20 Minute Easy Shrimp Pad Thai
This Easy Shrimp Pad Thai is so simple and easy to make and tastes amazing. Try it once and you won’t want to go back to takeout! It comes together in only 20 minutes…
This Shrimp Pad Thai recipe is an easier version of our Pad Thai recipe with the same sweet, sour and spicy flavors. It’s one of my favorite shrimp recipes along with Honey Garlic Shrimp, Shrimp Boil, Bang Bang Shrimp, Coconut Shrimp and Shrimp Fajitas.
Pad Thai means “Thai-style stir-fried noodles”, and is one of the most popular dishes at Thai restaurants in Thailand and America.
Authentic Pad Thai calls for ingredients including rice noodles, eggs, garlic, green onions, vegetables, shrimp, chicken or Tofu, red chili, sugar, tamarind paste, fish sauce, and usually served with lime wedges, chopped peanuts and cilantro.
How To Make Shrimp Pad Thai
Step 1: Prepare the Noodles
Getting noodles right is the trickiest part of this recipe, but if you follow the steps below, you will get the perfect texture. Thai Rice Noodles don’t need to be boiled, in stead, you soak them in hot water (you can also soak them in cold or lukewarm water, but it usually takes much longer).
First bring a large pot of water to boil and then remove it from heat. Then add in rice noodles and check every 3 to 5 minutes until noodles are soft but still undercooked.
It usually takes anywhere between 5 to 10 minutes until they are softened but not completely cooked. Then drain the noodles, and drizzle one tablespoon oil to keep them from sticking. Set them aside.
Step 2: Thaw the Shrimp
Thaw the shrimp if they are still frozen. Defrosted shrimp will get cooked evenly and have a better texture.
Step 3: Make Pad Thai Sauce
In a small to medium bowl, mix together fish sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar and brown sugar. Mix well and set aside
Step 4: Cook Vegetables
Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add garlic and half of green onions and cook for about 1 minute. Then add carrots and sauté for 2 more minutes.
Step 5: Cook Eggs and Bean Sprouts
Push the mixture to the edge of the pan and add eggs into the center. Cook and scramble until eggs have cooked through. Add in bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute.
Step 6: Add Shrimp
Add in shrimp and toss everything together and cook for about 3 minutes until shrimp turns pink.
Step 7: Add Noodles and Sauce
Add noodles to and sauce mixture to the skillet or wok. Toss everything together and combine well.
Step 8: Serve
Remove from heat. Squeeze squeeze fresh lime to taste along with peanuts, cilantro, more green onions.
Tips and Secrets for Making Great Shrimp Pad Thai
- Thaw the shrimp properly so that they can be cooked evenly. Don’t overcook the shrimp. When they turn pink, it means that the shrimp are cooked.
- Soak noodles in hot water to get them ready faster. Soak them until they are tender but undercooked. As they will be fried with vegetables and shrimp later in the skillet or wok.
- Drizzle oil to your softened noodles after they are drained. It will prevent them from sticking.
- You can adjust the flavor to make it spicier by adding more chili sauce or chili flakes.
Special Equipment and Ingredients Needed for Making Shrimp Pad Thai
- Large skillet or wok: A wok is ideal for making this recipe, especially if you are going to make it for four people. You can find it at local Asian grocery store or buy it online.
- Large wooden spoon or tongs for stir frying the vegetables, shrimp and noodles.
- Colander for draining noodles
- Fish sauce is an important ingredient for this recipe. It has the unappealing smell but amazing taste. They are available in most Asian grocery stores. If you cannot find it or you don’t like the smell, you can substitute it with equivalent amount of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce.
- Rice vinegar: Rice vinegar is to substitute Tamarind paste in this recipe. If you cannot find Rice vinegar, you can substitute it with lime juice.
Easy Shrimp Pad Thai
- 8 oz Thai rice noodles
- 1 lb uncooked shrimp, 21/25 or 26/30 size, peeled and deveined
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp fish sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 green onions, chopped, divided
- 2 carrots , sliced into thin strips
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup peanuts, crushed
- 1 lime
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- red pepper flakes , optional
- 1 lemon
- 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- Prepare rice noodles according to the instructions on the package, or as described above.
- Drain the noodles and add 1 tbsp oil to prevent it from sticking. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix together brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce and fish sauce. This is the Pad Thai sauce.
- Heat remaining 3 tbsp oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and half of the green onion and sauté 1 minute. (Optional: Add red flakes)
- Add carrots and sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Push the mixture to the edge of the pan and add beaten eggs to the center. Cook and scramble until eggs have cooked through.
- Add in bean sprouts and cook for 1 minute.
- Add in shrimp and toss everything together and cook for about 3 minutes until shrimp turns pink.
- Add noodles and sauce mixture to the skillet. Toss everything together and combine well.
- Remove from heat. Squeeze fresh lime to taste along with peanuts, cilantro, more green onions. Serve and enjoy!
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