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Pad Thai comes together quickly in the pan; have everything ready before you start to cook.

Pad Thai with Shrimp

1 hour

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Pad Thai with Shrimp

Across Bangkok, we tasted more than a dozen versions of pad Thai to understand the iconic noodle stir-fry and find a way to make the dish doable in American home kitchens, complete with its enticing spicy-sour-salty-sweet profile. Based on lessons from numerous Thai cooks, we developed a recipe that delivers fantastic results—perfectly balanced flavors and the layers of contrasting textures that define great pad Thai. Suwan Pimtatong, cook at Hot Shoppe Restaurant, showed us how to build complexity and umami richness without the use of dried shrimp, a common pad Thai ingredient that isn’t always easy to source in U.S. supermarkets. Additionally, we were able to achieve nuances of wok hei, or the hard-to-describe and even more difficult to attain (on a home cooktop) hints of smokiness that come from stir-frying in a wok over a raging-hot fire. The key is to add ingredients in batches to prevent the temperature of the wok from dropping precipitously. A few pointers for success: A 12- to 14-inch wok is essential, ideally one made of carbon steel that is well seasoned and conducts heat quickly. Use a neutral oil with a high smoke point; grapeseed or safflower is a good choice. Each time oil is heated in the empty wok, be sure it is smoking-hot before adding any ingredients. Use the cooking times as guidelines, don’t take them as scripture, as burner output and heat-conduction properties of woks can differ greatly. Finally, be sure to have all ingredients and equipment, including a serving dish, ready before you head to the stovetop. Once cooking begins, it demands your full attention and is done in a matter of minutes.




Don’t oversoak the noodles. They should be softened to the point of limpness, which takes about 30 minutes, but far from fully tender. If the noodles are too soft when they go into the wok, they may break during stir-frying and/or wind up overcooked. If you’re not yet ready to stir-fry when the noodles are done soaking, not to worry. Drained of their water, they can wait to be used. If they begin to stick together, simply give them a quick rinse under cold water and drain again.

1 hour

Joseph V.
September 17, 2022
This was great
This was fantastic! Never going to get take-out again.
Cynthia B.
September 15, 2022
Be sure and have all your ingredients ready. It goes fast once you start cooking. My husband and I enjoyed this pad thai. I think it has spoiled us for any pad thai from a restaurant!
Sara S.
September 11, 2022
I live in a brewery town, so good ethnic foods are hard to find. This is the closest that I have had to a good Pad Thai in a while! Thank you Milk Street!
Michael P.
September 9, 2022
Super good
As another review mentioned, this is all in the prep. Focus on that and the rest will follow. We've had the issue 2 weeks and made it twice already. My only thought is that I will try soaking the noodles a little less because even though I'm focusing on not breaking them, they are breaking up. That's almost just a cosmetic issue though because the flavor is terrific... no one is complaining except for myself about my own cooking. First time I made it with shrimp, second time we used some leftover grilled chicken. Next week we will probably try the ground pork!
Steven E.
August 27, 2022
This was excellent flavor. I added some ground pork with the shrimp. Having tried Pad Thai in Bangkok and Chang Mai I felt that Milk Street's version was very authentic.

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