauce. When finished, it does have a peanut butter taste but not overwhelmingly so.
Is Pad Thai sauce spicy?
Yes, though you can adjust the spiciness to your own level of tolerance. If you want a milder version, simply add less sriracha.
Do Pad Thai noodles have gluten?
No, they are rice noodles and rice noodles do not typically have gluten. You should always read the package to be sure. If you are gluten-free, don’t forget to use a gluten-free soy sauce as well.
What goes well with Pad Thai?
Pad Thai goes great with a nice Asian-style salad. A traditional papaya salad would also be refreshing though you can make fresh spring rolls or even fried egg rolls to go along with it.
How to Store Pad Thai
Pad Thai needs to go in the fridge once everyone is full. Put it in an airtight container.
How Long Does Pad Thai Last?
You’ll have about 3 days in the fridge with Pad Thai. If you can’t eat it all by that point, you’re better off freezing it.
Can You Freeze Pad Thai?
Yes, you can! Just know that the noodles will be a bit mushier when you thaw and reheat it.
How to Reheat Pad Thai?
I’d recommend putting it on the stove. In the microwave, the noodles will get rubbery. And in the oven may be overkill. Add it to a pan on your stove and stand vigilantly, stirring it on a medium setting until it’s properly heated.
Homemade Pad Thai Recipe
- 8 oz flat rice noodles
- 3 tbsp sesame oil (separated)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 8 oz uncooked chicken breast (cubed)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
- 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)
- 1 cup matchstick carrots
- 4 green onions (chopped)
- 2/3 cup dry roasted peanuts
- 2 limes
- 2/3 cup fresh cilantro
Pad Thai Sauce
- 3 tbsp oyster sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 5 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp sriracha hot sauce
- 2 1/2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- Cook noodles according to the package instructions and the rinse under cold water. Then, mix the pad that sauce ingredients together and set aside.
- Heat half of the sesame oil in a wok on medium-high heat (if you do not have a wok, use a large skillet). Add the chicken, garlic, carrots, and bell pepper and cook the chicken 3-4 minutes until thoroughly cooked through. Push the chicken, garlic, and vegetables to the side and scramble the eggs with the spatula. Once the egg is scrambled, add in the noodles, sauce, bean sprouts, and peanuts to the pan. Toss to combine.
- Top with green onions, the remaining peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges or a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
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