I’ve been making lots of Pad Thai over the last month (ever since my daughter asked for it for her 13th birthday dinner) and, after lots of experimentation, I’m excited to share my favorite way to make it – Shrimp Pad Thai. It may sound like a challenging dish to whip up on a busy night, but I promise, it’s really very simple (more on that below), and I love how the addition of the spinach instead of bean sprouts—which can be hard to find fresh “enough” around here—makes it a one-dish dinner!
My husband and I actually took a cooking class in Thailand years ago (pictures below) and quickly learned that many Thai recipes use varying combinations of a few simple, fresh ingredients. I am telling you, fresh is where it’s at! Whether it’s hot peppers, garlic, ginger, fresh herbs, or lime, you’d be hard-pressed not to find at least one of these in a Thai recipe.
The other essential ingredient you simply can’t skip when it’s called for—at least if you want that authentic flavor—is the fish sauce. I understand being leery of a bottle of fishy smelling and tasting “sauce”, but I promise, as long as you don’t overdo it (this Shrimp Pad Thai recipe uses the perfect amount), it will do wonders for giving your Asian cooking that authentic flavor!
The Best Shrimp Pad Thai
- 8 ounces brown rice noodles Pad Thai style
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 serrano pepper seeded and minced
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 pound shrimp peeled, deveined, and patted dry (which can take a little time if they were previously frozen)
- 5 garlic cloves minced
- 2 eggs beaten
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup roasted peanuts chopped
- 4 green onions sliced
- 1 big handful spinach sliced
- cilantro for garnish
- Soak the noodles in warm water for 10 minutes until pliable and easy to separate. Drain and set aside.
- Mix together the lime, fish sauce, honey, water, and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
- Melt the coconut oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the shrimp and stir-fry until pink all the way through, 4 or 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and cook while stirring for another 30 seconds being careful not to let it burn.
- Mix in the eggs and cook until no longer runny, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the noodles and sauce until well combined and heated all the way through.
- Season with salt and pepper then garnish with the peanuts, green onions, spinach, cilantro, and serve. The garnishes go a long way in this dish, so don't be shy!