Shrimp Pad Thai
Weeknight easy meal meets OMG yummy! Better than Takeout, One Skillet Pad Thai with Shrimp, veggies, homemade Pad Thai Sauce.
Posted By Savita
Shrimp Pad Thai, a takeout favorite Shrimp and Noodles main course with signature sweet and sour Pad Thai sauce, and roasted peanuts. My homemade Pad Thai has hidden serving of veggies, flavor just like takeout and is so easy to make you will even serve it on weeknights!
In summers, we cook a lot with Shrimp. But don't worry if you looking to use other protein. Try Chicken Pad Thai, Tofu Pad Thai, or even all veggie Pad Thai. (Only make sure to cook your favorite protein fully in place of Shrimp in Step 3.)
So, what do you say? Let's devour some Pad Thai!?
What is your favorite about Pad Thai in Thai restaurants?
I don't have one favorite but three!
For me, a good Pad Thai is about:
1) Pad Thai Sauce with sweet and tangy tamarind flavor,
2) Crushed Roasted Peanuts (stress is on roasted)
3) and Slurp-y Rice Noodles (can never go wrong wth these).
You'll be surprised if I say, when it comes to Pad Thai any protein works for me. Shrimp, tofu, chicken.. give me anything. Even no protein is fine as long as Pad Thai is spot-on delicious.
There is something about sweet and sour tamarind sauce, and those roasted nutty peanuts that makes Pad Thai so yummy! Oh, and the splash of lime juice just seals the deal. When you try this recipe for Pad Thai, I highly recommend using both tamarind in sauce and splash of lime when serving. If you have not tried before... I'm sure you will love this combination.
Pad Thai sauce may look complex dish when it comes out, hot in plate at Thai Eateries. Actually, it is very easy to make at home. No need to buy ready-to-go PAd Thai sauces. Make it at home with few simple ingredients such as tamarind, soy sauce, chili paste, sugar, and fish sauce.
Tamarind: Tamarind can be too sour to taste if you trying first time. Best way to get perfect flavor of Pad Thai is to balance the flavor of sauce before adding to noodles. After mixing sauce, taste it. If sauce is too sour, add more sugar or some honey to ton down a bit. Sauce will still be strong at this point. Don't add too much sugar. Leave sauce a little strong tangy, it will taste good when mixed with noodles.
Note: If you can't find tamarind. Check notes for substitutes.
Heat: 1/2 tsp sambal paste keeps sauce mild spicy. We like spicy food, so we add up to 1.5 tsp or more. I recommend to adjust per taste. You can also keep it less spicy, then add more chili paste when eating like served in Thai Restaurants.
To make Pad Thai, I start by soaking the noodles in hot water. This is an important step to get texture of noodles just like Thai restaurants. Soak noodles in water until these are just soft but not mushy. I soak noodles in water just before starting to mix the sauce, and heat pan to cook shrimp. This way noodles gets just soft and still have bite when cooked in sauce.
Rice noodles, just like other noodles soak-up liquid when left long cooked. I Pad Thai noodles coated in sauce. To get this result, I add some chicken stock/vegetable stock in sauce while cooking. A little bit of liquid goes long way and noodles do not dry out.
Note in pictures, I had to leave noodles in pan for long to click pictures when noddles soaked some extra liquid. When you prepare Pad Thai at home. Take it off heat after cooking and serve immediately to get the real Pad Thai sauce experience.
When ready to cook, I first saute shrimp until it is pink from both sides. I used no eggs in this recipe. If you want to add eggs. Add after removing shrimp from pan. Don't forget to season with salt and black pepper.
After shrimp has cooked, I add in Pad Thai main ingredients: noodles and sauce. Noodles cook in sauce briefly until sauce thickens-up slightly. Next, I add veggies (pre-shredded) and sprouts with shrimp. Heat it through. Top with peanuts and enjoy!
When I make Pad Thai at home, I stir-fry big bowl of shredded veggies with the noodles for good serving of veggies with delicious Thai noodles. Shredded veggies don't need a lot of cooking. A quick toss is enough and it keeps veggie crunchy to compliment the rice noodles.
Serving Suggestions: Serve with lots of crushed peanuts, and lime juice (even when using tamarind). These two bring out the flavor of Pad Thai sauce. Side of sambal chili paste or pickled chilies is even better. (use as per taste)
I hope you'll enjoy it as much as we do. I can tell you it tastes so good, you will make it at home often.
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Shrimp Pad Thai
- 1 tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1/4 Cup Brown Sugar (adjust per taste)
- 1 tbsp Tamarind (tamarind paste)
- 1.5 tbsp Fish Sauce
- 1/2 tsp Sambal Chili Paste
- 1/2 lbs Shrimp (15-16, large shrimp, cleaned)
- 5 Rice Noodles
- 1 tbsp Cooking Oil
- Cilantro (for serving)
- 1/4 Cup Chicken Stock (or vegetable stock (low sodium))
- Mix Vegetables (or handful bean sprouts, or both (I used shredded pre-cut veggies which cook fatser))
- 1/2 Cup Peanuts (roasted, crushed)
- 1-2 Lime (sliced into wedges)
Pad Thai Sauce
Shrimp Pad Thai
1. Mix tamarind paste with 2-3 tbsp of water. Set aside. Bring pot of water to rolling boil. Remove from heat, add dry noodles in water. Leave aside to soak while you prepare rest of ingredients.
2. In a medium bowl, microwave chicken stock for 30 seconds. Remove, add Pad Thai sauce ingredients: soy sauce, brown sugar, *tamarind, fish sauce and chili paste. Mix well until sugar and tamarind has dissolved.
3. Heat a wide skillet on medium-high heat. Add oil. When oil is hot, add shrimp, season with pinch of salt. Cook until shrimp is pink from both side. (2-3 minute each side) Remove shrimp in a bowl when ready.
4. Add rice noodles in now empty (heating) skillet with pad Thai sauce. Cook noodles in sauce on medium heat 2-3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly. (don't let liquid dry out). Now, add shrimp, veggies, sprouts (if using). Toss everything until veggies and shrimp have just warmed-up. (about 1 minute). Remove skillet from heat. Taste and adjust seasoning. (salt, lime juice)
5. Transfer Pad Thai to serving platter. Top with half of roasted and crushed peanuts, and chopped fresh cilantro. Serve lime wedges on side. Serve and enjoy!
*Tamarind: Tamarind can be too sour to taste if you trying first time. Best way to get perfect Pad Thai is to balance the taste of sauce. After mixing sauce, taste. If sauce is too sour, add more sugar or some honey to ton down a bit. Sauce will be strong at this point. Don't add too much sugar though. Leave sauce a little strong tangy, it will taste good when mixed with noodles.
*Heat: 1/2 tsp sambal paste keeps sauce mild spicy. We personally like spicy food, so we add up to 1.5 tsp or more. Adjust per taste. You can also more chili paste when eating ( per taste) like served in Thai Restaurants.
Tamarind Substitute: If you can't find tamarind, use lime juice. It is close alternative to make Pad Thai without tamarind.
Serving Tip: Serve with lots of crushed peanuts, and lime juice (even when using tamarind). These two bring out the flavor of Pad Thai sauce. Side of sambal chili paste or pickled chilies is even better. (use per taste)
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