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Traditional Shrimp Pad Thai

An easy recipe for traditional shrimp pad thai made with tamarind concentrate, fish sauce, and palm sugar for the sauce, as well as bean sprouts, tofu, plump shrimp, and egg.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Asian
Keyword Pad Thai, Shrimp Recipes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 people


For the Sauce

  • 4 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup palm sugar, shaved
  • 3 tbsp tamarind concentrate (use more for a tarter sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp dark soy sauce

For the Pad Thai

  • 3 tbsp cooking oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 knob (1/2 inch) ginger, sliced thinly
  • 10 shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup firm tofu, cubed
  • 2 large eggs, whisked
  • 8 oz dried rice noodles, soaked in warm water for 30 minutes
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 4 green onions (scallions), cut into sticks
  • 2 tbsp toasted peanuts, crushed

For Serving

  • lime wedges
  • bean sprouts
  • peanuts, crushed
  • chili flakes (optional)


  • Soak the rice stick noodles in a bowl of warm water for 30 minutes, or until they are softened. Drain before cooking. Reserve some of the water for later use.

Make the Pad Thai Sauce

  • In a small saucepan, heat the tamarind concentrate, shaved palm sugar, fish sauce, and dark soy sauce over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes until the sugar has dissolved.
    Remove from heat.
    Give it a taste, and adjust the flavor as needed. For a more tart sauce, add more tamarind. For a sweeter sauce, add more palm sugar.
    Set aside for later.

Cook the Pad Thai

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil and swirl to coat the skillet completely. Add the garlic, shallots, and ginger and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and tofu and cook, stirring, until the shrimp turns slightly pink, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Make a well in the center of the skillet, and add the eggs. Let the edges set, about 20 seconds. Then lightly scramble. Combine with the other ingredients in the pan for another minute.
  • Add the drained rice noodles and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes until the noodles start to soften up. Then, add the Pad Thai sauce and fold until the sauce is absorbed, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the bean sprouts, green onions, and crushed peanuts. Toss well to combine all the ingredients together.
    If your Pad Thai is drier than you like, add some of the noodle soaking water, one tablespoon at a time.
    Turn off heat and serve immediately.

Serve Your Pad Thai

  • Serve your Pad Thai with a side of bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, a lime edge, and chili flakes (to make it spicy).