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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 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)

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.

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

Som Tam (Som Tum) spicy papaya salad.

Shredded unripe papaya for making Som Tam.

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 sacreligious 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

One of our friends, Oi, is leaving in a couple of days to return home to her native town – Trang, and we wanted to take her to lunch somewhere special in southern Thailand. Joy decided we should go to Kanabnam floating restaurant on the bay, set among the mangrove trees in a Muslim village on the water.

We set out at 11:00am, arriving at the pier to take the boat at 11:20am. We boarded the boat – me, Joy, Grandma, Oi, and baby girl.

Once there they gave us a show of the fish they had in nets in the middle of the floating restaurant. They had very large cobia fish, grouper, some reef fish and even some large puffer fish. The puffer fish are extremely toxic to eat if prepared wrong, you can die within 90 minutes after eating one. I don’t think they were on the menu at the restaurant, and we didn’t ask.

We ordered:

  • yum talay – spicy seafood salad
  • fried shrimp with sweet sauce
  • kow padt gai – fried rice with chicken
  • spicy fish soup – which wasn’t very spicy, but pretty tasty – the fish was very fresh
  • fried snakehead fish
  • rice – of course!

We had a good time! Though it was hot that day, there was a cool breeze blowing because we are really quite far out in the mangroves – and the open ocean is only a few minutes away.

If you are visiting Thailand, you really should eat a meal or two on a floating restaurant – it is one of the nice experiences of Thailand that many countries don’t have. We have floating restaurants on most big rivers, and even on the Gulf of Thailand as you see here.

Thai food is good food – come to Thailand and try some!

Thai food restaurant - mom and daughter eating som tam and grilled chicken (gai yang).

Som Tam and Gai Yang!

I have been living in Thailand for 7.5 years now. I’ve had Thai food each and every day. I could not be happier with the selection of Thai foods here in the country, I couldn’t have imagined I’d make the adjustment to eating it so easily. Initially when I arrived I thought I craved McDonald’s or pizza, Subway, a lot. I’d have it about every other day. For the last maybe 7 years though, I’ve not had many cravings for western food. At least not as much as some of my expat friends that seem to need it to survive.

The food in Thailand is so varied. Though I usually eat the following meals – there are hundreds of dishes to choose from:

Gwit Diao Moo (Gai, Talay, Tom Yum) – a noodle soup, typical staple food for Thais – especially at lunch when they want something filling and cheap. Students can be found overflowing the gwit diao street stands at lunch in the northeast and all over the country.

Khao Pad Gai (Moo, Talay) – fried rice with chicken or anything else you want. I sometimes get it “Kai Dao” with a fried egg on the top, depending what that shop’s idea of a fried egg means. It’s variable.

Gai Pad King – ginger chicken and usually with some red peppers and maybe some other vegetables, depending on the restaurant or food stand.

Som Tam with Sticky Rice and Chicken – one of my favorite meals for sure. Som Tam Laos style with bla-rah – fermented fish or boo-bla rah – with fermented crab pieces.

Bamboo Lahp – I forget the name because Joy always orders it for me, I never have to say it… lol.

Lahp Gai (Moo, Talay, Neu-uh) – a very spicy and awesome tasting dish eaten with sticky rice and usually som tam too.

Pad Thai – though I don’t eat it much, if the restaurant makes it well – this can be an absolute favorite Thai food to eat. There are plenty of restaurants that make it too greasy, too runny (wet), and without the right vegetables or even the right ingredients at all. I found the pad thai in the northeastern part of Thailand to be the best (as with most foods).

That’s really about it. Oh, one more…

Kow Men Gai - in the morning this is a great dish, if they use good rice. It’s sliced chicken breast on top of rice, with a sauce that has a lot of flavor – usually with ginger in it and not sure what else… vinegar? Awesome breakfast because the rice fills you up and it’s served with a very small cup of broth from the gwit diao soup, so you get both with your meal. Order just gwit diao and you don’t get rice and chicken samplers on the side.

The above are what I eat on a daily basis… Of course I didn’t talk about all the fruits I eat daily – like rambutan (in season now (may-august)), sweet tangerines, bananas (3 types I love), watermelon, dragon fruit (just coming into season again!), etc…

There are so many amazing things to eat here that I don’t usually get bored. When I do get a craving for something from the west it is usually in the form of Italian or French bread. The grocery stores here have a deli section and they do make bread. It isn’t great, but it’s all I have.

Alternatively I go get a pizza. There are many expats from Italy in Thailand -and they open lots of pizza shops. It’s hard to beat Italian made pizza!

Thai foods are so variable – it is not often I tire if it. Probably this is the best place in the world to live for eating local food. Food in Thailand seems healthier than in the USA. The availability of Thai fruit everywhere one turns – is a big plus.

This post written by Vern – Joy’s hubby.

500 g. dried squid cut it into a bite size (size of the squid is at your satisfaction), Click on the link to see photo.
1-2 tbsp. palm sugar (regular sugar is ok)
2 tbsp. shrimp paste (optional, some recipe say you don’t need this)
4 dried or fresh red chili (crush them)
1 clove garlic (crushed)
1/2 cup concentrated tamarind juice
1 tbsp. fish sauce
Vegetable oil

Cooking Instructions:

1. Deep fry the dried squids that you already cut them into bite size. Make sure you use low heat and don’t let it burn. This dried squid can get burnt very easy. How can you tell when it is ready? Don’t let it get the brownish color, yellowish is ok. When you have it turn yellow, the squid will be half chewy half crispy as it is cool off. However, having it turn brown the squid will be way to crispy that you won’t get to taste the saltiness from it but only the bitter taste.

2. Now, leave the squid aside and make 3 flavors dressing in a different pan.

3. Start with dried chili. If you don’t want it  too spicy, you can use dried red chili with long shape. Soak the chili in water for 15 minutes. Cut to take the seed out and then crushed it well. If you love spicy food you can just crush them without taking the seed out. Usually, dried red chili (the long one) is not that much spicy.

4. Next, heat the pan up and add 1 tbsp. vegetable oil. Add crushed chili and garlic, fry until it has good sneezing smell.

5. Then, add tamarind juice, palm sugar and fish sauce. During this time, you should use low heat, add little amount of water to make sure the sauce won’t get burn. Check if the sauce is sticky.

6. After that, add the fried squid into the sauce and mix it well. Please note that, the sauce should have 3 flavors of sweetness, saltiness and spiciness. You may change the taste of this sauce as the way you like before mixing the squid in it.


20 some years ago as a was a kid from the country side, my school was right in front of my grandma’s house where I lived. I joined the kindergarten there with my older brother, before we moved into my aunt’s. I was a very skinny and tiny that my teacher put me in the list of the kids that were lack of nutrient. Not that my mom didn’t give me good food but I was too picky. Whenever there many people ask me to eat, I closed my mouth tight, stick my nose up in the air and said “NO”… haha

However, here it come the reason for the size of my lunch box 20 years ago. It was a margarine box… small and cute.. :D haha..nothing fancy. Kids in the countryside pack their lunch with rice and some other thing in the same box. Fried dried squid was my favorite… and 2 small squids with rice was the lunch I couldn’t finish up. :)


Most people have difficulty wrapping the banana leaves for 2 reasons;
1. The banana leaves they got were too brittle, so it leaks after to wrapped it into triangle shape.
2. Their hands were too stiff because too little practice.

Therefore, to fix those two main problems we have to prepare the banana leaves to be flexible enough to put into shapes. and there are 3 ways to do it. :)

1. Sit the leaves in the sun for 1-3 minutes? so it loose the moisture and get a bit softer to put into shapes. This yield the result of burn banana leaves. Maybe we wouldn’t care about it much because when we steam the food, using banana leaves as a wrap, the leaves will turn brown as if it was burn any way. Remember, if you sit them in the sun, the leaves will look really ugly.

2. Using the heat from candle light. This way, would mean that you don’t have enough time to wait for the leaves to be sit in the sun for some amount of time. Same result, the leave will be dark and who cares? It will get dark color after being cooked anyway. :)

3. The best way to prepare your banana leaves so that it is flexible enough to be wrapped is to sit inside your house for 1-2 days. This way, the leave will loose some moisture and get more flexible. It will give the best result, because you will still get the green leaves and it looks much nicer when you wrap the food that doesn’t need to be cooked, like the dessert (glutinous rice with egg pudding)

Practice makes perfect: How to solve your stiff hands
3 words, practice, practice and practice. I learn my first wrapped at Primary 3 (when I was 9 years old) and with a very strict teacher. Plus, I have my aunt to keep her eyes on me, watching if I did it perfectly.

I got to practice many times, with the good chance that my family loves to cook dessert when each Buddhist event comes. I recommend that, when you first start, use something solid to put inside the wrap so you can control it easier.

Clay should be a good tool. Make sure you start with a big piece of banana leaf so you don’t have to worry about grasping  the leaf. Just to hold it together is difficult enough.

Ok!!! Before you start with the video tutorial, prepare these:

  • Banana leaves
  • Clay
  • Toothpick

and practice, practice, practice!



400 grams clams
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. or as much as you like of sliced spicy red chilies
1 handful sliced long red chili
1 handful sweet basil

1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. oyster sauce
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. sugar

Cooking Instructions:

1. Heat the pan with maximum heat. Add vegetable oil.
2. Wait until the oil gets hot and then add garlic and spicy chili.
3. Cook the chilies if you like this dish to be spicy. If you like it at a baby level, I suggest that after you add the red chilies, put the clams in the pan right the way.

When you cook the red chili with hot oil, you will get it more spicy in the food. Notice that you will sneeze when you cook the chili for a while. Everyone does in the whole restaurant when we go to eat out. It’s funny, my husband make exaggerated noises like he’s choking and the staff always look at him and laugh so hard!

4. Add oyster sauce, soy sauce, Thai chili paste and sugar.
5. Cook the clams for about 30 seconds or when you see the change of the shell color.
6. Add sweet basil and sliced long red chili. Now mix it well before you remove it from the stove . :)

Thai chili paste, the sound of the word chili is unbearable when it comes to spiciness, right? This chili paste is not spicy at all though. The color does look scary but the taste is quite sweet. That’s why we don’t need much sugar in this recipe.

Hoi Laai Pad Prik Phao or Stir Fried Clams with Thai Chili Paste is one of my favorite seafood. :)

I really like it when we travel to the ocean and we can get fresh seafood from the market not so far from the beach.

In Thai style, we don’t pull out the meat from clam and then cook. We just cook the whole thing. As same as, one recipe I like to eat back at home. It was the shell from fresh water which has almost round shape. We cut a small part of that shell’s bottom and stir fry the whole thing with sweet basil.

The funny thing is we made a noise “Joob!” when we try to get the meat out. The easiest way is to use toothpick to pull out the meat.