Stir Fried Rice Noodles, Bean Sprouts, Peanuts and Tamarind

Pad Thai


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes

    4 to 6

    servings as part of a multi-dish meal

Appears in

Stalls dot the streets in major cities like Bangkok but the best version of this famous Thai street food I found was in Lumnaria, in Lopburi province. At that stall, the jovial used a large wok to make giant batches for her clamoring fans. She started by combining small strips of chicken, shrimp or other meat with the garlic in the first stage of the stir-fry. This was counter-intuitive, since many cooks fry aromatics alone first. Add chicken, shrimp or other meat to this dish if you wish.

Something that may surprise you is that Pad Thai stalls don’t always use a wok many often employ large flat griddles for cooking Pad Thai, pre-seasoned noodles of various shapes are at the ready, kept warm. Place your order, a portion slides into the hot spot, and the stir-frying commences. Like much of Thai cooking: no wok, no problem. Use a sauté pan for equally authentic results. Additional crunchy raw bean sprouts, dry-roasted peanuts, lime wedges, and ground chilies are served on the side, allowing the guest to customize the texture and flavor to taste.

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  • ½ lb.(227 g.) Dried flat rice noodles, ¼ inch (0.6 cm.) wide
  • ¼ cup Fish Sauce (nabm pla)
  • 2 Tbsp. Tamarind pulp
  • ¼ cup Light brown palm sugar
  • 2 to 3 tsp. Ground roasted Dried red chilies
  • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Minced, shallots
  • 2 Tbsp. Chopped, garlic
  • 2 large Eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. Chopped dried shrimp
  • ¾ cup Pressed bean curd, small strips, about ¼ × ¼ × 2-inch (.6 × .6 × 5 cm) strips
  • 1 Tbsp. Shredded salted radish, rinsed briefly
  • 1 cup Chinese chives, cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm.) lengths (or substitute scallion greens)
  • 2 cup Bean sprouts, trimmed (divided use)
  • ½ cup Peanuts, roasted in dry pan, chopped (divided use)
  • 2 medium Limes, cut into wedges
  • 2 Tbsp. Ground roasted Dried chilies
  1. Set up ingredients: Soak the noodles in room temperature water for 30 minutes; drain well. Whisk together the fish sauce, tamarind, palm sugar, and chilies. Get everything else lined up in the order they are needed (since this stir-frying goes very quickly).
  2. Stir-fry the noodles: Heat wok over high heat, add oil (it should barely smoke); add the shallots; cook until they begin to brown. Add garlic; cook until golden brown. Add drizzle more oil if necessary, and then add the eggs, spreading them with a spatula to create flat omelet. Break the egg up into bite size pieces, then stir in the dried shrimp, bean curd, radish, and soaked noodles. Coat these ingredients with the oil, and stir-fry 30 seconds.
  3. Add the seasonings: Add fish sauce mixture and stir-fry until the noodles are tender, adding small additions of water as necessary to soften the noodles (this can take from ½-1 cup water). Fold in the Chinese chives, 1½ cups of bean sprouts, and ¼ cup of peanuts. Cook for 10 seconds to soften bean sprouts. Taste and adjust seasoning with fish sauce, tamarind and/or sugar.
  4. Transfer to platter: Garnish with remaining bean sprouts, peanuts, ground dried chilies and lime wedges