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Horizontal top-down image of a white bowl with noodles and seafood and lime wedges.

Shrimp Pad Thai with Tamarind and Peanuts

  • Author: Fanny Slater
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


Toss the takeout menus. This authentic shrimp pad Thai is a citrusy, salty, sweet-and-sour comfort food dish you can whip up at home.


  • 3 limes
  • 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate
  • 3 tablespoons coconut sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 16-oz package Thai rice noodles 
  • 16 raw jumbo shrimp, deveined with tails on
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (such as vegetable, sunflower, or grapeseed), divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts
  • 1 small bunch scallions, white and light green parts only, divided
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup extra-firm tofu, sliced into thick matchsticks
  • 1/3 cup carrots, julienned into matchsticks
  • 1 cup bean sprouts, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Juice 2 limes. Cut the third into wedges for garnish.
  2. To make the Pad Thai sauce, whisk together the tamarind concentrate, coconut palm sugar, fish sauce, rice vinegar, and lime juice in a small bowl. If you want your sauce to be a little spicy, add 1 tablespoon chili garlic paste. Set aside.
  3. Soak the dry noodles in hot water as per package instructions until al dente. Drain, rinse with cool water, and set aside.
  4. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  5. Spread the peanuts onto a baking sheet and roast, tossing once halfway through, until very fragrant and golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Allow the peanuts to cool, and then finely crush them using a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle.
  6. Season the shrimp on both sides with the salt and pepper. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat and add one tablespoon of the oil. Sear the shrimp until they’re bright pink and a light crust forms, about 1 1/2 minutes per side. Remove the shrimp and set aside.
  7. Add 1/2 tablespoon oil to the pan, then add half of the scallions, the red onions, garlic, and tofu. Toss and stir-fry the veggies until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute.
  8. Add the drained noodles and stir quickly to prevent sticking. Add the pad Thai sauce, shrimp, carrots, remaining scallions, and half of the bean sprouts and continuously toss and stir-fry the mixture until everything is thoroughly coated in the sauce, about 1 minute.
  9. Push the noodles aside to make a small well in the center of the pan. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon oil and then the egg. Once the white starts to cook, scramble the egg until it’s almost set, then fold it into the noodles.
  10. Divide among 4 bowls and garnish with the crushed peanuts, remaining bean sprouts, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and extra chili garlic paste.
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Noodles
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Thai

Keywords: pad Thai, tamarind, rice noodle, peanut, shrimp