Pad Thai

I always thought of my Indian palate as having a well accommodating leeway for chilies used in any cuisine, till the day I stepped in for the first time to a Thai restaurant and valorously announced to the lady who was managing our table that I will have my plate of stir fry ( It was something like Pad Bai Gra Prow !!!) at its spiciest best. I learned two good lessons that day.

1) I am not as good as I thought with Thai red chilies.
2) You don’t have to be “hot” all the time; there are days in your life when you can be content just by being ‘medium”!

Ever since that incident I am trying to be humble when picking my levels and my admiration for Thai cuisine has grown beyond my own expectations.

Pad Thai is one Thai dish that I prepare often, as the recipe is devoid of hard to find fresh herbs or spice blends. This recipe treads in between a milder version of Pad Thai as it is made in the streets of Thailand and a comparatively spicier preparation closer to what we find in the restaurants here.

1/2 lb Thin dried rice noodles
3 Tbsp fish sauce
3 Tbsp tamarind juice
2 Tbsp palm or coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 tbsp + 2 tsp peanut oil
11/2 cup fresh prawns, shelled, deveined
1 cup firm tofu, cut into thin I inch strips
Sweet Soy sauce – 1 tbsp (substitute with ½ tsp soy sauce and 1 tsp brown sugar)
4-5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
3 shallots, thinly sliced (or 1/4 cup finely chopped onion)
2 tbsp small dried shrimp
1-3 tsp ground dried red chilies, to desired hotness
3 eggs
3 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 cup garlic chives cut into 1 1/2-inch-long segments ( optional)

½ cup crushed unsalted roasted peanuts
1 lime, cut into small wedges
Cilantro – 2 tbsp
Green onions cut into thin 1 inch long pieces – ½ cup

Soak the dried rice noodles in warm water for 30 minutes or till the noodles are limp but firm to the touch. Drain and keep. Mix tofu strips with sweet soy sauce and marinate for 10 minutes. Mix together, fish sauce, tamarind juice and palm sugar. Stir well to dissolve sugar. Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok till smoking hot. Stir fry prawns at high heat for 2 minutes. Sprinkle some fish sauce and remove from wok. Add the remaining oil to wok; add tofu and stir fry till the pieces are golden brown. Add garlic, shallots, and dried shrimp, stir fry for a minute. Add ground chilies, stir well, and add the noodles. Stir-Fry for 2 more minutes, move the mixture to the sides of the wok. Heat 1 tsp oil in the center of the wok, add beaten eggs to the center, and scramble lightly till the eggs are cooked. Mix in with the noodles. Add the sweet and sour sauce mix; stir well to coat the noodles. If the noodles are still firm to touch, add 2 tbsp water and cook for an extra minute. Add garlic chives, cut green onions and fry for 1 more minute. Remove from fire, serve hot topped with crushed peanuts and chopped green onions. . Serve with a cup of bean sprouts, and couple of lemon wedges. Servings -- 3

Recipe adapted from and


Krithika said...

Great pic ! I am trying to imagine the taste without fish sauce, prawns etc.. My husband makes great pad thai of course the vegetarian version. Maybe I should try your version with veges. Thanks for sharing

Anonymous said...

Hey thats a good one. Looks authentic. Do you have any suggestions for a vegetarian version? What can I substitute fish sauce with? Or can it be omitted. We used to have this from restaurants and my hubby likes it. But recently came to know it contains fish sauce and not been eating it :-(

starry said...

I love Thai food and am definitely going to try this one.thanksfor sharing.This is something even my husband would love..looks yummy.

Anonymous said...

The Pics. are awesome. Like otheres I am also imagining a veggie version of this..

wheresmymind said...

I love Pad Thai, but I so cannot stand the smell of fish sauce!

Anonymous said...

It looks great!!!I am a padthai fan too...pad thai and chicken satay are my favorite dishes in thai cuisine...beautiful pic!!!

Meena Kandlakuti said...


your recipes are all unique.They are really good.Photographs , i should say amazing.Colors , lighting everything.I will try out this recipe.Thank you for sharing archana.

Rajesh &Shankari said...

Sea food and by products are out of question for me, can you provide a recipe without them pls pls pls

Vineela said...

Hi Archana,
I love to do this version with vegetables.
thnak sfor sharing.

Priya Bhaskaran said...

Archana, this is one blog I visit to admire the pictures and the way to you decorate food:) I think I can give a try to this recipe:) You doing good job archana---keep up the good work:) I just love your blog:)

Sudha said...

Lovely post archana...This is somthing very new to me..thanks for sharing..

Nabeela said...

I know what you mean about thai chillies. I tried my hand at it and cried miserably too. In fact, I can't even stand this hot habarnero salsa we recently bought from a farmer's market. I always though Indians liked it hot...but Asians and Mexicans like it hotter!

Praveena said...

Great pictures! I too am wondering if I could make this vegetarian!

KA said...

Looks absolutely delicious!! I can almost smell the goodness from here :-)

Priya said...

You just make wonders girl!!! I love thai food and it looks so autentic.
Thaks for sharing...

Prema Sundar said...

Lovely presentation Archana!!!

Chandrika said...

Hm...Looks very appetising...Thank you Archana..

Anonymous said...

I guess all of us have made the mistak e of ordering 'extra hot' only to find out that we are not the only ones that do 'hot'. A very humbling experience indeed.

indosungod said...

Absolutely gorgeous PadThai, Thai food is one of my favourites any time. I read somewhere that you can judge the quality of food at a Thai restaurant by tasting their PadThai

Anonymous said...

Looks just delicious Archana, and I love your platter with the bamboo edging -- just perfect for this dish.

Thanks for sharing this :)

Gattina Cheung said...

Lovely lovely!!! Your noodles look so beautiful and authentic! Yes their red chillies are killing...

archana said...

Fish sauce substitute : 1 tsp miso paste (fermented soy paste), 1 small clove of crushed garlic with skin, 1/2 tsp soy sauce. Mix and keep for 10-20 minutes.

I wrote this down a while ago from a website or a magazine. I have never made it, but i guess the earthy taste of Miso along with garlic and Soy sauce might work well as a substitute.

Thank you. Have you used any other fish sauce substitutes? If you have, please share it with us.

Thank you. I make veg Pad Thai with Tofu, mushroom,zuchhini, bell peppers, and snow peas. It tastes rich ( Sometimes i add fish sauce or completely omitt it) You could try out the substitute fish sauce when you make it next time.

Me too.... Thank you.

Thank you. Yes that will be splendid.

Same goes here too. Can't ever bring my nose near to an open bottle of fish sauce !

Thank you. OOOhhh, SATAY !!! Now we are talking !!! I love it.

Thank you, you are very kind.

What about a veg Pad Thai made with mock fish sauce and plenty of vegetables? Mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini or yellow squash, tofu and snow peas go very well in Pad Thai.

Please do try it out. Thank you friend.

Thank you so much, i am so excited to here these kind words.

Thank you dear.

I totally understand the situation. I bought a bottle of habanero chilly sauce once, and never dared to buy it again.Some of the Mexican and Thai peppers are hotter than our imagination.

Thank you. You can absolutely make it with your choice of vegetables.

Thank you so much friend.

Do I?? Really !!! Thank you dear.

Prema, Chandrika
Thanks a bunch, i am glad that you liked it.

Yes, will never know till we try it out !!! But we live and learn..

Thank you. I would think so too, atleast with the US-Thai restarants.

Thank you. I bought that salad plate from Target.

Thank you so much. Yes it is, but tempting too !!!

Menu Today said...

Hi Archana,
Nice picture, Congrats on winning My dabba (low Calorie) contest.

Gracio said...

Archana: this looks really yummy! Well taken pics too! Keep up the good work!;)

Reeta Skeeter said...

can sumbody gimme the vegetarian version plssssssssssss...... no egss... nothing.... no fish sauce... Gr8 pics once again... must say...

FH said...

OOOOHH!! I like your bamboo designed plate!! How very proper..:)

I never made Pad Thai before. I could try like Krithika without fish sauce or pwawns!! Oh well.. what's the point ? I give up and wait for your next recipe...LOL...


Anonymous said...

Hey Cake girl Congrats on winning My Dhaba's competition. Well deserved indeed. Treat venam tttooo...Oru virtual cake mathi treat aayittu :-))

Rajesh &Shankari said...

Congrats on winning the my dhaba competition, U sooooo deserve it

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Archana ! Well deserved one.

Orchidea said...

This is a great recipe! And very nice pictures.

Vineela said...

Hi Archana,
Congrats for winning the vkn's low calorie competition.
Happy weekend.

RP said...

Congrats on winning My dhaba's competition.
Hey, you won my guessing game too.
Pad Thai looks delicious.

Anonymous said...

Hi again Archana -- congratulations on your prize-winning recipe! :)

Anonymous said...

Archana, lovely pad thai! This will make a great Friday evening meal for us.

Maneka Nirmal said...

hey archana...we have a thai restaurant here in orlando and its very good..thanx for the recipe..

indianadoc said...

Ayyayyo,I missed this Pad thai...or else I cd have tried this than the biriyani...and with our recent romance with Thai food...I'm sure we wd have loved this...hmm...nex time...I have still more prawns in the freezer..thanx dear for the recipe.

indianadoc said...

Congrats!! Treat venam...Adichallo sammanam...ippozha kandathu!!Appo evideya varendathu treatinu?

FH said...


archana said...

Menu Today
Thank you MT for the support and encouragement.

Thank you so much.

Reeta Skeeter
Veg version should be fairly very easy to make with plenty of veggies and fake fish sauce.

Making this recipe is a breeze, a veg version is as good as this too.

Thank you dear. Sammanamayittu kuruchu banana halwa ayachuthannal mathram mathi. Thank you.

Shankari , Priya
Thank you so much friends.

Thanks a bunch.

Thank you friend.

Thank you. Yes, Evide ente sammanam for the guessing game ? Sent me my prize- a full tray of baked Rsamalai !!!

Thank you so much Linda

Thank you Manisha,I am glad that you liked it.

I love Thai food too. Thank you.

I am glad that you missed this yesterday, so that we got the recipe for your superb prawn biriyani. I hope you try this sometime. Thank you.

Thank you , thank you. Njan angottu vannolam, vallathum simple ayittu ( oru 5-10 dishes) undakki thannal mathi.

Thank you so much. We warmly reciprocate your good wishes. May all the joys be with you and your family

Shah cooks said...

congrats on winning the low cal comp. had to be you. u were a mile apart from the others. Nice recipe for need i say nice photo?:)

Mandira said...

Archana- First of all congrats on winning the VCC event. You truly deserve it. You Pad Thai looks great. And with your detailed description, I can try it at home now. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I just came back after vaccation and was so thrilled to see this Pad Thai..looks really really good.>Will be trying it out soon..And my heart felt Congrats for winning VCC,Archana.

KA said...

Hearty congratulations to you on winning the vcc-q2 2006 competetion!

Gattina Cheung said...

I've tagged you for Meme... see if you like to play :D

Anonymous said...

Great picture! I love thai food but haven't tried making at home. But for the first time am going to try your recipe.

Revathi said...

Wow wow wooow.. Where do u get the patience to slice the limes that thin!!! I always wanted a recipe for pad thai. Am going to try this out !!! Did i mention the pics looks AAAAAAAWWWWWEEEEEESOME !!!

Chandrika said...

Hi Archana!

I have recommended your blog for Blog Day 2006 at my blog.

archana said...

Shaheen,Mandira,Annita, K&A
Thank you friends for all the support and encouragement.

Sure i will. Thank you for tagging me,sounds interesting !

I am almost always hungry by 7am ! I hope you likes this recipe. Thank you.

Thanks a bunch.

Thank you. I use a fine serrated knife for thinly slicing lemons, it is easy.

Thank you, i truly appreciate this kind deed.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


MR said...

excellent photos!!
good recipe too,
Now when ever I feel like having pad thai instead of going to a Thai restuarant all I have to do is knock on your door!:)
check my blog, hoping to make it for the international festival .


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