pad thai noodles

Makes: 4 servings


I came across this recipe in Felicity Cloake's Guardian food article (see link below). I grew up eating loads of pad thai and think this is the closest recipe there is to perfect pad thai. You can use chicken instead of prawns and leave tofu out (which I usually do as it's hard to find in Geneva), or just leave out all proteins and make it vegetarian. Super-versatile.

Make sure you do not overcook the rice noodles - soak them til VERY al dente and then rinse with cold water straight away, to stop them cooking more. It's important to do this as the noodles absorb the tamarind juice/fish sauce and sugar for quite a while, which softens the noodles really quickly.


  1. soak rice noodles in boiling hot water for 10 mins or til al dente. Drain and rinse in cold water
  2. meanwhile, make sauce by combining fish sauce, tamarind water and palm sugar in a small pan, heating gently on stove til sugar dissolves
  3. heat wok on high heat, add half the oil. Add crushed garlic and chilli and stir-fry for a few seconds til fragrant. Then add the drained noodles and a splash of water. Stir-fry the noodles til they are drying out, then add the sauce mix and fry til noodles fully absorb sauce and are almost soft
  4. push the noodles to the side of the work, and add the rest of the oil. Fry tofu and prawns til they colour, then push to the side and add egg mixture, scrambling
  5. stir through the noodles and add the preserved radish, beansrpouts, chives and peanuts, combining well. Serve with lime wedges as a zingy garnish 


  • 240g rice stick noodles (5mm length usually)
  • 120 ml fish sauce
  • 120 ml tamarind water (made from concentrate and lukewarn water)
  • 120g palm sugar (block is ideal but normal brown sugar is fine if you don't have it)
  • 4 birdseye chillies, crushed (less if you don't like spice)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 80ml groundnut oil
  • 200g extra-firm tofu, chopped in small cubes (optional)
  • 12 large prawns
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten
  • 50g preserved salted radish, chopped
  • 200g beansprouts
  • 8 stalks of Chinese chives, chopped (don't use spring onion)
  • 100g roasted peanuts, roughly chopped (unsalted preferably)
  • lime wedges to garnish