Perfect pad Thai



30 min


1 h


8 Servings

Perfect pad Thai

© Royalty-Free/Masterfile

Recreate this mouth-watering takeout staple in just a few simple steps. Don’t be daunted by the ingredients list.


  • 1/2 454-g pkg rice-stick noodles , about 1/2 in. wide
  • 1 tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 350-g pkg extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup bottled tamarind paste , (for substitution see "Secrets from the chef"
  • 2 limes , or 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 340-g pkg peeled raw shrimp , preferably medium
  • 1 red pepper , thinly sliced
  • 3 eggs , beaten
  • 3 green onions , thinly sliced
  • 1 handful bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup peanuts , finely chopped


  • Fill a large bowl with boiling water. Add noodles, separating as you add. Soak, stirring occasionally to separate noodles, just until tender to the bite, 15 to 22 min. Drain well, then toss with sesame oil. Soaking noodles instead of boiling them gives a tender texture that’s not mushy.
  • To draw excess liquid from tofu, remove from package, wrap in a clean tea towel and place on a large plate. Cover with another plate and weigh down with a heavy can. Let stand 15 min. Cut into small cubes. Meanwhile, place tamarind paste in a medium bowl. Squeeze in 2 tbsp (30 mL) juice from limes, then add cilantro, chili-garlic sauce and sugar.
  • Pour fish sauce into a medium bowl. Slice chicken into thin bite-sized strips. Add to fish sauce. Toss to coat. Heat vegetable oil in a very large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high. When hot, add chicken and fish sauce. Stir-fry until cooked through, 5 min. Turn into a large bowl. (At each stage of cooking, add oil to pan if needed.) Add shrimp and pepper. Stir-fry until shrimp are pink, 3 min. Add to bowl with chicken. Stir-fry tofu until warm and lightly golden, 2 to 3 min. Turn into bowl with chicken and shrimp. Add eggs. Stir often, until eggs are scrambled and cooked but not dry, about 1 min. Add to cooked ingredients in bowl.
  • Turn drained noodles into pan. Pour tamarind and lime-juice sauce overtop. Cook, stirring frequently to coat, until hot, 1 to 3 min. Turn ingredients in bowl over noodles. Sprinkle with green onions, then toss to mix. If pan is too full, turn noodles and sauce into a bowl and toss with tongs or a fork and spoon. Taste and add more fish sauce or chili-garlic sauce, if you like. Serve topped with bean sprouts and peanuts. Great with lime wedges.

Nutrition (per serving)

  • Calories
  • 401,
  • Protein
  • 27 g,
  • Carbohydrates
  • 38 g,
  • Fat
  • 16 g,
  • Fibre
  • 3 g,
  • Sodium
  • 664 mg.

Secrets from the chef


Although ketchup is a common replacement for tamarind paste, we prefer this tasty mixture: 1/4 cup (50 mL) tomato paste, 2 tbsp (30 mL) rice vinegar or freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice, 2 tbsp (30 mL) Worcestershire, 2 garlic cloves, minced, 1 tbsp (15 mL) brown sugar and 1 tbsp (15 mL) water.