Perfect pad Thai

Perfect pad Thai

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(14 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 10 mins


Serves 4

Toss plump prawns and beansprouts with rice noodles in this authentic, yet quick and easy version of a takeaway favourite

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal521
  • fat13g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs77g
  • sugars27g
  • fibre1g
  • protein25g
  • salt4.2g
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  • 250g dried rice noodle (also called rice sticks)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 Thai bird's-eye chillies (or 2 thumb-sized), deseeded and finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp palm sugar or soft brown sugar
  • 6 tbsp tamarind paste mixed with 3 tbsp water
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
    Fish sauce

    Fish sauce

    A seasoning often used in Vietnamese and Thai cooking. In Vietnam it is usually made from shrimp…

  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 300g peeled raw prawns, deveined



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…

  • 3 eggs, beaten



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition packed with protein and a…

  • 100g fresh beansprouts


    been sp-rowts

    The two most common beansprouts are the green-capped mung bean

  • 2 tbsp preserved or pickled turnips, finely chopped



    Turnips are creamy-white with a lovely purple, red or greenish upper part where the taproot has…

  • ½ small pack chives, snipped into 2½ cm/1in pieces

To serve

  • roasted and ground peanuts, optional
  • lime wedges, optional



    The same shape, but smaller than…

  • coriander leaves, optional


  1. First, soak the noodles. If they are long, break them into 15cm-long pieces. Place in a large bowl and cover with warm water. Leave for 10 mins so they start to soften, but no longer. You want them to be firm when you cook them, otherwise they'll go soggy.

  2. Next, make the sauce. Put 1 tbsp of the oil in a wok. Keep the heat low and add the garlic and chilli. Stir for 2-3 mins, then add the palm sugar, tamarind, fish sauce and soy sauce. Keep stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Pour into a bowl and clean the wok.

  3. You will need to make the pad Thai in 2 batches so that the wok cooks everything quickly and at a high heat. Have all your ingredients ready to go. Pour a little more oil into the clean wok and heat until hot. Add half the prawns, cook for 1 min, then push to the side. Add half the beaten eggs, leave to set for 1 min, then scramble. Add half the noodles, beansprouts and pickled turnip, if using. Stir constantly, using 2 long spoons, heating the noodles through. Pour in half the sauce and keep stir-frying until absorbed, then stir in half the chives. Tip onto 2 plates and top with half the peanuts, lime wedges and coriander.

  4. Clean out the wok and pour in the remaining oil. Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Cathy Thorpe's picture
Cathy Thorpe
16th Feb, 2020
Way too much fish sauce, could only taste salt
2nd May, 2017
IT'S CLEARLY A TYPO, PEOPLE! Use 6 TEASPOONS of tamarind paste, NOT 6 tablespoons...
Minoo's picture
2nd Mar, 2017
Wasn't too keen on this, as I love spicy food and have enjoyed pad thai many times. The problem was that the sauce that contained all the spice and flavor was really thick (even though I added extra water) and overwhelmingly strong, to the extent that I wonder whether the recipe got the proportions wrong. Should the tamarind measures be in teaspoons, not tablespoons? I'd even made my own tamarind paste which I found is usually a bit milder than the pre-made ones and it was still too strong.
Sebastien Chastain
22nd Feb, 2017
Disgusting. 6 Tablespoons of Tamarind paste is a vile amount to add, the final sauce is horribly sour. There's no saving it at that point, it's completely inedible. Pick a different recipe with a more restrained amount of tamarind.
23rd Oct, 2016
Disgusting ! 6 spoons tamarind is way too much. We only put 4 and it was not good at all. You can only taste the tamarind. If you check there is other recipe.
25th Apr, 2016
Did anyone else find the sauce very dark and strong with tamarind? 6 tbsp felt too much and made it taste very strong...
4th May, 2016
Yes, totally agree. Amount of tamarind is too much, giving the sauce an extremely sour flavour. Also the sauce is too much, noodles are soaked in it and it doesn't look very appetizing - dark brown.
16th Aug, 2015
Perfect. This was a great recipe. I used three chicken breasts instead of prawns as my children don't like prawns. Pad Thai is their restaurant favourite, and they declared this up to restaurant standard. I really liked it myself too. I used ready to wok noodles - 3 portions = 450g for five people. Also the beansprouts came in a pack of 250g, so I used them all. There was plenty of sauce for this amount. Truly delicious.
29th Apr, 2015
I halved this for me and my partner and didn't use the turnip but it was fab. Added peanut butter at the end instead of peanuts as had none in but definitely worth it. I don't know about anyone else either but I find it truly impossible to make the right amount of noodles :)
Aisling van der Walt
21st Apr, 2015
This is delicious! I added 2 tsp of ginger and only put in 2 tbs of fish sauce, rather than 3 - perfect!


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