Shrimp Pad Thai. Chewy rice noodles fried with jumbo shrimp, tofu and eggs with vegetables in a savoury, sweet and tangy sauce.
Popular Thai Dish
This dish is popular in Thailand. It's great for dinner as it can be made in less than 30 minutes!
Shrimp and tofu pad thai is one of my favourite noodle dishes ever. I always must order it at the Thai restaurant. But sometimes, when I don't feel like going out to get it, I like making it at home.
Easy Shrimp Pad Thai
My shrimp pad thai recipe is easy to make. The preparation time takes longer than the actual cooking process which is less than 5 minutes in a searing hot wok. You just need some key ingredients, like fish sauce, tamarind pulp and palm sugar to make the sauce.
What does Shrimp Pad Thai taste like?
Shrimp and pad thai noodles are such a match made in heaven. The taste of the bouncy shrimp along with the soft chewy noodles smothered in that savoury, sweet, tangy sauce is pure heaven! The fresh bean sprouts and garlic chives really help to lighten the dish making it healthier too. If you're not a fan of shrimp you can check out my AUTHENTIC CHICKEN PAD THAI.
Don’t be intimidated
Many people are intimidated when it comes to homemade pad thai. But if you follow my instructions carefully and review the step-by-step visuals, you will be able to get it right! It is all about the right noodle consistency and the sauce. I share a fool proof way to never have soggy noodles. I also share a simple noodle sauce made of a few ingredients that are commonly used in authentic shrimp pad thai.
What you’ll need
For this recipe you will need the following shrimp pad thai ingredients:
- jumbo shrimp
- thin flat rice noodles
- firm tofu
- mung bean sprouts
- garlic chives
- vegetable oil
Shrimp pad thai sauce:
- palm sugar
- fish sauce
- tamarind pulp
- hot boiling water
How to make Shrimp Pad Thai
Below are brief steps with visuals for the best shrimp pad thai recipe. Please scroll down to the recipe card below to find full instructions and details.
Finely chop palm sugar.
To make your tamarind concentrate: submerge tamarind pulp in ⅓ cup hot boiling water. Allow for it to cool and then with your hands, squeeze and massage the pulp as best you can, until it dissolves in the water.
Strain as much as the tamarind liquid through a fine sieve and discard the hard bits and seeds, reserving the liquid which is now your tamarind concentrate.
Combine tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, palm sugar and water until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
Soak your rice noodles in hot boiling water for 2 minutes until limp and strain. Set aside.
In a wok over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp oil and your shrimp. Only fry until 50% cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
If needed, add another 1 tbsp of oil. Fry shallots and garlic for 10 seconds.
Add firm tofu and cook for 20-30 seconds.
Toss in rice noodles and sauce mixing everything together for 2-3 minutes. Taste your noodles to see if they're chewy at this point, if not add a 2-3 tablespoons of water to help cook them until they are.
Add shrimp, then push everything to the side.
If needed, add remaining oil into the empty space of wok followed by eggs. Scramble them first and then mix in with noodles.
Mix in bean sprouts and garlic chives for 10-20 seconds. Remove off heat.
Optionally serve with limes and crushed peanuts. Enjoy!
Below are tips on making shrimp pad thai at home:
Finely chop palm sugar
Make sure the palm sugar is finely chopped so it dissolves easily with your other sauce ingredients. Fresh palm sugar will be much easier to chop versus older palm sugar so make sure to check the expiry date!
Soak tamarind pulp in hot boiling water and then massage
This step is crucial to creating your concentrate. Allow it to soak for a few minutes until it’s warm to touch and then massage the pulp with your hands to squeeze out the pulp from the seeds.
Use a sieve to extract the tamarind concentrate
Once your pulp has dissolved with the water, run it through a fine sieve to extract the concentrate and to remove the hard bits and seeds. This can be used for other purposes or composted.
Soak rice noodles in hot boiling water for 2 minutes only
Do not oversoak your noodles in the hot boiling water. Remember we are cooking them too!
Prepare your ingredients in advance
Make sure all your ingredients are lined up and prepared ready to toss into the wok. The cooking process is extremely fast, less than 5 minutes!
Do not overcook vegetables
Once you add your vegetables in, give it a mix for 10-20 seconds and remove off heat.
Below are frequently asked questions about this tofu and shrimp pad thai:
Where can I buy tamarind pulp?
Tamarind pulp can be bought at most Asian grocer.
Rice noodles can be found at most Asian or western grocers. They're now a very popular dried noodle.
Where can I buy palm sugar?
Most Asian markets will carry this in their sugar section. They look like round dome shaped pucks.
Where do I find fish sauce?
This can also be found at an Asian market and also found at most Western grocers too. If you can, opt for the "Squid" brand.
Can I replace the palm sugar with normal sugar?
Yes, you may replace with brown sugar but please ensure this is fully dissolved in sauce prior to cooking.
Can I replace tamarind pulp with concentrate in this recipe?
No. The ratios will not be the same so I highly recommend finding pulp for this recipe so you can make your own concentrate. The pre-made concentrates are much stronger.
Where do I find garlic chives?
The Asian market will sell them usually.
How long is shrimp pad thai good for?
It is generally good for 2-3 days. To reheat, I would suggest pan frying again with a little bit of water to hydrate the noodles. Just note that when you refrigerate rice noodles, the bouncy consistency will change due to the cold temperature so when you go to eat them after reheating, they may be less bouncy and more softer.
What is Pad Thai mainly?
Pad thai usually consists of rice noodles in a sweet tamarind fish sauce and fried with eggs, tofu, protein of choice, garlic chives, bean sprouts, garlic, and shallots. It is optionally garnished with limes and crushed peanuts.
Is Pad Thai actually Thai?
Yes! Pad Thai originates from Thailand.
Do you put eggs in Pad Thai?
Usually, eggs are authentic to pad thai, but they can be omitted if you wish.
Is Pad Thai spicy?
Not usually but you may add some spice (like Sambal) to your pad thai if you prefer it that way.
Should Pad Thai taste fishy?
When you add fish sauce into the noodles as they fry, it’ll smell a bit fish because it is fish sauce. However, after some time the smell will pass, and you’ll be left with a very delicious, sweet, tangy and savoury noodle dish.
Other recipes you may like!
If you enjoyed this easy shrimp pad thai recipe, you may enjoy these other recipes:
I hope you give my Shrimp Pad Thai a try! It always excites me when you make my recipes and I hope this is one you try and most importantly, enjoy.
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Shrimp Pad Thai
- 3 tbsp palm sugar
- 1.5 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp water
Tamarind Concentrate for Sauce
- 60 grams tamarind pulp
- ⅓ cup hot boiling water
- ½ lime garnish
- ¼ cup Peanuts crushed, for garnish
- 2-3 tbsp water if needed to help cook noodles
- Finely chop palm sugar.
- To make your tamarind concentrate: submerge tamarind pulp in ⅓ cup hot boiling water. Allow for it to cool and then with your hands, squeeze and massage the pulp as best you can, until it dissolves in the water. Strain as much as the tamarind liquid through a fine sieve and discard the hard bits and seeds, reserving the liquid which is now your tamarind concentrate.
- Combine tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, palm sugar and water until sugar has dissolved. Set aside.
- Soak your rice noodles in hot boiling water for 2 minutes (no more) until limp and strain immediately. Set aside.
- In a wok over medium high heat, add 1 tbsp oil and your shrimp. Only fry until 50% cooked. Remove from heat and set aside.
- If needed, add another 1 tbsp of oil. Fry shallots and garlic for 10 seconds.
- Add firm tofu and cook for 20-30 seconds.
- Toss in rice noodles and sauce mixing everything together for 2-3 minutes. Taste your noodles to see if they're chewy at this point, if not add a 2-3 tablespoons of water to help cook them until they are.
- Add shrimp, then push everything to the side. If needed, add remaining oil into the empty space of wok followed by eggs. Scramble them first and then mix in with noodles.
- Mix in bean sprouts and garlic chives for 10-20 seconds. Remove off heat.
- Optionally serve with limes and crushed peanuts. Enjoy!