≡ Menu

Pad Thai with shrimp recipe and instructions for step-by-step cooking.

Thailand’s Best Pad Thai (Stir-fried noodles) Recipe!


Prepare Pad Thai sauce: For 2 servings

2 Big tbsp. of palm sugar
3 tbsp. concentrated tamarind juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
2 tbsp. oyster sauce

Prepare ingredients to cook the noodle:

2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. minced shallot
1 tbsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. cut yellow tofu
1 tbsp. sweet radish (minced)
2 handful thin noodle if you can’t find the specific one, just use any noodle, mung bean noodle is also good. (Soak the noodle in regular water for 2 hours)
2 eggs
1 handful of a garlic-like vegetable -> garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives.
10 big shrimp (peeled, De-veined and cooked)

Final Decoration:

1 handful bean sprouts
1 tsp. dried red chili powder
2 tbsp. roasted peanut (crushed)
1 tsp. sugar
4-5 branches of Uuicnri leaves/ garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives.
1 piece of sliced lime



Tamarind juice

Yellow tofu to add to pad Thai noodles.

Chinese chives leaves for pad thai

Cooking Instructions:

1. Heat the pan and add palm sugar, fish sauce, tamarind juice, oyster sauce and a little bit of water. Now used medium or low heat to let the sauce boil and thicken. Keep stirring. Make sure you don’t burn the sauce. Golden pad Thai is good pad Thai. Be careful, it will be bitter if you put max heat and burn it.

2. Taste the sauce and make it the way you like. Some people really love it to be more sweet and some just love it a little more salty but the trick of Pad Thai sauce is the proper balance of 3 tastes: sweetness, sourness and saltiness. So change it the way you like. If you like it sweet, keep the taste the way it is will be right taste for you. However, my trick is to add some Maggi brand soy sauce to make it more salty as my husband loves it that way.

3. When the sauce gets thick enough, remove from the stove.

Next, we will cook the pad Thai noodles.

1. In a different pan, heat the pan and add vegetable oil. When the pan is hot, add garlic and shallot Fry until it has a nice aromatic smell.

2. Next, add tofu and sweet radish.

3. Now, add noodles and 4 tbsp of the sauce we made earlier. (that’s for 1 serving). You can keep adding the sauce of the amount of the noodles is more than one handful. Make sure you don’t add too much because the noodle will be too wet and overcooked. (add it little by little) Then, make a quick stir.

You may want to pick the noodles out and taste them to see if the noodles are cooked properly.

4. If you like the bean sprouts and the sliced garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives to be cooked, add it in this step.

5. Push the noodles aside. Add the egg and cook it until it is half way done then mix it with the noodles. Now add shrimp and mix.

6. Turn off the fire. Arrange the noodles on a plate. Put dried chili pepper, sugar, roasted peanut, fresh bean sprouts, one piece of lemon and the garlic Chives/ Chinese Chives on the side.

Another option for Pad Thai, is to make an omelet from duck’s eggs. Make it as thin and as big as possible. Put the noodles in the middle of the omelet. Fold four sides then put another plate on top. Turn it upside down. Decorate it with bean sprouts, the genus Allium or scallion, dried chili powder, sugar, peanut, and one piece of lemon.

We call this Pad Thai with omelet in Thai language, “Pad Thai Kai Ho”. Pad Thai is a classic Thai Food dish and one that we eat a lot – a couple times per month at least. Tourists, when they come to Thailand know “Pad Thai” from the Thai food restaurants in their home country. They always seem to know to order this dish! My husband when he first came from America only knew pad thai and a couple of other dishes like yum woon sen and tom yum soup.


Pad thai noodles with pork.

Pad Thai with Pork. Can also do with just about anything, we use chicken, shrimp, pork, and some people even do fish and squid.


Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Oops, BONUS – Below is a video of me making Pad Thai another time – this was the best Pad Thai my husband said he ever ate!

Tom Yum Gai (Spicy Sour Chicken Soup)

Tom Yum Gai Tom Yum – Spicy Thai Chicken Soup



1/2 pound chicken breast
1 cup straw mushrooms
1 cup water
1 lemon grass (cut 2 inches)
4-6 kaffir lime leaves
3 small red onions cut into quarters
2 medium to large tomato
2 pieces galangal
2 tbsp. fish sauce
4 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp. sugar (optional)
2-8 red and/or green chili peppers
1 tbsp. tom yum soup paste
1/2 cup celery (cut 1 inch)
1/4 cup coriander (cut 1 inch)


Cooking Instructions:

1. Boil 1 cup of water. In boiling water, put peppers, galangal, lemongrass and salt.

2. Put chicken in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes.

3. Add mushroom chili paste and cook it for 5 minutes. Then, put tomato, onion, fish sauce and boil for another 2 minutes. Turn off the fire.

4. Put Chinese celery, kaffir lime leaves and coriander.

For presentation you can garnish with coriander and red chili pepper. Thai people usually eat this with a bowl of rice. They take a spoonful of soup and mix it with their rice or a spoon of rice and dip it into their TOM YUM soup. There are many kinds of Tom Yum Soup – just exchange shrimp, squid, or even pork for the chicken. Enjoy, this is one of Thailand’s favorite dishes.


Note by Vern

Of all the Thai dishes available, you have probably at least tasted tom yum soup – probably with shrimp in it. I first had it around twenty years ago and my mind was opened to the amazing tastes of Thailand in a little restaurant in Clearwater, Florida. When we go to restaurants in Thailand we get the choice to have the thick red soup, or the naam sai – the clear broth. We almost always get the traditional clear broth variety. I can’t even remember the name of the thick orange one. I love it too – but, when I’m paying for it, I guess I want the ultimate – the clear broth tom yum!

Types of Tom Yum Soup:

  • tom yum gai (chicken)
  • tom yum talay (seafood)
  • tom yum goong (shrimp)
  • tom yum moo (pork)
  • tom yum hed (mushroom)
  • vegetarian tom yum – thick with mushrooms, tomatoes, maybe something else

Keep in mind, this is Vern writing this, so I’m sure I’ve missed some. These are the ones I typically see at restaurants and at our home. Grandma likes to make the vegetarian tom yum as she doesn’t eat chicken or beef and maybe not shrimp either.

Tom yum, when it is made correctly is not a completely overpowering taste. You can taste the galangal, the lemongrass, the shrimp. It has salt, but not over salty. The ingredients you cannot eat – are ground up very finely (except the galangal) and usually it sinks to the bottom of the bowl so you don’t get it in your spoon as you eat. The shrimp in Thailand have the tails left on them for some reason. This is a pain because you can either wrestle with removing it from the tail with your fork and spoon, or grab it with your thumb and forefinger and pull with your fork. It’s messy.

Tom yum is really a favorite in Thailand, and every time I’m at a restaurant I see someone eating something with tom yum flavor. There are noodles and other dishes that are made with tom yum seasoning.

Come to Thailand and see what Thai food is really all about!

Sawasdee Ka - Joy

Som Tam (Som Tum) spicy papaya salad from northeastern Thailand.

Thai Food: Som Tam Bla Rah! – Spicy papaya salad with fermented fish/crab sauce

Shredded unripe papaya for making Som Tam - Thai spicy salad.


5 peppers
3 garlic
1 tomato (sliced)
1 eggplant (sliced)
1 fermented crab
1 handful chopped papaya
1 tbsp. fish sauce
3 tbsp. fermented fish juice (Bla rah)
2 pieces lemon
1 tsp. sugar or palm sugar


Som Tam Instructions:

1. Pound chili peppers and garlic together. Add tomato, eggplant, and fermented crab. Then, mix it with fish sauce, bla rah, lemon, and sugar.

2. Use a pestle to crush and mix all the ingredients together. Starting with garlic, chilies and then the rest.

3. Put papaya in and mix it by pestle or spoon. Now your som tam bla rah is ready to be served.

4. Lay fresh vegetable, cucumber, cabbage, string bean or morning glory for example, on the side. Cucumber is good for taking away some of the spiciness of the chilies. So too is eating each bite with some rice. Eating som tam plain without rice is sacrilegious in Thailand.

Som Tam Tip
Using a pestle to pound and mix the ingredients with papaya makes the sauce get into the papaya better than stirring. It will also make your Som tam juicy!

My Som Tam video at YouTube >


Sawasdee Ka - Joy

If you want to see Som Tam recipe in another language click link:

Som Tam in French

Som Tam in German

Som Tam in Spanish

Thai spider web sandwich - finely shredded pork.

No! it is not made of spider webs or my husband’s white hair!!!!
(Dear Vern, my beloved husband, I am just kidding here) hehe. :)

It is my midnight meal tonight and the sandwich filling is dried shredded pork. I really love writing about Thai food. There’s so many cultural related thing, like this sandwich. I don’t know who and where is the first place to create this recipe but it is a real popular food among young people (like me).

I used to work at the coffee shop for my part time job at university. This menu was being sold every day and every table has to have it. As Thai people don’t like to eat plain food, someone create this combination and it works! Even with the bakery in Thailand they add this into the bread section of their shop.

Here’s we don’t serve it with any vegetable, I don’t know why.
The Thai chili paste taste a little sweet. Some saltiness and spiciness are also there.
Dried shredded pork, you can eat it with steamed jasmine rice or boiled rice. I even add the dried shredded pork in my omelet.

Ingredients for shredded pork (spider web) sandwich

Bread with Thai chili paste for shredded pork sandwich.

Thai shredded pork sandwich ready to eat at Joy's Thai food kitchen.


Thai Soup - Spicy Red Ant Egg Soup - Thailand Specialty Cuisine
It was an amazing dinner two nights ago. We thought we were going out to eat because grandma didn’t give us forewarning, but, she had secretly made one of our Thai favorites – Spicy Red Ant Egg Soup!

We sat all sat down, and with the exception of our little girl, Mali, dove in and enjoyed it!

This is a traditional Isaan (northeastern) Thai soup that grandma said she first had when she was about three-years-old. Though we haven’t started to give our five-year-old daughter any spicy Thai food yet, those that grew up in the northeast have been eating it since they were babies. I have seen kids as young as 2-3 years old eating spicy food here. I don’t know if it’s right. The kids aren’t crying, they enjoy it I guess. Maybe they don’t understand pain in the same way we do in the USA. Lol. In the US, we think anything spicy hurts. Maybe they look at it differently in Thailand? Not sure.

The ant eggs come from the red weaver ants from the genus,Oecophylla that weave a nest of silk for their egg development. These nests are easy to spot, but not easy to reach in most cases. If you try to cut the branch a nest is hanging from, the red weaver ants quickly cover your arm and body and bite and hang on! Not very fun, I can assure you.

Here is a weaver ant nest full of eggs that I took a photo of the other day.

Red weaver ant (genus Oecophylla) nest full of eggs for Thai soup in Southern Thailands Krabi province.

And, here is a video Joy made about our spontaneous Thai spicy red ant (weaver ants) egg soup that you can see below. Our daughter had something wonderful to say about the soup – listen close for it.

In my family we eat a lot of Thai fruit. One of our favorite is the dragon fruit, also called pitaya. The exact name is, Hylocereus polyrhizus.

My husband Vern eats the most of any of us. If we go to the store and find some good ones that are ripe, he will buy two bags of them – about 12 dragon fruits!

Last night this happen with us. Today he ate three for breakfast and lunch. It is a good Thai food to diet on because the calories are not many. Maybe about 180 calories in three dragonfruit. Not bad, right?!

But he wasn’t a good boy because he ate chips. I found them in the trash. :( Bad hubby!

I made him do this video to contribute to my success! haha!

Vern says the taste of dragonfruit reminds him of when he was living back in Pennsylvania as a small boy. He had mulberries on a tree in the back yard. He said the taste is very similar to that. I never have mulberries, but maybe someday. I don’t think we have them in Thailand.

Did you ever taste mulberries or dragonfruit? Both? Do they taste the same? 😛

Joy's signature line for Joy's Thai Food Blog


Does Joy Cook Authentic Thai Cuisine?

There has been a debate raging about what authentic Thai cuisine is, for years. Apparently it’s a big topic that most people that blog outside Thailand get all worked up about. I just read an article by SheSimmers about this and thought I would weigh in.

Joy grew up in Sisaket, Thailand. It’s a small town, or at least it was at one time – a very small out of the way town that was the last stop on the train before Ubon Ratchathani, way to the east of Bangkok, near Laos and Cambodia.

She grew up cooking what I can only term, authentic Thai food. She ate what her parents were eating. She ate what her aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, friends, schoolmates, teachers, and strangers were all eating. Authentic Isaan style Thai food from recipes that were never really written down, but just passed down from adults to kids in the new generation.

Joy learned to cook at such a phenomenal level, you really couldn’t understand until you eat some Thai dishes she made. When I first tasted some of her food, I was astonished. It was better than any Thai restaurant I’d ever eaten at. The vegetables were always cooked perfectly – never too little, or too much. The salt level was always perfect. The spice level was whatever I asked for. Eventually she came to know what was too much or too little for each dish.

Thai Food According to Regions

There are regional differences in Thai food. When I go to Bangkok a couple of times a year, I don’t tend to eat Thai food there. I don’t like it. It’s dumbed-down. It doesn’t seem like northeastern (Isaan) style, or Southern style Thai like where we live now. It’s muted. The food isn’t what I’d consider authentic. Too many people, cultures, regions, and even countries, have conspired to change the taste so much that nobody even knows what authentic Thai food in Bangkok is any more. It’s almost like what I found at restaurants in the USA when I lived there. The spice is toned way down. The spices used are sometimes swapped for others, or sometimes left out. In Isaan they don’t leave something out – they have everything they need and half of it is coming directly from their backyard. If they can’t find something at the market, they’ll cruise the sides of the road with their motorbike and find it growing wild and grab some.

So, that’s just a bit about Thai food in the country of Thailand here. I’ve been here straight for ten years. I can see a lot of differences between regions. I don’t think some of the authentic spices are available all over the USA. Substitutions are OFTEN made. I remember water chestnuts in my Tom Yum Soup! What the heck!

So, I think there is such a thing as authentic Thai food – but it comes from each region. Bangkok is a region that some consider Thai food. I see it as a melting pot where the authenticity has dissipated… evaporated. I’ll continue to eat pizza in Bangkok!


Vern – Joy’s hubby

This video makes me cry so much every time I see it. Our daughter was 4 years old when she first saw Grandma – my husband’s mom from the USA. She loved her so much already because we told her so much about her grandma! She came to see Mali at our home in Thailand. I met her at the airport in Bangkok and flew with her down to our home in Southern Thailand! :)