Spicy Pad Thai Recipe

There are those who will insist that the best place to have authentic Thai food is in Thailand. In fact, who could argue? However, as a practical matter, global travel may not be on your agenda this year. Besides, and more importantly, just because the "best" place for authentic Thai food is Thailand, that doesn't mean that your very own dining room can't serve up a truly impressive Thai dish when coached properly. As recipe developer Ting Dalton notes, "This is super quick and easy, and brings a great taste of Thailand at home." 

While Dalton's version packs a nice heat, you can make it more or less spicy by adjusting the amount of Sriracha or chili paste you use, Dalton advises. In addition, you can add other veggies to this dish, including shredded carrots and chopped bell peppers. "In addition," Dalton points out, "if you don't want to use chicken, you can use shrimp [as your protein]." However, if you do use shrimp, you'll need to adjust the cooking time to one minute, whereas the chicken takes two to three minutes, as you'll see in the instructions below.

Gather the ingredients for spicy pad Thai

For Dalton's wonderful and, certainly, authentically enough, recipe for spicy pad Thai, you'll need to gather together a few ingredients. It may seem like a lot, but it's certainly far fewer than you ever might have guessed. First, you'll need flat rice noodles and enough vegetable oil for tossing the rice noodles after they are cooked, and stir frying the chicken. Next, you'll need chicken breasts, garlic cloves, some green onions, bean sprouts, eggs, peanuts, lime, brown sugar, fish sauceSriracha or chili paste, smooth peanut butter, soy sauce, ground pepper, and a handful of chopped cilantro. As a serving option, we highly recommend serving with lime wedges for squeezing, as Dalton does.

Begin by building your flavor foundation

The first thing we should get out of the way is cooking the rice noodles, which you should do according to the package instructions. Next, drain, toss with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, and set aside. Now, grab a medium-sized bowl, and mix together the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, Sriracha (or chili paste), and black pepper together until they are thoroughly combined.

Stir fry the chicken over high heat

Grab a large wok or skillet (one that will give you ample room to stir with abandon as you fry, since that is the essence of stir frying). Place over a burner on high heat, add the remaining vegetable oil, and when it starts to shimmer, add the chicken, and stir fry for two to three minutes. Turn off the burner, transfer the chicken to a plate, and set aside.

Stir fry the veggies, then add an egg

Once again, turn the burner to high heat, and add the garlic, bean sprouts, and green onions to your wok or skillet. Stir fry for just one to two minutes, and then lower the heat to medium so that you can scramble the egg. (You should never cook eggs over high heat, because it will ruin the egg whites.) Pour the beaten egg into the wok or skillet with the veggies, and stir constantly as the egg begins to scramble. Next, move immediately on to the next step.

Assemble, plate, garnish, and serve

Transfer the chicken to the wok or skillet. Next, grab the sauce you made earlier, and pour that over the chicken, veggies, and egg in the wok or skillet. Stir to combine, and remove from heat.

Finally, add the noodles, and stir to thoroughly coat the noodles. Plate with the peanuts and, if desired, cilantro sprinkled on top. You can also add some more chopped green onions and, as mentioned earlier, serve with lime wedges.

Spicy Pad Thai Recipe
5 from 34 ratings
This recipe for spicy pad Thai is quick and easy to make, which means you can skip the plane ride and create this authentic dish in your own home.
Prep Time
Cook Time
chopsticks in spicy pad thai
Total time: 18 minutes
  • 10 ½ ounces pad Thai rice noodles
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha or chili paste
  • ¼ ground pepper
  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1½ cups bean sprouts
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup peanuts, roughly chopped
Optional Ingredients
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • sliced green onions, for serving
  • cilantro, for serving
  1. Cook the rice noodles according to package directions, drain, and toss with 1 tablespoon of oil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice, peanut butter, Sriracha/chili paste, and black pepper.
  3. In a large wok or skillet, heat the remaining oil over high heat, and stir fry the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat, and set aside.
  4. Turn the heat back to high, and stir fry the garlic, bean sprouts, and green onion for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Next, add the beaten egg, and stir constantly, until it begins to scramble.
  6. Add the chicken and the sauce and stir to combine.
  7. Turn off the burner, and stir in the noodles to coat.
  8. Transfer pad Thai to a plate or bowl, and sprinkle with peanuts. Serve immediately.
  9. Serve with lime wedges, and garnish with cilantro and additional chopped green onions, if desired.
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