Fast Recipes

A fast pad Thai

Our express version of the classic stir-fry.

By Lisa Featherby
  • Serves 4
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Pad Thai
This popular Thai street snack is super-quick to make. Be careful cooking the garlic - if it gets too dark it becomes bitter. You can add fried chicken, too; we like it simply as is.


  • 300 gm (1½ packets) thin dried rice stick noodles
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) tamarind purée (see note)
  • 90 ml fish sauce, or to taste
  • 1½ tbsp light soy sauce
  • 30 gm white sugar
  • 100 ml peanut oil
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 5 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, then drained well
  • 200 gm (3 cups) bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch garlic chives, cut into 8cm lengths
  • 45 gm (⅓ cup) roasted peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • To serve: lime halves and roasted chilli powder


  • 1
    Place noodles in a heatproof bowl, cover with boiling water and stand until soft (10-15 minutes).
  • 2
    Combine tamarind, fish sauce, soy sauce and sugar in a bowl and stir to dissolve sugar.
  • 3
    Heat half the oil in a large wok over high heat until smoking, then add eggs and cook without stirring at first until eggs start to puff on the edges, then stir until just cooked through (1-2 minutes). Set eggs aside.
  • 4
    Heat remaining oil in wok until smoking, add garlic and shrimp and stir-fry until garlic is golden (1-2 minutes). Add drained noodles and 60ml water and stir to combine, then stir in sauce mixture. Remove from heat and stir in half each of the bean sprouts, chives, peanuts and eggs.
  • 5
    Divide noodles among plates, top with remaining sprouts, chives, peanuts and eggs and serve with lime halves and roasted chilli powder.


Tamarind extract is best made fresh. To make 80ml, combine 1 tbsp tamarind pulp and 100ml water, and stand until pulp softens. Break up the pulp in the water with the back of a spoon and strain through a coarse sieve.