Pad Thai Experiment

April 6, 2011

The other day I decided I was going to make peanut noodles with tofu for dinner, but my husband asked if we could have Pad Thai instead. We generally order in Pad Thai, so I was a little skeptical about how I was going to match the flavors of the traditional dish, but decided I would give it a try (the things we do to please the ones we love!).

Lucky for me I have a few friends in the Twitterverse, including Stacey Viera and Aviva Goldfarb, who shared their Pad Thai recipes to help me with this task. Since I had already gone to the supermarket, I didn’t have every ingredient on hand, so I improvised as best as I could (and made sure to look at other recipes for more inspiration).

As the dish neared completion I added the sauce and could tell immediately that it wasn’t thick enough (perhaps the lack of ketchup or tamarind was responsible). I knew that wouldn’t fly! What’s Pad Thai without the delicious sauce? So  out came the blender and the peanut butter to add some flavor fast! The end result was delicious, but I definitely need to work on it to make it restaurant quality!

Pad Thai
Serves 6

Ingredients: pad thai recipe

  • 8 ounces dried wide rice noodles
  • 14 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (fish sauce is usually used, but I didn’t have any)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch broccoli, florets only
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts cut into 1/2-inch pieces and separated
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Chopped cilantro


  1. Soak rice noodles according to package directions. Drain them when they are soft and pliable.
  2. Place tofu on paper towels and cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Cover with more paper towels to drain well.
  3. In a blender, combine the garlic, soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, lime juice, and water and blend until smooth. Add in the chili paste and stir.
  4. Heat the oil in a large skillet (or wok if you have one) over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook, flipping occasionally, until it is lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the broccoli and stir fry for another 3-5 minutes until it is bright green and more tender. Add the white part of the scallions and stir for another minute.
  6. Drizzle the beaten eggs over the tofu and vegetables and let them set for 10 seconds. Stir them until they are fully cooked.
  7. Add the drained noodles to the pan and toss with the tofu and vegetables. Drizzle the blended sauce over everything and toss.
  8. Blend the peanut butter with some hot water until it is creamy and slightly thinned. Add the peanut butter sauce to the pan and toss until combined well.
  9. Serve topped with scallion greens, chopped peanuts, and chopped cilantro.

Have you ever made Pad Thai at home? If so, please share your tips!

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  1. Isn’t pad thai just the most glorious combination of flavors? So glad you’re getting closer to your own homemade version, and I’m glad my recipe helped! I think the ketchup will actually make a difference for next time.

    1. Thanks Aviva. I will definitely have to try adding the ketchup – who knew that would be in pad Thai sauce?!

  2. We LOVE pad thai – even my 3-year-old daughter (she calls it “pink noodles”). Please re-post the recipe with the ketchup needed, or anything else you’d try differently. I have all the other ingredients on-hand (except the fish sauce, but hopefully your soy sauce substitution was OK).

    1. Hi Elana, that’s wonderful that your 3-yr old loves pad Thai! The amount of ketchup that was in one of the recipes I looked at (Aviva’s from thescramble.com) was 1 1/2 tablespoons. But I also saw recipes that called for tamarind paste. My recipe is a combo of a bunch of recipes I saw online, so I would suggest searching for pad thai recipes if you don’t have some of the ingredients I call for. Once I added the peanut butter this came out great. Good luck and let me know how it comes out! – Jessica