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Why Is Pad Thai Red

Why Is Pad Thai Red

Why Is Pad Thai Red

Pad Thai appears red because many places that make Pad Thai, especially in the States, use Ketchup instead of Tamarind Paste. This gives Pad Thai a distinct red colour. Another reason is the use of shrimp or crab fat in the recipe which gives the dish an orange or red appearance.

Granted, I am certainly not an expert in authentic Thai cuisine, and this home-cooked Pad Thai recipe is totally inspired by a version of pad Thai from a restaurant that I was lucky enough to grow up eating half-way across the globe in the Midwest. This incredible pad Thai recipe starts off with fresh ingredients including rice noodles, chicken, shrimp, tofu, peanuts, fried eggs, and fresh vegetables, all mixed together in a tasty homemade Pad Thai sauce. There are a lot of versions of Pad Thai in Thailand, depending on which region in the country is cooking pad thai, as there are various ingredients that can be used to provide a distinctive flavour in Pad Thai sauce.

What Is Pad Thai Red
MeaningPad Thai is a spicy, tasty blend of noodles, vegetables, and chicken or shrimp
Made With It is made with either rice noodles, which is the version we are going to be making today, or without the soybean noodles.
What Is Pad Thai Red

Pad Thai is a spicy, tasty blend of noodles, vegetables, and chicken or shrimp, all mixed together with a sweet-and-sour sauce that has just a touch of heat. It is made with either rice noodles, which is the version we are going to be making today, or without the soybean noodles, called Pad Thai Woonsen (phad aithy wunesn), which I like quite a bit too. You can make this recipe using any kind of rice noodles, but I like it made with the traditional Pad Thai-style noodles, which gives the dish a texture that is akin to that of linguine. I used brown rice noodles to make this recipe gluten-free, but you can use whatever kind of noodles you have on hand.

Learn how to make pad Thai

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To get that extra creamy sauce, use a bit of vegetable stock to thin the sauce while the rice noodles are cooking. Once the noodles feel tender enough to be eaten straight from the pot, but slightly al dente, add sauce to finish cooking. Immediately throw your noodles in a hot wok with your vegetables and sauce, plus about 1/3 cup water, and finish cooking in the wok until perfectly al dente. If your cooked noodles are sticking, simply rinse under cold water again and strain right before using; they should pull apart just fine.

Then, just stir together all your ingredients, making sure that at some point, when the shrimp is done cooking, the noodles are soft. Once the noodles are done cooking, mix in the sauce with the noodles and allow it to cook on a low flame so it can thicken up even more.

Using a small bowl, mix together fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind paste, crushed red pepper, and sugar; mix until tamarind paste and sugar are dissolved and are thoroughly combined. Add tamarind paste, palm sugar, fish sauce, and ground toasted red chili to taste, mixing well. Tamarind paste is available in commercial stores, but if you would like to make your own, heres how.

If you would like to use tamarind paste, replace the rice vinegar with approximately 2 tbsps., in this incredible pad thai recipe. While it might be surprising to see Pad Thai made using Thai chile powder, the red colour is actually from using Tamarind Sauce, made with tamarind pulp.

Many recipes in Thailand will call for using dried chilli peppercorns in a paste, which will then give Pad Thai some extra heat. Also, many places making Pad Thai, particularly in the US, used tomato sauce, and this Pad Thai was reddish, and did not taste anything like an authentic Pad Thai. Granted, some American Thai restaurants switched over to using ketchup at places with concentrated tamarind, giving the Pad Thai an obviously different, less-tangy taste.

In Thailand, we pair it with Chinese garlic or shallots, a slice of lime, sugar, toasted peanuts, and ground red pepper, so that everyone can tailor the flavors to taste. Pad Thai is made with eggs, bean sprouts, tofu, basil leaves, peanuts, chili paste, lime juice, soy sauce, garlic, sugar, and fish sauce. Made of chewy, pleasantly firm rice noodles, sauteed vegetables, typically at least one kind of protein, and irresistibly fresh, sweet, tangy tamarind sauce, pad Thai is all the things that I love about a great bowl of noodles.

My home-cooked chicken pad Thai is a stir-fry made with flat rice noodles, vegetables, eggs, boneless, skinless chicken breast, and a simple sauce recipe that is equal parts savory, sour, and sweet. I do not keep my love of Thai food secret (here are a few of my favorite recipes inspired by Thai cuisine). My love comes from cooking with my mother, as well as enjoying my favorite Thai restaurants close to home, such as My Thai, owned by Dee Benson.

My second favourite noodle type to use for this recipe is a wide rice noodles, similar to what I used for my vegan pad See Ew. Egg noodles add their own savoury notes and heavier texture, and they pair with beef pad see Ew to create an ultra-savoury alternative to a more balanced pad Thai. The signature choice of rice noodles in Pad Thai allows the dishes rich tamarind-water, fish-sauce, and red-chile-based sauces to hit all of the sweet, savory, spicy, and acidic notes that your palate may be craving.

As written, these Thai Red Curry noodles are not especially spicy, but you could throw in a 1 tsp red pepper flake or pinch of cayenne pepper in the sauce to kick up the heat a notch. You can tofu fry up a little bit in oil, then toss that into these Thai Red Curry Noodles, or roast up some chicken and serve that as a side. I included options in the recipe box below on how to make pad thai using beef, pork, shrimp, or tofu instead of (or mixed in with) cooked chicken.

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Some red curry pastes have dried shrimp or shrimp paste in them, so if you want to ensure that this recipe is vegetarian-friendly and vegan-friendly, you will need to check the red curry paste labels to ensure that it does not contain those ingredients. Red curry paste is typically found at grocery stores, in the same aisles where you will find soy sauce, Sriracha, and other Asian sauce ingredients. For a more authentic pad thai recipe using palm sugar and tamarind paste, see the recipe on Thai cooking with joy.

What is Pad Thai sauce made of?

Fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, and tamarind paste are the main ingredients in traditional pad thai sauce. Because tamarind paste is difficult to find in typical grocery shops, I used rice vinegar as a replacement. Replace the rice vinegar in this recipe with around 2 Tablespoons of tamarind paste if you like.

Does authentic pad thai have peanuts?

An Asian noodle dish called pad Thai is stir-fried with crushed peanuts and a sweet-savory-sour sauce. It is cooked with thin, flat rice noodles, and the most common proteins are chicken or prawns/shrimp. It also nearly always includes bean sprouts, garlic chives, scrambled eggs, firm tofu, and bean sprouts.

Does Pad Thai sauce taste like a fish?

The meal is rich but not powerful since pad thai is traditionally recognized for its sweet, acidic, bitter, and nutty flavors without too much saltiness. In addition, tamarind increases the recipe’s tanginess. Overall, it has a savory flavor. It varies, though, depending on the changes made after it gained notoriety.