Shrimp Pad Thai

by Ginny on March 19, 2011

This sweet and sour stir-fried noodle dish comes together quickly, so be sure you have everything ready before you fire up the stove. Authentic Pad Thai uses ingredients like dried shrimp, tamarind paste, and pickled radish, but in the interest of accessibility, I have adapted the ingredients for the North American kitchen.


  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined, tails removed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon Mirin (optional)
  • 8 oz. rice stick noodles, preferably flat, linguine or fettuccine width
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium shallot, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts, plus extra for garnish
  • 5 green onions, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 3/4 cup toasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves (optional)
  • Lime wedges, for garnish

For the Sauce:

  • 1/4 cup chili sauce (like Heinz)
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce* (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce

1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small mixing bowl, whisk until sugar is dissolved and set aside.

2. In a separate small bowl combine eggs and mirin (if using) and whisk gently with a fork. Set aside.

3. Prepare noodles according to package instructions, cooking only until al dente– noodles will finish cooking when stir-fried with the sauce, and overcooked noodles will fall apart upon stir-frying. Rinse with cool water, drain and set aside.

4. Heat a large wok or deep skillet over medium-high or high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and heat until shimmery. Toss in minced garlic and shallot and saute 1 minute (they should sizzle loudly) or until fragrant. Add shrimp, sprinkle with sea salt (to taste),  and stir-fry 2 to 3 minutes, or until shrimp has turned pink and is beginning to brown around the edges. Remove to a plate and set aside.

5. Reduce heat to medium. Add egg to pan and cook, stirring, just until scrambled, about 1 minute. Add noodles and sauce to pan, return heat to high, toss until noodles are evenly coated with sauce, about 1 minute. Add prepared shrimp and any remaining juices to pan along with the mung bean sprouts, two-thirds of the chopped green onion, 2/3 of the chopped peanuts, and 2/3 of the fresh cilantro (if using). Stir-fry the mixture, tossing constantly, 2 to 3 minutes or until noodles are tender and have absorbed the sauce. If pan becomes too dry, add a splash of water. Reduce heat if pan begins to scorch.

6. Taste and add additional sea salt if necessary. Serve garnished with remaining peanuts, green onion, cilantro, mung bean sprouts, and lime wedges (if using).

*You may substitute 1 tablespoon anchovy paste, and 2 tablespoons soy sauce.

Serves 4

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