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Recipe: Pad Thai

2008 November 12
by rob

Being that I’ve cooked pad thai for so many people during my current two month stay in Canada, I’ve decided to post the recipe here. It’s very similar to the recipe that I followed when I learned how to make it in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Here’s the website for the particular cooking class I went to in Thailand. It was really good!


The quantities of ingredients are approximate since I generally add ingredients in an approximate way.

eggs – 1 per person
rice stick noodles – Should be the kind that are flat, white, and translucent. One package of noodles serves about five or six people.
small red chilies – Most people prefer “1 chili” of spiciness. the “Rob” level of spiciness is about “3 chilis”. Ensure the chili is chopped up into tiny pieces.
tamarind sauce – About 3 big spoolfuls per serving. If tamarind sauce is not available, then you can substitute with white vinegar and lemon juice
soy sauce
bean sprouts
green onions – Chopped up
extra firm tofu – Cut into small cubes. One standard sized block of tofu serves about four people.
crushed peanuts or cashews – About one handful per serving
garlic – About one clove per person (to taste). Cut up very finely.
cooking oil

You’ll also need a big wok and spatula for stir frying, a bowl to soak noodles in, and some method of crushing the nuts (mortar and pestle / bag and hammer).

This recipe can be made vegan by removing the eggs. I’m not sure of a good substitute for them.

The tofu could be replaced with chicken or shrimp, if desired.


Before Cooking
1. Soak the noodles in warm water to soften then.
2. Heat up oil in wok on medium heat.

Preparing Each Serving – each serving is made individually
1. Fry tofu cubes until each cube is brown and crunchy on the outside
2. Add garlic and chili and fry a bit.
3. Make space in wok, add an egg, scramble and mix.
4. Add a handful or two of noodles.
5. Pour tamarind sauce and soy sauce on noodles and mix it all up and fry for a bit. Depending on the saltiness of the soy sauce, you can add some salt as well.
6. Add green onions, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and mix up and fry for a short bit.
7. You’re done! Serve the food.

10 Responses leave one →
  1. Meps permalink
    November 30, 2008

    Meps’s Added Recipe Hints:

    1) If you use tamarind concentrate, you might want to reduce the amount used — it’s really friggin strong. It’s also very clumpy and sticky.

    2) Take time to properly fry the tofu or it’ll just end up weird

    3) Eggs fry quickly in a hot pan, you might want them pre-scrambled before putting them in pan or stir quickly!

    4) Don’t add too much soya sauce — especially if it’s salty; and if it is salty, don’t add salted peanuts, even if that’s the only kind you have in your house.

    5) If you decide to make 1 REALLY big serving (i.e. 3 servings), make sure you have a REALLY big pan, ’cause it sucks trying to get tofu out from between the stove and cupboards where it fell while you were trying to stir.

    6) If at first you fail horribly and have no idea what you are eating, see if you can sucker Rob into cooking for you.

    Which, brings me to the conclusion. . . Oh, Robbie, my friend, feel like cooking for me?


  2. Rob Szumlakowski permalink
    November 30, 2008

    All valid comments. I’m happy to make pad thai for people.

    I always make one serving at once (though it’s kinda on the big side), so I don’t have so much of a problem with flying tofu.

    I think frying the tofu well first is like the key step that makes the pad thai super.

  3. Kasia permalink
    January 6, 2012

    This looks amazing. I also have a really hard time with the rice stick noodles… If I use warm water they never soften, if I put hot water they get mushy. . . any tips?

  4. January 15, 2012

    I put them in boiling hot water, but I take them out after only about two minutes. They take a very short amount of time to cook.

  5. Alex permalink
    October 12, 2012

    Would it work if I used satay-marinated tofu, instead of plain?

  6. October 12, 2012

    Yeah, probably. It would taste more Indonesian than Thai, but I think it would still taste good. That’s really the most important thing.

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