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Marnee Thai’s Pad Thai | Thai Food in America Recipes

Chef Chai Siriyan founded San Francisco’s Marnee Thai in 1986, and since then he has been serving his take on the star attraction of any Thai menu: Pad Thai. Chef Chai walks us through the special treatment that must be given to the ingredients to make a perfect Pad Thai, even as he makes his award-winning dish with blazing speed. This demonstration appeared in our Thai Food in America series, episode 1, “Gastrodiplomacy and the Rise of Thai Cuisine in America.”

This recipe comes from Chef Chai’s book Thai Cuisine Beyond Curry.

Estimated cooking time: 30 minutes


  • 4 tbsp cooking oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp minced sweet radish
  • 1/4 cup bean curd, cut into match-stick strips
  • 1 pound fresh rice stick noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes and drained, or 1/2 pound dried noodles (soaked in warm water for 10-15 minutes)
  • 8 medium shrimp (26-30 count per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup of chicken stock or water
  • 2-3 green onions or Chinese chives, into 1 1/2 inch lengths
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, roasted and ground
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges fresh vegetables for accompaniment
  • Chinese chives, bean sprouts, banana blossom wedge or pennyworth, if available


  • 2 Tablespoons palm sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon tamarind water (see page 33)
  • 3-4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice, freshly squeezed
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder, to taste


  1. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stir well to blend. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large wok or large pan over high heat. When the work is very hot, crack the eggs into thw ok. using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir until set, about 20 seconds.
  3. Add noodles and shrimp; stir briefly.
  4. Add the chicken stock and cook until the noodles begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Drizzle in the sauce and toss to evenly coat the noodles. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the noodles absorb most of the sauce and begin to dry.
  5. Stir in green onions, bean sprouts and half of ground peanuts.
  6. Toss a few times and transfer to plate. Sprinkle with the remaining peanuts and serve with lime wedge and fresh vegetables on the side.

Watch Chef Chai make it: