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How to Prepare Pad Thai

Here at Siam Queen Thai Bistro, our Pad Thai is one of our most popular menu items! It’s a favorite for a reason, and while you can always order Pad Thai for pickup or dine-in, learning to make Pad Thai at home can be an easy alternative.

However, an at-home Pad Thai recipe will lack some traditional ingredients that may be harder to find at a local grocery store, like dried shrimp or tamarind. Even fresh bean sprouts can be a challenge to find, but you can try your local Carlsbad Asian grocery for more specific ingredients. One ingredient that’s essential (but might not be part of your pantry) is fish sauce. It’s easy to find, and Pad Thai just isn’t quite the same without fish sauce.

What is Pad Thai?

Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish that includes fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and tamarind paste. If you can’t find tamarind paste, you can substitute rice vinegar. Some recipes also add peanut butter for added creaminess, but traditionally, peanuts are either incorporated into the stir fry or sprinkled on top. You can add whatever protein you like, including shrimp, chicken, pork, or tofu.


Begin by cooking your protein and vegetables. Red bell pepper and onion are the vegetables that are usually used, but you can experiment with adding mushrooms, jalapenos, green onions, or other thinly sliced vegetables. While those are cooking, cook your noodles according to the directions on the package. Pad Thai requires thin rice noodles which cook relatively quickly.

Once your protein and veggies are cooked, move them to the side of your pan or wok. Crack two eggs into a small bowl and lightly whisk them, then pour into the cleared area of the pan. Scramble the eggs until they are just set, and then mix with the veggies and protein.

In another small bowl, make your sauce. You can experiment with your sauce ratios, but in general, combine one part soy sauce, one part fish sauce, two parts lime juice, two parts brown sugar, two parts rice vinegar (or tamarind), and cayenne pepper or Sriracha to taste.

Pour in the sauce, add the noodles, and toss everything together until the noodles are thoroughly coated. Then, garnish with green onions, crushed peanuts, cilantro, and lime juice before serving.

Siam Queen Thai Bistro - Carlsbad Thai Food

While cooking your own Pad Thai can be a fun culinary experience and a new way to enjoy Thai food, it’s not for everyone! If you’re intimidated by cooking your own Thai food, but are still craving Pad Thai or another Thai dish like green or red curry, we’ve got you covered! Order here online.

Siam Queen Thai Bistro provides both Thai takeout and in-house dining for customers in Carlsbad. Our bistro has been a Carlsbad staple for more than 17 years, and we’re proud to continue to uphold the highest standards of quality. If you have questions about the ingredients in our Pad Thai or want to place an order for a special event, contact us!