Shrimp Pad Thai is a healthy stir fry noodle bowl made with gluten free rice noodles, shrimp, and all the classic Thai flavors like ginger, garlic, lime, and cilantro ~ this meal beats take-out by a mile!
Thai food can seem daunting if you’ve never attempted it in your own kitchen, but just like with so many ‘exotic’ cuisines, it’s mostly a matter of stocking your pantry with the right seasonings and condiments, the rest is pretty straightforward. Pad Thai is one of the simpler Thai recipes, so I recommend it as a starting point if you’re new to Thai cooking. For this Shrimp Pad Thai recipe there are really only 2 ingredients that are out of the ordinary:
- Rice noodles ~ rice noodles are traditional for pad Thai, you’ll find them in the Asian section of your market. Buy extra so you’ll have them on hand because trust me, you WILL be making this again! They cook up more quickly than pasta, and some of them need only a brief soak in hot water.
- Fish sauce ~ this is a fermented fish sauce that doesn’t taste great on its own, but adds an authentic touch to this dish. It’s right there along with the soy sauces in your store. The bottle will keep forever in your refrigerator.
TIP: I keep a section of my refrigerator door shelves dedicated to Asian condiments and sauces…that way I always know where they are, and I can access them easily. As your collection grows, so does your potential repertoire of authentic Asian dishes.
I like to get all the components of this dish prepped ahead of time, I’ll cook the noodles, mix up the sauce, beat the eggs, and chop the veggies so all I have to do is orchestrate the stir frying. The shrimp goes in first, then the aromatics, the sauce, eggs, noodles, and toppings. Just make sure everything gets well tossed so all the noodles absorb those great flavors.
The nice thing about pad Thai is that you can eat it hot, warm, room temperature, or cold, and it’s wonderful all ways. The leftovers make a delicious packable lunch.
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 1 pound shrimp, peeled and de-veined
- 4 Tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
- 1 jalapeno or Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 small zucchini, shredded
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 packed cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 Tbsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 3 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, rough chopped
- a handful of fresh beansprouts, any type you can find
- lime wedges
- Cook your noodles according to the package instructions. Set aside.
- Whisk together the sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large wok and saute the shrimp until it is cooked through. Remove the shrimp to a plate.
- Heat the rest of the oil in the wok and saute the garlic, ginger, and hot pepper for several minutes, stirring constantly. Add the zucchini and cook for 2-3 more minutes.
- Push the contents of the wok to one side to make room for the eggs. Add a touch more oil if necessary, and add the eggs. Scramble the eggs, stirring constantly, until they are just cooked through.
- Add the sauce to the pan, and heat it up, then add the noodles and shrimp to the pan and toss everything together thoroughly. When it's all icombined and hot, add in the cilantro and scallions and toss again.
- Serve topped with roasted peanuts, sprouts, and lime wedges.
- For a vegan version, see my vegetarian pad thai recipe.