Mains/ Recipes/ Savory

Shrimp Pad Thai

Last night I learned the value of time. Often, I find myself cooking a multi-dish dinner in a 60 minute window; the water is boiling, the cutting board is a mess, and the oven is still preheating. I secretly love the craziness…but in the same way I love cleaning and organizing: if I can get into the right mindset (it’s a struggle), the outcome is incredibly gratifying and worth the work. However, having the time and space to prepare a meal is an entirely different kitchen experience.

I would argue that this recipe is still somewhat minimalist and the prep-work can be done rather quickly. But I took my time and it was glorious. I constructed a mise en place, lining up each ingredient neatly by the stove to maximize efficiency. This Pad Thai recipe uses fish sauce and shrimp but could easily be altered to exclude non-vegan ingredients (perhaps sub shredded ginger and hoisin sauce for the fish sauce).

Ingredients for the sauce:

2 tablespoons of fish sauce

2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons of water

1 tablespoon of sugar (granulated)

1/2 tablespoon of Sriracha

2 tablespoons of lime juice (or juice from one lime)

1 tablespoon of oil (canola or sesame)

*We topped ours with a tablespoon of melted peanut butter and a bit of soy sauce.

Ingredients for the stir fry:

1 tablespoon of oil (canola or sesame)

2 eggs

1/2 box or 7 oz of stir fry rice noodles (I used Thai Kitchen)

4 stalks of broccoli, chopped into florets (about 3 cups of florets)

1/2 cup of chopped carrots

1/2 a medium yellow onion, sliced thinly

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups of cabbage, chopped (or pre-chopped slaw)

1/2 cup of salted peanuts, chopped

1 jalapeno, cleaned, de-seeded, and chopped

6-8 medium peeled/deveined shrimp (I used frozen cooked shrimp and followed instructions for defrosting)

1 lime, sliced into wedges for garnish


*We also added BBQ tofu by baking a package of extra firm tofu (sliced into small strips) with a 1:1 soy sauce and barbecue sauce ratio marinade:



Follow directions for cooking rice noodles – do not overcook the noodles as they will cook when sauteed later.  Stay on the safe side and boil for less time than directed. Once cooked and drained, make sure to rinse with cold water to keep them from continuing to soften. Set aside.

Place a large saute pan or wok on the stove over medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and follow immediately with all onions and minced garlic.


Allow to cook for 3-4 minutes or until golden, then add in broccoli. Stir constantly over medium heat until the broccoli has brightened in color and seems to soften slightly. Combine ingredients for sauce (fish sauce, vinegar, oil, water, lime juice, Sriracha, sugar) in a bowl and stir until sugar has dissolved.


Add in the rest of your vegetables (carrot, jalapeno, and slaw) and the sauce combination and saute for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.


Add the shrimp and saute for another 3-5 minutes. When the vegetables and shrimp seem to have cooked, add in the noodles and saute for no longer than 3-4 minutes.

Clear a space in the middle of the pan by pushing aside the noodles and vegetables. Crack both eggs and let fry, only mixing everything together when the egg white has begun to brown a bit. Stir all of the ingredients; the egg yokes will continue to cook.

Make sure to mix from the bottom up to ensure that the saute sauce is fully distributed. I found the noodles to be very heavy and used two forks to thoroughly mix all of the ingredients together and disperse the noodles.

Serve as soon as possible. Top with a handful of chopped peanuts, a lime wedge, and (if you want to go all out) a bit of melted peanut butter and Sriracha.


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