The Best Shrimp Pad Thai

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 2 servings
  • Total: 45 min
  • Active: 45 min


5 ounces flat rice stick noodles

3 tablespoons fish sauce 

2 tablespoons brown sugar 

2 tablespoons tamarind concentrate or tamarind paste (see Cook's Note) 

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more lime wedges for serving 

1 to 3 tablespoons sriracha, depending on the desired heat level 

3 tablespoons vegetable oil 

1/4 cup cubed extra-firm tofu (1-by-1/2-inch cubes)

12 medium peeled and deveined shrimp (about 5 ounces) 

1 shallot, thinly sliced 

1 large egg, lightly beaten 

1/2 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips 

3 thin scallions, cut diagonally into 1-inch pieces (halved legthwise if large) 

1 cup mung bean sprouts 

1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped 

1/4 cup cilantro leaves 


  1. Cook the noodles according to package instructions and set aside.
  2. Stir together the fish sauce, brown sugar, tamarind concentrate, lime juice and sriracha in a small bowl until well combined.  
  3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 4 to 5 minutes. Push the tofu to the side, allowing the excess oil to drip down into the middle of the skillet. Add the shrimp and shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are opaque and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Push to the side with the tofu, allowing the excess oil to drip down into the middle of the skillet. Add beaten egg to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally and chopping to break up, until cooked through, about 30 seconds. Push the egg to the side with the tofu and shrimp. Add the peppers to the skillet and cook just to soften slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the noodles, scallions, bean sprouts and sauce to the skillet. Incorporate the tofu, shrimp and egg into the ingredients and stir fry, coating the ingredients with the sauce and simmering to thicken, 3 to 5 minutes.  
  4. Transfer the stir-fry to a serving dish and top with chopped peanuts and cilantro leaves. Serve immediately with lime wedges.   

Cook’s Note

Tamarind paste is a puree of the fruit without the seeds and fibers. You may also find tamarind concentrate, in which case you'll want to dissolve it in 1 tablespoon of hot water first.

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