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Shrimp Pad Thai

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Shrimp Pad Thai is the national dish of Thailand, a stir-fry noodle dish with that special balance of sweet, spicy, salty and sour that is uniquely Thai. In this recipe I give you a range of amounts for the sauce ingredients so you can adjust the four elements to suit your own taste. Make notes and perfect it. This is a quick weeknight dinner in my house and we know how we like it.

Despite the name ‘Shrimp’ Pad Thai many versions include chicken as well as the shrimp. The combination adds another element to the over all taste and I love it. The addition of bean sprouts is also quite specific. Although bean sprouts are stirred into the hot noodles some people feel that adding fresh bean sprouts at the end creates a desired contrast.

Fresh versus Dried Rice Noodles

Rice noodles deserve a place in every gluten free pantry. They are made from rice flour and are available dried or fresh in a variety of widths. Pad Thai is typically made with a wide rice noodle similar to fettuccini. Although fresh rice noodles are available I prefer the convenience of dry noodles. In my pantry I always keep thin vermicelli noodles and one wider variety that I use in this recipe.

Cooking Rice Noodles for Shrimp Pad Thai

Apparently, the biggest travesty in making Pad Thai is overcooking the noodles. Many recipes call for soaking the noodles in warm water but this process takes too long for me. I pour boiling water over the noodles and let them soak for 5 minutes. Then they get a little more cooking during the stir-fry process. If you accidentally overcook them the dish will still taste delicious but the noodles will fall apart when you dish it up. After little practice and you will figure out how to cook them perfectly.

Thai Ingredients for Shrimp Pad Thai

Fish sauce and tamarind are two naturally gluten free ingredients that you need to keep in your pantry for cooking Thai dishes. Fish sauce is like a condiment used in almost every Thai dish, just as salt and soy sauce are used in other cultures. Tamarind gives a unique sour taste to dishes. I prefer the tamarind concentrate sold in small plastic tubs rather than the tamarind pulp that needs to be softened with water and strained.

Let me know in the comments below which elements of Shrimp Pad Thai are your favourite.


1-1½ Tbsp tamarind concentrate
¼ cup GF chicken stock
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp GF soy sauce
½-1 tsp chile sauce
⅛ tsp ground pepper
3-4 Tbsp brown sugar
8 oz. wide rice noodles
1 boneless chicken breast chopped into small pieces
1 Tbsp GF soy sauce
12-15 medium raw shrimp, shells removed
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
4 green onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1-2 fresh Thai chilies, sliced
1 egg
2 cups fresh bean sprouts
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
⅓ cup salted peanuts, chopped
lime wedges


Make the sauce and set aside.
Place rice noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for 5 minutes until soft and almost cooked through. Drain and set aside.
Cut chicken into small pieces and toss with 1 Tbsp soy sauce.
Heat 2 Tbsp oil in wok over medium-high heat. Add green onion, garlic, ginger and chiles. Stir-fry 1 minute.
Add chicken and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add shrimp and stir-fry another 2 minutes.
Push all ingredients up the sides of the wok making room in the center. Break the egg right into the wok and quickly stir-fry to scramble, about 1 minute.
Mix everything together then add noodles. Pour on half the Pad Thai sauce and stir together (I like to use a pasta server and a flat scraper).
Add the remaining sauce as the wok dries out and continue cooking until the sauce is gone and the noodles are cooked, about 5 minutes. If the noodles are not cooked enough add 1 Tbsp of water and stir-fry for another minute.
Turn off the heat and mix in 2 cups bean sprouts.
To serve divide Pad Thai among 3-4 bowls. Top with second amount of bean sprouts, peanuts, cilantro and a lime. These all complete the taste and are not meant to be garnishes left uneaten.


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