Pad Thai

 Pad thai (ผัดไทย) is probably the most famous Thai dish around the world but it is also one of the least traditional dishes in Thai cuisine.


  • 4 oz. Thai rice noodles (sen lek or เส้นเล็ก)
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 6 Chinese chives (or scallions)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1 shallot , finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pickled turnip (optional)
  • ½ cup extra firm tofu
  • ½ lime
  • 2 tablespoons crushed peanut
  • 4 shrimps
  • ½ teaspoon crushed chili
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 4 teaspoons fish sauce (namh pla or น้ำปลา)
  • 1 egg
  • Black pepper


  • Start by soaking the dry noodles in water at room temperature while preparing the other ingredients, about 30 minutes.
  • The noodles should end up being soft but not mushy.
  • Roast the peanuts in a pan without oil for a few minutes.
  • Cut tofu into thin 1-inch (2,5cm) strips.
  • Fry the tofu separately in a pan with a little oil until golden brown.
  • Cut Chinese chives into 1-inch strips (2,5cm) diagonally.
  • Set aside a few pieces of fresh chive for garnish.
  • Rinse bean sprouts and keep half for garnish.
  • Heat cast iron skillet or heavy bottomed pan over high heat and add vegetable oil.
  • Add shallot, pickled turnip (optional), garlic and tofu and stir until they begin to brown.
  • Drain noodles and add to the skillet. Stir quickly to prevent the noodles from sticking.
  • Add the tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, fish sauce and chili. Stir.
  • Keep on high heat so that the liquid evaporates.
  • Make room for the egg by pushing the noodles to the sides of the pan.
  • Break the egg in the middle of the pan and stir until it is almost cooked.
  • Stir the egg in the noodles. The noodles should be soft and tender.
  • If the noodles are too hard and undercooked, add a little water.
  • Add shrimps and stir. Sprinkle with pepper.
  • Add the bean sprouts and chives and stir.
  • Pour the mixture on a serving platter and sprinkle with crushed chili and peanuts.
  • Serve hot with a wedge of lime on the side, and fresh Chinese chives and bean sprouts on top.
  • Add Sambal or crushed chili to spice it up.