Pad Thai – Taste Of Thailand From The Streets Of Bangkok

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Pad Thai - Taste Of Thailand

Lunch, Mains, Thai

5.0 from 1 vote

When it comes to Thai cuisine, one dish that has gained international popularity is “Pad Thai.” This delicious street food has become a favorite among food lovers around the world. In this article, we will take a closer look at the history and ingredients of Pad Thai.

The History of Pad Thai

Pad Thai, also known as Phad Thai, is a stir-fried noodle dish that originated in Thailand in the 1930s. It is believed to have been introduced during a time when the Thai government was promoting nationalism and a sense of Thai identity. Pad Thai was created as a national dish to showcase the country’s unique flavors and ingredients.

The dish was influenced by Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine, as well as Thai street food culture. It was originally made with rice noodles, shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, and various spices. Over time, different variations of Pad Thai have emerged, with some including chicken, beef, or even vegetarian options.

Pad Thai is a true taste of Thailand and an immensely popular dish with both locals and tourists alike.

This version of the famous Pad Thai recipe, I hope, will provide a totally authentic experience and will reunite you with the taste sensations of those Hawker stands of Bangkok.  Each Hawker obviously believe their Pad Thai to be the best and bring to the recipe their own culinary flair, their own favored flavors and therefore each plate of Pad Thai is unique!

This version,  and I do believe a firm contender, comes from the testing and tasting of many, many,…many… different variations from the food carts scattered across the city.  We have done the research.  All on your behalf 🙂 …  It is no hardship.

pad thai
Pad Thai Street Food

Pad Thai – Taste Of Thailand

Pad Thai, I believe is Thailand’s ultimate street food. It is an internationally recognized and loved South East Asian dish very much like Nasi Lemak or Char Kway Teow from the streets of Malaysia and almost as well known as the Chow Mein of Chinese cuisine.

To some people “street food” may not sound desirable. However I guarantee those food cart cooks stir up dishes worthy of the best restaurant menus.

If you have been to Asia you will remember food stalls on every corner. It therefore stands to reason that with so many stalls and consumer choice, these cooks need to be good to be competitive if they are to remain in business.  Usually this means they become specialist chefs of one or two dishes such as Pad Thai or Pad Kra Pao Gai.

Many of these street side cooks have been cooking the same one or two dishes day after day. Many year after year and often generation after generation … they are therefore constantly perfecting it.

What Makes A Great Pad Thai?

To truly achieve Pad Thai excellence is to ensure a dish that is dry and light bodied.  It has fresh balanced layers of flavor.

The final dish should have a pale, almost translucent red/brown color.  Unlike the many Western variations Pad Thai should be neither vivid red nor oil soaked

The many ingredients, when first considered, could potentially put people off making this dish at home.  Do not be intimidated.  Many are optional. I recommend using them all if you want to create a truly authentic dish.

Simply work your way through the recipe steps and in no time you’ll be enjoying the exquisite tastes of Thailand.

pad thai hawker style
pad thai hawker style

The Ingredients of Pad Thai

Pad Thai is known for its vibrant flavors and a combination of sweet, sour, and savory tastes. Let’s take a closer look at the key ingredients that make up this delicious street food:

1. Rice Noodles

The base of Pad Thai is made with rice noodles, which are flat and wide. These noodles are soaked in water until they become soft and then stir-fried with the other ingredients. Rice noodles give Pad Thai its distinctive chewy texture.

2. Protein

Traditionally, Pad Thai is made with shrimp, but other proteins such as chicken, beef, or tofu can also be used. The protein is cooked separately and then added to the stir-fried noodles. This adds a rich and savory element to the dish.

3. Tamarind Paste

Tamarind paste is a key ingredient in Pad Thai, providing the dish with its tangy and slightly sweet flavor. It is made from the pulp of the tamarind fruit and adds a unique depth of taste to the dish.

4. Fish Sauce

Fish sauce is a staple in Thai cuisine and is used in many dishes, including Pad Thai. It is made from fermented fish and adds a salty and umami flavor to the dish. Fish sauce is a crucial ingredient in creating the authentic taste of Pad Thai.

5. Bean Sprouts

Bean sprouts are commonly used in Pad Thai to add a crunchy texture and freshness to the dish. They are added towards the end of the cooking process to retain their crispiness.

6. Peanuts

Peanuts are often sprinkled on top of Pad Thai to add a nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch. They provide a contrast in texture and enhance the overall taste of the dish.

7. Lime

Pad Thai is often served with a wedge of lime on the side. Squeezing fresh lime juice over the dish just before eating adds a refreshing citrusy flavor and balances the other flavors.

Pad Thai – Taste Of Thailand From The Streets Of Bangkok

Recipe by HolisticJB
5.0 from 1 vote
Course: Main DishCuisine: ThaiDifficulty: Easy


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Pad Thai is an easy to make stir fried noodles dish with rice stick noodles, shrimp, fried tofu, peanuts in a Pad Thai sauce made of fish sauce, vinegar, sugar and chili powder. This is a traditional and authentic homemade recipe. A True Taste of Thailand.

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  • 1/2 pack 1/2 Thai Rice Noodles

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 Fresh Bean Sprouts

  • 1/2 1/2 Banana Flower (Optional)

  • 1 1/2 cups 1 1/2 Chinese Chives

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Cooking Oil

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Tamarind Paste

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Sugar

  • 1 1 Shallot (Minced)

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Preserved Turnip (Optional)

  • 1/3 cup 1/3 Tofu – Extra Firm

  • 1/2 1/2 Lime

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Peanuts (Optional)

  • 250 grams 250 Shrimp (Optional)

  • Ground Pepper

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 Ground Dried Chili Pepper

  • 3 cloves 3 Minced Garlic

  • 4 tsp 4 Fish Sauce

  • 1 1 Egg


  • Prepping
  • Start by soaking the dry noodles in lukewarm water while you prepare the other ingredients. Getting the noodles right is possibly the trickiest part of making Pad Thai. Make sure that the noodles are totally submerged in plenty of water. By the time you are ready to put ingredients in the pan, the noodles should be flexible but not mushy.rice noodles, noodles, glass noodles
  • Cut the Chinese chives into 1 inch long pieces and set aside a few fresh chives to garnish the final dish. Rinse the bean sprouts and divide equally. One half for cooking and one half for serving fresh. Mince the shallot and garlic together.garlic, chives, beansprouts
  • In a wok heat the oil until almost smoking. Julienne the tofu into 1 inch long matchsticks. You are aiming for the firm tofu to have a mozzarella cheese consistency. Drop in the julienne Tofu and fry until golden a crisp. Remove from the oil onto kitchen towel.tofu, cubed
  • Cooking
  • Heat the wok again to a high heat with the same oil. Fry the peanuts until toasted, remove and place with the tofu. To the hot oil add the minced shallot, garlic, preserved turnip and stir until they start to brown.oil in wok
  • Drain the noodles well and add to the hot wok. Stir quickly to keep things from sticking. Add the tamarind, sugar, fish sauce and chili pepper and stir briskly. Keep the heat on high. You want to hot fry…not stew the ingredients – if you see liquid form turn up the heat!liquids to wok
  • Push the noodles to the side of the wok and crack the egg onto the clear wok. Mix vigorously to scramble the egg until it is almost all cooked and then fold the egg into the noodles. Test the noodles by pulling a strand out to taste. If the noodles are too hard and not cooked add a little bit of water. You are aiming for soft yet chewy noodles. add eggs
  • When the noodles are at your preferred texture add the shrimp and stir with a sprinkle of pepper. Add half the bean sprouts, the crispy tofu and the chives. Stir a few more times. By now the noodles should be soft, dry and very tangled, and intertwined with the other deliciousness.add bean sprouts to wok
  • Serve onto your preferred plates and sprinkle with ground pepper and the roasted peanuts. Serve hot with the banana flower slices and a wedge of lime on the side. Garnish with the remaining bean sprouts and chives. Serve with your favorite Thai condiments such as sugar, chili pepper, vinegar and fish sauce – for your personal taste.pad thai served


  • Turnip, Banana Flower and Peanuts are optional.
  • Don’t fancy shrimp? Equally delicious made with chicken or even vegetarian.

Nutrition Facts

  • Total number of serves: 2
  • Calories: 731kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 80.1g
  • Protein: 48.9g
  • Fat: 35g
  • Saturated Fat: 22g
  • Cholesterol: 356mg
  • Sodium: 3471mg
  • Potassium: 989mg
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Sugar: 14.3g
  • Calcium: 240mg
  • Iron: 4mg

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pad thai being prepared


noodles / peanut / shrimp paste / stir fry / thai

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