Chiang Mai Pad Thai Recipe with tamarind, rice noodles, and tofu.

Chiang Mai Pad Thai Recipe

I learned to make this pad thai recipe at a cooking class in Chiang Mai. When traveling in Thailand, I’d often get these Thai fried noodles from street stalls, night markets, and even hostel restaurants. At home, pad thai is a frequent favorite in my GrubHub delivery cart.

Pad Thai is a popular street food in Thailand with soft noodles and chewy tofu (and sometimes chicken or shrimp) coated in a sweet palm sugar and tamarind-based sauce balanced out with the hit of acidity and tartness from a squeeze of lime. There’s crunch from a sprinkling of peanuts and, traditionally, bean sprouts.

I’m not going to lie, though: I kind of hate bean sprouts. I just don’t like their mouthfeel. I don’t like their slippery texture. Luckily, cooking this pad thai recipe myself allows for a bit of creative freedom, and that creative freedom usually involves adding only one or two bean sprouts to my dish. Only enough to say they are in there. Only enough to be able to call this recipe “authentic.” Only enough that I can easily push them aside with my fork.

But maybe you love bean sprouts. I mean, you do you. If that’s the case, feel free to add as many as you want. In fact, you can have mine…

Chiang Mai Pad Thai Recipe with tamarind, rice noodles, and tofu.

Pad Thai

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Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai Food
Servings: 1


  • 100 g thin rice noodles
  • ¼ cup firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 1 Tbsp. dried shrimp
  • 1 Tbsp. pickled radish, chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup Chinese chive or green onion, cut into 3 cm. pieces
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped shallot
  • 1 Tbsp. roasted peanut, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. tamarind juice
  • 1 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • tsp. palm sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • ¾ cup water
  • pinch of chili powder
  • juice from a lime (if desired)


  • Heat oil over low heat and fry tofu until it turns light brown and slightly crispy.
  • Add shallot, dried shrimp, and pickled radish and fry until fragrant.
  • Crack egg into pan, scramble, and sit all ingredients together.
  • Add noodles and water, then turn the heat up to medium.
  • When noodles are soft, season with tamarind juice, fish sauce, and palm sugar.
  • Add bean sprouts and chives, stir briefly and turn off heat.
  • Serve warm with fresh bean sprouts, ground peanuts, chili powder, and lime, as desired.


Chiang Mai Pad Thai Recipe with tamarind, rice noodles, and tofu.
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Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

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