Phad Thai Recipe

Seems so simple yet so subtle. The hardest thing I’ve made – most recipes are absurdly bad – ketchup, soy sauce… This one takes the insight and style from many different recipes. Mine’s gone from inedible to damn good. I offered to take Scout out tonight and she wanted this instead. It’s still a work in progress.

This makes two servings, multiply for more

Unlike most recipes, really don’t skip anything, it just doesn’t work.

  • about 8 oz tofu, chicken, whatever
  • 7 ounces 3mm rice noodles – a little less than half a pack
  • 2 TB oil
  • small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • about two garlic-clove size pieces of ginger
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons dried shrimp – minced
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce (don’t be scared, just do it)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar – mix with a little water
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce – adjust for spiciness
  • some black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons tamarind paste
  • about 1/2 cup stock – chicken or veggie
  • about 1/2 cup rough chopped cilantro
  • 1 lime


  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 2 TB crushed peanuts
  • Some sliced scallion
  • Sliced Thai chilies

Soak the noodles in hot water for about 20 minutes
Brown the chicken or tofu
Cut 1/2 of the lime into nice slices

Heat oil and add the onion until it’s clear.
Add the garlic and cook a bit.
Add the minced ginger.
Split that in half in the pan and scramble half with the eggs, leave half as is.
Mix the chicken or tofu with the non-egg half.
Don’t have to worry about separating once the eggs are scrambled in.
Add the paprika, dried shrimp, Sriracha, tamarind, pepper, sugar. Stir it up
Turn the heat all the way up.
Add the noodles, a little stock, and stir.
It will get dry and the noodles will be too firm.
Let it brown just a bit, then add some stock and stir it around.
Repeat until it’s done – around 3 min. Noodles will be just right.
This part is an art – noodles a little browned and crispy in spots, yet moist.
Take it off the heat.
I mash the two chunks of ginger in a garlic press over it all.
Juice the lime half with a fork and scrape the pulp into it.
Add half the cilantro and stir it all up.

Serve each plate with the garnish ingredients:

A quarter cup or so of peanut butter is a crowd-pleaser when mixed in with the noodles – makes it richer and just a little peanuty. Not the real recipe but people like it, especially the kids.


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