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This Shortcut Pad Thai will Free Up Your Weeknights


Pad thai is one of our favorite dishes from Thailand, with its pleasing mix of spicy, salty, sweet and sour flavors. Try this satiating and delicious shortcut version to get your fix on busy weeknights!

©Silvia Santucci

Once A Classic, Always A Classic—The Inimitable Pad Thai

Thailand's cuisine is incredibly rich and varied, making it one of the best countries in the world for adventurous foodies. There are so many delicious things to try, all with such rich flavor components and a satisfying degree of spice. Despite the wide array of dishes to choose from, somehow we always find ourselves sticking with the classic pad thai. There's just something utterly satisfying about digging into a pile of warm noodles, loaded with crispy tofu and veggies in that magical sauce. It's flavorful and satiating—to us, it represents a perfect dish.

While the traditional version is made with firm tofu, you can easily make it with chicken, shrimp or beef. It also usually includes dry shrimp, tamarind pulp and palm sugar, all of which are somewhat difficult to find, unless you live near an Asian market. That being said, nowadays you can find myriad versions of pad thai and countless "traditional" recipes to imitate. Preparations even differ from one Thai family to another. However you make it, the most important thing to remember is creating that essential combination of sweet-sour-salty-spicy. These are the core flavor sensations you should have in a bowl of pad thai. 

For a quick, 30-minute dinner, try our shortcut recipe for pad thai. It's a simplified version of the classic dish but no less delicious! If you absolutely must have eggs in yours, simply scramble up 1 or 2 eggs after cooking the tofu, then add them back in at the end.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves 4



  • 8 oz. rice noodles
  • 8 oz. herb-crusted extra-firm tofu
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 bunch of spring onions
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup peanuts
  • A few sprigs of cilantro
  • 2 fresh bird's eye chilies (optional)
  • 3 tbsp peanut oil


  • 4 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp lime juice

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Chef Tips and Tricks

VIDEO: Easy Carb-Free Pepper Toast


  • Pepper
  • Shrimp (already cooked)
  • Tzatzíki 
  • Coriander


Slice pepper and place slices in the toaster

Mix Tzatzíki and shrimp

Spread the mix onto the toasted pepper

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