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Authentic Pad Thai

monacarp's picture

I want an authentic Pad Thai.  Many recipies are too sweet.  Can anyone help? 


MadMom's picture

(post #67094, reply #1 of 8)

I'll bet TracyK has a good recipe, although she lives in an area with lots of Thai restaurants, so she might not make it at home.  Here is a recipe from Evelyn, which I found using the advanced search:

150 g pork fillets, cut into thin strips (chicken breast is a fine substitute)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
10 large green shrimp, halved lengthwise (frozen ones, thawed, are fine)
1 clove garlic, crushed (I use 2-3) (optional)
1 egg, beaten (I use 2)
150 g flat rice noodles (preferably Banh Pho)
1 dash white pepper
250 g bean sprouts, washed and drained
1/2 cup spring onions or shallots, chopped finely
Combined Seasoning
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons fish sauce
3/4 teaspoon chili paste
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lightly packed dry shrimp, ground in mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon sour shrimp paste
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
chopped coriander
fresh limes or lemon wedges
shredded spring onions or shallots
2-3 servings Change size or US/metric
Change to: servings US Metric
21 minutes 15 mins prep

1. Soak noodles in hot water while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
2. Prepare the ingredients and place near the wok.
3. Heat the wok on medium heat and lightly fry the pork.
4. When half cooked, add the prawns and garlic.
5. Stir-fry until pork and prawns are cooked.
6. Add beaten egg to the mixture, stirring for about 30 seconds.
7. Turn heat to high and add drained noodles and combined seasoning.
8. Sprinkle in the white pepper and chilli powder.
9. Toss to combine, reduce heat and allow to cook undisturbed for approximately 2 minutes, turning once.
10. Push noodles to the back of the wok and add sprouts and spring onions, tossing the noodles on top and allowing them to cook for approximately 1 minute.
11. Stir well and serve garnished with peanuts, spring onions, coriander and lime/lemon wedges.
12. Note: the lime/lemon juice takes some of the heat out of the chili!

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monacarp's picture

(post #67094, reply #2 of 8)

Thank you.

Heather's picture

(post #67094, reply #3 of 8) has authentic Thai recipes, with videos of street vendors making pad thai. There are scores of "authentic" recipes for Pad Thai, you'll have to experiment to find one that you like.

monacarp's picture

(post #67094, reply #4 of 8)

Thanks for the info.  I have tried dozens of recipies and haven't found one that tastes like the Pad Thai that I have when in Thailand.

shipscook's picture

(post #67094, reply #5 of 8)

This has been posted around several of the forums--I consider it authentic tasting, even with my tweaks at the bottom--


[This] came from a Sheryl Julian column in the [Boston] Globe years ago, but of course I've made changes. You may want to also, depending on your taste in Pad Thai. I like mine non-greasy, and clean-tasting, with a *hint* of sweetness. You can substitute tofu or chicken for the shrimp, or use both. I've made it lots of time using tofu and eggs. I realize this sounds wordy, but like any str-fry, it's all in the prep...Once you do it once or twice, and find your *own* proportions, you won't order it out, either! (BTW, I tried the Pad Thai recipe in Cooks Illustrated a few months ago, also. It's very good. About the only difference is the addition of dissolved tamarind, in place of some of the rice vinegar. But this is probably closer to what we're all used to.) 

1/2-lb. dry rice stick noodles
1/4-cup rice vinegar
1/4-cup fish sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil (I use 2 tsp.: taste and see)
1/4-cup sugar
1 tsp. chili powder (I use coarsely ground Korean)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil (she said peanut)
2 cloves chopped garlic
1/4-1/2 lb. raw shrimp, peeled and chopped in halves or thirds
2 eggs
4 chopped scallions
1/4-lb. bean sprouts (or more)
3 Tbsp. chopped cilantro (or more!)
1/2-3/4 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
fresh lime, if you have it.

Pour boiling water over the rice sticks, and soak for 15 minutes.

Mix vinegar, fish sauce, sesame oil , sugar and chili powder in a little bowl.

Heat vegetable oil in a wok. Add garlic. Cook shrimp til they turn pink. Remove. Next put in beaten eggs, stirring constantly until set (you can use a little more oil, if you need it). Throw shrimp back in. Add the drained noodles, and stir-fry for a minute or so.

Add the vinegar mixture and scallions, cook for a minute or so. Add the bean sprouts, cook for another minute or two. (she says do both at the same time, but I find the liquid needs a little more time to be absorbed, and I like my sprouts crunchy.)

Add half the cilantro and half the peanuts and stir together. Put in plates or bowls, and top with remaining cilantro and peanuts. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top.

My tweaks--I use shredded cabbage instead of bean sprouts. We can very seldom get them here. Funny story, first time I ever made it was from a recipe on the back of the noodle package and it called for cabbage.
I usually add some other veggies, julliened--carrots, pepppers, onion? Everyone likes it and they are getting more veggies.
I use Sambal Oelek for the chili. And, I really like the tamarind, but lime is excellent too.

enjoy, Nan


monacarp's picture

(post #67094, reply #7 of 8)

Thanks much

thecooktoo's picture

(post #67094, reply #6 of 8)

Here is the recipe from my Asian Course while studying at L'Academie de Cuisine.  It is from their Thai native chef. 

ETA:  There are as many recipes for Pad Thai as there are Thai cooks.  This was a dish promulgated by the king of Thailand shortly after WWII that encouraged the people to use their local ingredients and the very inexpensive local noodles.


* Exported from MasterCook *

                                 Pad Thai

Recipe By     :Jim Davis
Serving Size  : 8     Preparation Time :0:00
Categories    :

  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
--------  ------------  --------------------------------
  1              pound  Thai Rice Noodles
  1              pound  shrimp -- medium
  1              pound  oooked chicken breast, medium dice -- or shredded
  2               each  eggs
  1                cup  bean sprouts
  2        tablespoons  ground peanuts
  1         tablespoon  sugar
  1         tablespoon  fish sauce -- nam pla
  1         tablespoon  soy sauce
  1           teaspoon  garlic -- fresh chopped
  1         tablespoon  onion -- chopped fine
  1                cup  green onion -- chopped
  3        tablespoons  vinegar -- rice wine
     1/4           cup  white radish -- pickled
     1/2           cup  fried bean curd -- tofu, diced

Soak noodles in warm water for 15 minutes, drain

Saute onions and garlic in oil for two minutes, or until onions are transparent

add the eggs and stir until cooked, then add shrimp, then noodles and finally remaining ingredients.

Add tofu, pickled white radish, bean sprouts.

Arrange on serving plate and garrnish with chopped peanuts and green onions.

  "American Favorite"
  "Somchet Chompapo, L'Academie de Cuisine"

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Edited 9/11/2009 11:56 am ET by thecooktoo

soupereasy's picture

(post #67094, reply #8 of 8)

Thanks for the bit of history! :)