Shrimp Pad Thai

August 20, 2010

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes: Thai food has never been so easy and quick! Bring the authentic taste of Thailand to your house with this simple and delicious Pad Thai!mtlabor

Serves: 2


  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 8 ounces thick rice noodles
  • 2 eggs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • small handful honey roasted peanuts, chopped
  • small handful cilantro, chopped
In This Recipe


  1. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, 2 tablespoons oil, and tamarind concentrate. Stir until sugar is dissolved and set aside.
  2. Soak the rice noodles in hot tap water for about 20 minutes, or until they start to soften but not fully tender. Drain and set aside.
  3. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt in a small bowl and set aside. (There's lots of things to set aside, aren't there? Makes it easier in the end because the cooking of this dish is fairly quick)
  4. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil under high heat for about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 to 3 minutes, or until the shrimp start to turn pink with browned edges. Remove shrimp and set aside.
  5. Add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet. Add garlic, shallot, and jalapeno. Cook over medium heat and stir continuously for about 1 minute. Add eggs to skillet and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until scrambled, about 30 seconds. Add the rice noodles and toss with tongs to combine. Pour the tamarind/fish sauce mixture over the noodles and increase the heat to high, continuing to toss the ingredients with the sauce.
  6. Add 1/2 of the chopped peanuts and cooked shrimp. Toss noodles for about 2 more minutes.
  7. Dish out onto hot plates and top with remaining peanuts and garnish with cilantro.

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Reviews (34) Questions (6)

34 Reviews

Christine C. June 26, 2018
This recipe is spot on! Used 4 tsp. of Neera's tamarind paste and the flavors came out just right.
Sofia B. May 8, 2018
Made this recipe yesterday after days thorough internet research. This one looked simple and delicious enough - and it really was. It took a bit of balancing between sugar and salt (I replaced the tamarind past for the lime/sugar combo too), but the end result was great. High on my recipe list now, thanks for this!
erin August 3, 2017
Such a pleasure and relief to finally find a recipe for this that tastes like the real thing (I mean, my claims to expert knowledge go only as far as eating it a billion times from takeouts so 'real' may be an overreach from me). It really benefits from lime at the end, and I added carrots and scallions.
NancyFromKona June 6, 2016
I doubled the recipe because I was feeding 3 adults and have A LOT of yummy leftovers. Used Thai Palm sugar which I think has a much better taste with nice caramel notes than plain white sugar and left out the garlic because one of us has an allergy to garlic but otherwise made the recipe as written and it could not have been better. Used the max recommended of the tamarind concentrate, Thai basil and Hawaiian hot chili pepper from the garden. This is SO much better, SO much cheaper and has SO much more shrimp than what we can get in the restaurants in our small town. Thank you SO much for this recipe. Hmmm maybe next time I'll serve it with baked tofu...
Melanie August 2, 2015
Made this tonite. It was yummy! Substituted the lime/br. sugar combo for the tamarind as suggested by others and it worked! Added leftover grilled shrimp from last night and some bean sprouts after 5. and before 6. Quick and easy Sunday night dinner.
Cliff A. June 13, 2015
Give it a dash of soy/tamari sauce at the end. Thai/Chinese fish sauce is Nam Pla. Try to get the real stuff. Consider using peanut oil for the larger amount and sesame oil for that last "remaining" tablespoon. Actually, rice noodles are pretty easy. Boil a pot of water, turn it off and add the noodles. They can sit in the warm water for a few minutes while you fry everything else. Drain before adding. You can also fry up whatever vegs you like first, set them aside, and add at the end (you may need to make more sauce. And a larger serving bowl!). I also like to add green onions with the shallots. We've been getting spring garlic shoots lately, and they're great in Asian food
Olga D. January 29, 2015
Yesterday I came home after a 15 days stay in Thailand. The food experience there was like WOW! Today I tried this recipe, adding some more seafood. DELICIOUS! Don't forget to serve it with some lime and of course a glass of white wine ;)
deblenares December 8, 2014
This was a huge hit! My very picky 9 yo gobbled it up. Thank you!
spaetzlegirl November 2, 2014
Great recipe - totally precludes the need to order takeout pad thai ever again. Threw in sliced red pepper after the garlic/shallots for some color and crunch, and served with bowl of bean sprouts to pile on with each plateful. Next time will also serve with some lime wedges, as inspired by other comments here.
Sheara October 15, 2014
I've tried to make pad thai before, but with little success. With a bit of my own tweaking, this recipe was great. Did not have the tamarind concentrate, so I used lime juice and brown sugar (a suggestion for a substitution). In fact I substituted brown sugar for the white sugar and used udon noodles. Really - very good.
cutthecarrot February 16, 2014
Made this tonight with paste reconstituted from the block of seedless tamarind, sauteed pressed and soy seasoned extra firm tofu instead of shrimp, and the addition of sliced green onions. This is going into the regular rotation around here, which is the mark of a truly good recipe. The sauce is what makes it. This dish reminds me far less oily good restaurant pad thai. Added bean sprouts and used regular peanuts instead of honey roasted. I'm so pleasantly surprised at how well this turned out and how little I need to mess with it. Was tempted to skimp on the sugar in the sauce, but didn't. It's good as is.
Jeannie E. December 4, 2013
Please give some specific brand names of the "thick rice noodles" you recommend. Photos would be even better. I am unfamiliar enough with rice noodles that when I use them, I always seem to undercook or overcook them. Often the 20 min. "soak" does too much good...or not enough...and either way I end up with a glutinous mess! Thanks.
juliunruly October 23, 2013
Delicious and simple! I used some red Thai chilies from the garden, and served with a squeeze of lime. Just as good as pad thai I've had in restaurants. I bought bean sprouts to mix in, but forgot about them. I'll add them next time, and maybe some tofu as well.
beejay45 June 8, 2013
I am so hungry, and this looks divine. I have everything I need...if I jut have the right noodles. Thanks so much for streamlining this!
stephanieRD May 5, 2013
Wow, made this for dinner tonight. It was great! I added bean sprouts and some tofu in place of some of the shrimp. Didn't have peanuts on hand, but it was still awesome! Only thing I would change is use a little less tamarind paste next time (used about 1 and 1/3 Tb today). Thank you so much for sharing this recipe! I can now make a Thai noodle dish at home :)
Island F. July 3, 2012
It turned out great - a new favorite! Thanks for the recipe. <br />
Waverly May 29, 2012
I can't wait to cook this! Thank you for the recipe.
molly's K. February 15, 2012
This recipe was excellent and will certainly be on high rotation now! Thanks so much!
borntobeworn January 29, 2012
I made this last night and it was delicious! Really restaurant worthy :)
KFS January 11, 2012
Just tried this and it was amazing...didnt have the peanuts so used cashews and added a sqeeze of lime at the finish...Thank you for this