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A close up view of authentic shrimp pad Thai in a colorful bowl with chop sticks next to it.

Authentic Shrimp Pad Thai

Course: Thai
Cuisine: asian, Seafood, Thai
Keyword: Authentic Pad Thai, Best Pad Thai recipe, Easy Shrimp Pad Thai, Shrimp
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 604kcal
This Authentic Shrimp Pad Thai is packed with flavor that is true to Thai cuisine. See NOTES on how to make tamarind paste at home.
Print Recipe


  • Wok (with wok ring), or large sturdy skillet


  • 5 oz rice noodles linguine width
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar dark
  • 1 tbsp Thai seasoning
  • 4 tbsp canola oil for stir frying
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 red chilies leave 4 whole, mince the other 2, removing seeds
  • 1 lb shrimp large, cleaned (shells removed and deveined)
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts roughly ground, for garnish
  • ¼ cup cilantro chopped, for garnish
  • 1 lime cut into wedges, for garnish


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil and then remove from heat.
  • Lower in rice noodles, immediately stirring to keep them from sticking. Soak them for 20 to 25 minutes, or until soft enough to eat. Stir a couple times while soaking.
  • Drain and rinse noodles with cold water. Set aside.
  • Mix together the tamarind paste, fish sauce, vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Mix in the Thai seasoning. Set aside.
  • Heat your wok over high heat and carefully add 2 tablespoons oil. (Stand back, it may splatter).
  • Add the garlic and chilies (both the minced and whole ones) and stir-fry 1 minute. (Still stand back, they may also pop and splatter).
  • Add the shrimp and stir-fry 2 to 4 minutes more, or until shrimp are completely pink. While the shrimp are cooking, add a little chicken (or vegetable) stock, 1 tablespoon at a time to keep everything frying evenly.
  • Push the ingredients to one side, and add 1 more tablespoon of the oil to the center of the wok.
  • Crack the eggs into the open space of the wok and quickly stir-fry until scrambled.
  • Mix in the drained noodles and the tamarind mixture.
  • Use tongs to stir-fry the noodles for 3 minutes. If the noodles are sticking to the wok, add a little more oil.
  • Add the bean sprouts, stir-fry for about a minute.
  • Remove wok from heat and taste the noodles, adding more fish sauce, if desired.
  • Top with roughly chopped peanuts, and garnish with cilantro, lime wedges, and another sprinkle or two of the Thai seasoning. Serve at once.


Rice noodles, tamarind paste, fish sauce and rice vinegar can be found in the Asian section of many well-stocked supermarkets, or at an Asian food market, or online.  See below for how to make homemade tamarind paste.
Red (or green) Thai peppers can be found in gourmet/specialty markets, such as Whole Foods, or at Asian food markets.  You can substitute Serrano peppers.  For the minced peppers, be sure to remove the seeds and ribs, unless extra heat is desired.   For more heat, the addition of 1 to 2 tbsp of chili oil can be stirred in when stir-frying the noodles.  
We highly recommend using a wok ring for securing your wok when cooking with it on your stove.  See post for link to order one online. 
HOW TO MAKE TAMARIND FROM SCRATCH: You'll need to start with a package of wet tamarind, which can found at Asian markets or ordered online.  Pinch off pieces of the tamarind and place in a large bowl.  We use half of a 14 oz. package.  Pour hot water over the tamarind.  Once the water is cooled off enough for you to submerge your hands in it, use your fingers to start to dissolve the tamarind into the water. Work the flesh away from the rinds. And swirl until completely dissolved and the liquid is thickened.  Strain through a medium-mesh sieve (too fine of a sieve won't allow the paste to pass through).  At this point, the paste is good to use immediately, or you can keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days, or freeze for up to 2 months. 


Calories: 604kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 368mg | Sodium: 2900mg | Potassium: 724mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 15g | Vitamin A: 829IU | Vitamin C: 115mg | Calcium: 242mg | Iron: 5mg