Better Than Delivery Pad Thai

pad thai
If you often find yourself falling into the “too tired to cook, let’s order delivery” camp, I’ve got about 75% of the solution right here*. This recipe for pad thai is quick, easy, and so good you may want to double the recipe for leftover lunch all week!

To make this dish, or any stir-fry really, you must practice mis-en-place. Get all the ingredients ready ahead of time, and set them out in small bowls or own a cutting board, because stir-frying is quick business. You won’t have time to prep as you cook!


Serves 3-4; cooking time about 35 minutes

  • 8 ounces of rice stick noodles
  • 2 tablespoons of coconut or canola oil
  • 1 lbs of protein: cubed tofu, raw peeled shrimp, diced chicken, or diced beef
  • ½ of a red onion, cut into thin slices
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 2 cups of mung bean sprouts
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ¼ cup of chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or a combination
  • ¼ cup of roasted peanuts, crushed or whole as desired**
  • 4-8 lime wedges for serving
  • Sauce:
    • ¼ cup of agave nectar or honey
    • ¼ cup of mirin
    • 3 tablespoons of ketchup
    • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
    • 1 ½ tablespoons of lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon of sriracha or other chili sauce


  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare the sauce in a small bowl. Whisk together the agave nectar/honey, mirin, ketchup, lime juice, soy sauce, and sriracha or other chili sauce.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet or wok on high. Add tofu or shrimp and stir-fry for 6-8 minutes. (Make sure not to overcook the shrimp!) Add the red onion and stir fry for 1 minute. Add garlic and stir-fry another minute.
  4. Add the noodles and the sauce. Mix the contents of the wok together.
  5. Add carrots, scallions, and bean sprouts, and continue stir-frying for another 2 minutes.
  6. Transfer the noodles to plates and garnish with herbs, lime wedges, and roasted peanuts.

*In case you’re wondering, the other 25% is a bit of planning and willpower, which I cannot, as of yet, bestow unto you via blog post. Sorry.

**If you have regular or dry roasted peanuts, toss them in an empty skillet on high heat, constantly watching so they don’t burn, for 4-5 minutes. You should see them sweat a little bit; remove them shortly after and before they sport too many dark brown spots.

This version of pad thai is quite nutritious, with ample servings of vegetables and options for lean protein. With tofu, in fact, it’s entirely vegan. Each serving comes to around $2.50 if you’re using less expensive chicken or tofu; shrimp might run you a bit more, but it’s darn delicious. And in any case, way less than what you’d pay for takeout!

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