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Pad Thai YOUR Way

Pad Thai your way

This week I cannot seem to get my fill of Thai food. I love the unique flavor blending of salty, sweet, sour and spicy in one little dynamic bite.

Pad Thai your way

Pad Thai is a dish that is made to order, just the way you like it. Every person has their own standard of how sweet, salty, sour or spicy they like their pad Thai sauce and it can be adjusted to suite your personal preferences. In addition, some people like chicken, some like shrimp or some like tofu. Maybe some want extra vegetables or less vegetables. It does not stop there are then you get to pick your garnishes and what you want to top off your pad Thai. Some people like fresh limes,garlic chives, crushed peanuts, chilies, or extra raw bean sprouts or maybe nothing extra on top at all.

Pad Thai your way

Did you know that this upcoming week is Buddha's Birthday in China? It is celebrated in many different countries this upcoming week it is celebrated in Hong Kong or the eighth day of the fourth moon in Chinese calendar. However, each country celebrates in a slightly different time frame with a different name and different customs. In Thailand it is known as Wisakha Bucha or Visakah Puja (วิสาขบูชา).

Pad Thai your way

In Thailand, where majority of the population are Buddhists, the nationwide festival of Vesak Day is held to pay tribute to the birth, enlightenment and death of Buddha. This year Vesak Day will fall on Monday, 4 June 2012.  However, celebrations can be seen for more than a week.

In Thailand, people will congregate around the Buddhist temples to pray and give thanks to the deity on the Vesak Day. Monks dressed in their robes will lead sermons and services throughout the day. In the evening, it will continue with a candlelit procession.

Of course, whenever there is family and friends gathering and long days in the temples, this can really stir up one's appetite. What a better way to wish every one a happy Wesak's Day then to celebrate with family and friends and some yummy food. Please continue to read along to find out how to make Pad Thai YOUR Way.

Pad Thai YOUR Way

Recipe loosely adapted from Smart Cook Thai Cookery School Lesson in Chiang Mai

Serves 4 adults or one hungry teenager

I like to make each person's Pad Thai separately and to order so you can decide on the each individual flavors. Also cooking in small individual batches makes the cooking process in the wok easier to handle and keeps the heat even.

Pad Thai Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup tamarind juice (I used dried tamarind in a block. I put the dried tamarind in warm water for one hour to dissolve then stirred and used the juice- this gives it the sour taste)
  • 1/2 cup Oyster sauce
  • 4 tablespoons brown sugar (If you can get your hands on palm sugar this is best or feel free to substitute sugar alternative for diabetics)
  • Several dashes of fish sauce
Pad Thai ingredients
  • 2 bags dried rice noodles (soaked in cold water for 1/2 hour until much firmer than al dente as it will continue to cook when stir fried.)
  • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 4-6 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 shallots minced
  • 4-6 bird chillies sliced finely (optional)
  • 1/2 cup shrimps cleaned with tail still on or 1/2 cup thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken breast or 1/2 cup diced fried tofu (Or any combination you wish)
  • 1 cup spring onion cut diagonally in 1 inch slices (if you can find chinese flat leaf garlic greens use that)
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1 egg per person (optional)
Pad Thai Garnishes
  • Lime wedges
  • Long slices of spring onion
  • crushed peanuts
  • extra raw mung beans on side
  • extra chilies
  • handful of cilantro

Step 1: Pre- chop and dice all of your items as discussed above set aside in convenient small bowls for easy access when doing a quick stirfry.

Step 2: Presoak the rice noodles in cold water for about a half hour until still very firm. Harder than al dente as they will continue to cook when stir fried. Remove water and set aside

Step 3: Make the Pad Thai Sauce: In a small pot combine tamarind juice, oyster sauce, sugar and fish sauce to a gentle boil or just until all the sugar is dissolved. Set aside. Perform a taste test. Add more sugar if you want it more sweet, add more tamarind sauce if you want it more sour, add more fish sauce if you want it more salty.

Step 5: Place all of your Pad Thai ingredients near to you so that you have easy access during a very fast stirfry process.

Step 6: Place a little oil in your wok. Add onions and garlic and saute until aromatic. If you want it spicy then add some bird chillies for your desired heat level.

Step 7: Now here is where the decisions begin. If you want shrimp pad Thai, add a handful of shrimp. If you want  chicken Pad Thai, add a handful of chicken. If you want a vegetarian option choose fried tofu as desired to the wok until just about 3/4 cooked. (I made mine with shrimp and tofu)

Step 8: Now add a handful of rice noodles and keep your skillet working fast to move the noodles about in the pan. (I use 2 spatulas or 2 sets of chopsticks to really keeps things moving in the pan)

Step 9: Add about 2-3 tablespoons of Pad Thai Sauce. This is when the dynamics of the noodles changes and you need to move quickly to prevent sticking.

Step 10: Add green handful of green onions and mung beans and give a quick stir.

Step 11: Move you noodles to the side, if you need to add a little more oil and then crack whole egg on bottom of pan let it just set up for a second or 2 then give the whole dish a quick stir fry stir and put on a serving plate.

Step 12: Garnish YOUR Pad Thai YOUR Way with any of the following ingredients; limes, peanuts, raw mung beans, cilantro or chillies.

Step 13: Enjoy your Pad Thai Your way. Consider serving with a starter of tom yum soup http://bamskitchen.com/2012/01/06/turn-up-the-heat-hot-and-sour-prawns-soup/ shrimp bundles http://bamskitchen.com/2012/04/12/shrimp-bundles-with-thai-basil-dipping-sauce/ or finishing off with a lovely sticky rice mango dessert http://bamskitchen.com/2012/01/05/sticky-rice-with-mango-khao-niao-mamuang-ข้าวเหนียวมะม่วง/.

LESS THAN 30 MINUTE DINNERS

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Pad Thai YOUR Way

By HWC Magazine  , , , , ,   

April 27, 2012

  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager

Ingredients

tamirand -

oyster sauce -

palm sugar -

fish sauce -

rice noodles -

garlic -

shallots -

shrimp -

chicken -

mung beans (bean sprouts) -

tofu -

green onions -

peanuts -

chilies -

00:00
  • Pad Thai is such a tasty dish and I’m sure yours is delicious. I rate Thai restaurants by their Pad Thai, ordering it on my first visit. If it’s good, I’ll be back and try other menu items. If I find the Pad Thai to be lacking, I never return. This dish is of such cultural importance to the Thai people that a restaurant must be able to prepare it well or I’ll go to one that does. You’ve inspired me, BAM, to give this a try. Being able to make Pad Thai whenever I want would be fantastic!

    • I have only eaten Pad Thai while visiting in Thailand. Sometimes we make it at home. I have never tried it in any other country. There are a couple of Thai Restaurants in HK. I should go check them out and try out your great philosophy. I also want to better my skills so always open to ideas.

  • Glad your enjoying the wonderful flavours of Thai food – it is definitely one of the most exotic delicious cuisines which I do believe you are capturing perfectly 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    • Thanks CCU! I am so on a Thai cuisine kick this week. Guess what I am eating for dinner? Thai Green Fish Curry. So spicy, so good. Take Care, BAM

  • oh my gosh…!!! You’re really an all-rounded chef! You weren’t kidding about being international with your food!! I am in love with Pad Thai and I’m ashamed to say that I haven’t even attempted it yet! haha.. Should definitely give it a try though.. yummayyy!! Ingredients don’t seem to hard to find too!

    • Thanks Sam, I have also seen your dishes and you are also quite a well rounded chef and baker. You should see my spice selection- really big as I love to cook all cuisines.

  • I have a little jar of tamarind paste that I’ve never even opened…you’ve given it a purpose!

    • Actually this is a super fast dish to make the longest time is just the cutting and soaking prep but the actual cooking time is less than 5 minutes. Give it a try and let me know how it goes. Take care, BAM

  • This looks like my kind of meal! Well all your meals look like my kinda meal… 🙂 I love tamarind!

    • Thanks Jen. You are so very sweet. Have a super weekend. Take care, BAM

  • Mmm, who doesn’t love pad thai? I’ve actually never used tamarind paste in mine though, so I’d be very curious to give your version a try. Naturally, my renditions are completely inauthentic and more like a noodle stir-fry as a result. Tamarind is just a bit harder for me to find, but hopefully worth the hunt.

    • Hello Hannah, If you have a really hard time finding either dried tamarind or tamarind paste you can substitute the following… molasses plus lime juice, or brown sugar plus lime juice. However, tamarind is really a unique flavoring and not easy to get same flavoring by substitution but it is close.

  • I love Thai food. I used to live above a Thai Restaurant and I ate their almost every night. I really miss that place. I will definitely have to try this recipe.

    • Oh Andrea that is so dangerous…living above a thai restaurant. I would have eaten there breakfast lunch and dinner if given the chance. What country was that in? Take Care, BAM

      • In the U.S. near Chicago. I was in there so much, the owner knew me by name and what my favorite dishes were. Pad Thai was one of them.

  • Hi Bam! I’ve not cooked pad thai for a long while, thank you for the recipe! It’s great you included how to use the dried tamarind, I’ve seem them in the Asian market, but never knew how to use them properly, plus they are not a part of Chinese cuisine, so it’s very interesting to learn!

    • Dried tamarind does not look too pretty while it is melting in the hot water. It kind of looks like chocolate melting with the membranes of the tamarind. However, it really does add a special flavoring to the sauce. If you cannot find you can substitute with molasses and lime combo. Close but not the same. Take care, BAM

  • Everything is just too pretty – please set an extra plate I’m booking a flight

    • Any time just let me know when your plane is due for arrival. Take Care, BAM

  • I love pad thai – but am just so intimidated by it. It’s one of those recipes I feel I’d completely mess up. Some day, though, I will conquer it. Just gotta build a little more confidence. 🙂

    • You can do it Courtney. In order to give yourself some confidence, make sure you have every chopped and ready to go and all with in reach and next to the wok. Then I am sure it will be a success. Take care, BM

  • Love this type of receipe because you can mix it up and use different veggies depending on the season! Have a Great Weekend!

    • You sure can or feel to substitute with the veggies that are seasonal where you live. I just like having a little crunch with the noodles and this comes from the mung beans and crushed peanuts.

  • Hi Bam, I never tried to make this myself before, but I really want to because it’s so tasty. I find it’s only really possible to get the correct noodles from asian stores and nothing is labelled in any kind of language I understand so I find even the basic ingredient really hard to find. Same for dishes like pho… I want to make them but can never seem to find the noodles!

  • What a fantastic tutorial! Great tip about soaking the noodles in cold water. I’ve always been a bit scared to try pad thai at home, but this bolsters my confidence. I love Thai food as well and this reminds me that it’s been waaaay too long since I had any!

    • Thank you Korena. I think one additional important tip is to under soak your noodles as they continue to cook in the wok. Also rinse your noodles after the soak. I think it is better to start with noodles that are too firm than closer to aldente. Take care, BAM

  • I love this dish, but it’s so amazing how it can be so good at some places and so bad at others. So glad to have your recipe. I KNOW it will be good.

  • Thanks Greg. I think the main reason it can be so good in some places and bad in others is that they did not make it YOUR way but THEIR way. Each person has their own taste preference and it really needs to be made to order and that is why it would be great for us all to try at home.

  • Lisa

    OMG..I LOVE Pad Thai, and yours looks incredible! The photos are so mouth-watering. It’s true, it’s hard to get good Pad Thai often. Making it at home is probably my best bet. That said, loved hearing about Vesak Day. Had no idea the majority are Buddhists. What a great celebration!

  • Thanks Lisa. I think I could eat Thai food every day and never get tired of the flavors. Actually because of this golden week holiday in Asia, I would completely avoid travel during these weeks to this side of the world. It is absolutely crazy Gridlock in China and Hong Kong… Maybe it would be more pleasant in Thailand.

  • A perfect post – it’s morning here and now I fancy Pad Thai, the flavours are so distinct. I’ve been using a Mai Kaidee recipe for a while (we had lessons in Bangkok 🙂 ), but I’m going to have to give yours a go, I notice you add oyster sauce so that will change things around a bit. I hop eyou have a great weekend 🙂

    • It is amazing how each area in Thailand makes Pad Thai a little different. Each region has a little area of speciality. China is a good example of this with all their regions specialities. Take Care, BAM

  • Your first photo is stunning, BAM, and I love Pad Thai…really any Thai food and especially this dish and the curries. I like that you customize yours for each person, my husband won’t eat shrimp, so that would be necessary at my house. Great post!

    • Thank you. That photo was a pure happy accident! My teenagers are picky so that is where the customization is really helpful.

  • I have only recently discovered Thai cusine and I am in love, the combination of flavors is so unique and I can’t wait to try this recipe

    • Once you try Thai cuisine, you will be hooked forever. Take care, BAM

  • I love pad Thai. It is so delicious! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Your very welcome. Make your self some soon. Take care, BAM

  • I have made pad thai at home; but it was pretty involved 🙂 So I tend to just get them. Yours look beautiful.

    • It is not too bad but you just have to have everything organized, chopped and ready to go for the quick stirfry. Prep takes the longest but the stir fry is less than 2 minutes. Take care, BAM

  • Our city is so small… when the first Thai restaurant opened, it was run by friends of ours.. so that’s where we went.. and we still go there for the best Thai food. So I’ve never had “bad Pad”;) Those Tamarine are very neat looking.. I’ve never cooked with it, with my luck, it won’t be found here… I’d love to be able to make my own! Happy Birthday to Buddha!!!

    • That is very fun. You can be frequent patrons. I usually buy the dried tamarind and then soak but in Asian food stores you can also buy tamarind paste. Take care, BAM

  • Jo-Lyn

    MMMMMMM……Shrimp! Get in mah Bellee!!!!

    • Hello Jo-Lyn. I will make one for you right away-shrimp it is… Take Care, BAM

  • Makes me think a bit of Bibam Bap, from the individual preferences right down to the egg added at the last minute and stirred in. Do your teens realized how blessed they are to have you meeting their culinary needs?!

    • Yes the concept is very similar for personalization. Blessed or maybe I will say they are turning into culinary snobs and they feel offended if their food is not photographed before they get to eat it. LOL

  • Oh Bobbi you’re making me hungry in the middle of the night! I am so craving for pad thai right now – thankfully I’m heading to Bangkok next month so I can finally satisfy my pad thai cravings!

    • Sawadee Ka Jasline. Have a great time in Thailand. If you get a chance, take a cooking class. So very fun and informative. Take Care, BAM

  • We love Thai food and just last night I ate pad thai. Thanks so much for sharing this recipe because I cannot wait to try it out. It looks amazing!

    • Thank you Asmita. I have not met too many people that do not like Thai food. There is a little of something for everyone. Have a great day. BAM

  • Sounds like a meal time at our place: “I don’t like prawns”, “Can I have extra tomatoes please” “No chilli for me” – Thai is one of my favourite foods, so no wonder you can’t get enough!

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