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Pad Thai Sauce Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (1 Review)


Shrimp pad thai
Nicole Branan/E+/Getty Images
Pad Thai sauce is very easy to make, and this simple recipe will tell you how to do it. Pad Thai noodles are becoming very popular around the world, and can easily be made at home if you have the right ingredients. The key to good pad thai sauce is tamarind. Tamarind is a kind of tropical fruit that comes in pods. The best way to buy tamarind is as a prepared paste (available by the jar or bottle at Asian or Indian food stores).

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes


  • 1 to 1.5 Tbsp. tamarind paste , to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tbsp. fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. chili sauce, OR 1/3 to 3/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 3-4 Tbsp. palm sugar OR brown sugar


  1. Place all ingredients in a cup and stir to dissolve both tamarind paste and sugar (note you will need lots of sugar to balance out the sourness of the tamarind). When taste-testing, keep in mind the following tips: In order to achieve the best results, your pad Thai sauce should taste sweet first, followed by spicy-salty and sour last. Add more sugar if it tastes too sour to you, or add more chili for more intense spiciness. Also note that the sauce will taste almost too strong at this point, but once distributed throughout the noodles, the flavor will be perfect.
  2. Your pad Thai sauce is now ready to be used, or store it in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks. Note: this recipes makes 2/3 cup Pad Thai Sauce (enough for 1 batch of Pad Thai, enough for 9 ounces of noodles to serve 2-4 people)
Tips for Making Thai out of this Sauce: For authentic-tasting pad thai, be sure to soak your rice noodles (instead of boiling them) until they are softened but still firm and little bit "crunchy", then fry them up with the sauce.

For complete instructions on how to how to use this sauce, see my: Classic Pad Thai Recipe. For more pad Thai recipes, see my: Classic Pad Thai Recipes (including Vegetarian).

User Reviews

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 5 out of 5
Way Better than Store-Bought!, Member daisysissylee

I've been to Thailand a few times and this sauce makes the best pad thai I've had since then. I've tried the store-bought type and didn't like it (and our favorite Thai restaurant always puts tomato ketchup in theirs which I don't like either). I found tamarind in a plastic-like jar at our local Indian food store and used Thai chili sauce instead of fresh chilies (the 'Sriracha' type) and also added chili flakes to the noodles as I fried them for extra spice. The soaking tip at the bottom of this recipe helped a lot, as did the pad thai recipe link. Thanks for the great recipe(s)!

38 out of 39 people found this helpful.

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