Salmon Pad Thai

A late night dinner… Pad Thai recipes (I ultimately based mine on this Eating Well recipe) kept mentioning shrimp for some reason. I don’t like shrimp but did have salmon that needed to be used tonight.


  • 4 ounces dried rice noodles
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 ounces small shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cups mung bean sprouts
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallion greens
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • teaspoon chili-garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts

As you can see I’m not a fan of bean sprouts either. It always seems silly when I see something sold in the store that I always thought the sole purpose was to be picked out of food.

After chopping half a bunch of green onions, which only came out to a quarter cup, it looked like the recipe was going overboard on that part. So I filled in the rest with chopped cilantro.

Soak rice noodles in warm water to cover in a large bowl until they are limp and white, about 20 minutes.

This makes me realize I’ve been cooking my (rice) noodles wrong in the past, wanting to boil them like pasta. I had to dig out my largest mixing bowl to be wide enough to hold the stiff noodles.

The noodle package itself said to soak for 30 minutes. There were warnings not to over-soften if they’re going to be stir-fried next, so this was kind of a leap of faith. They still didn’t feel close to “cooked” after 30 minutes.

Heat oil over high heat in a wok until very hot. Add the garlic and stir-fry until golden, about 10 seconds.

The reason peanut oil is used for this kind of thing is it has a higher burning point so you can get to the “very hot” point without it starting to smoke. Cooking at this high of a heat also means that your garlic is going to start browning in the time it takes you to reach for the next ingredient.

Add the egg and cook, stirring, until scrambled, about 30 seconds.

Next I added the salmon I had cut into pieces in place of the shrimp and stir-fried until the salmon was mostly cooked.

Drain the noodles and add to the wok, tossing with tongs until they soften and curl, about 1 minute. Add bean sprouts, scallion greens, vinegar, fish sauce, sugar and chile-garlic sauce


The noodles did cook perfectly as intended.

Sprinkle with peanuts and serve immediately.


I admit I’ve been intimidated by making pad Thai myself but now I see it’s as easy and versatile as… stir-fry that I’ll actually want to eat.

  1. Shteevie says:

    I’m surprised that your pad thai recipe doesn’t have tamarind paste in it. That’s the sweet/tangy flavor that I most strongly associate with pad thai. I know you can get the stuff at Uwajimaya.

    I think salmon could be a neat changeup if you don’t like or have shrimp, but it’s certainly not a local ingredient to thailand!

  2. Michael says:

    You should try the beansprouts–they blend right in with the noodles!

    But if you’re really opposed to them, here’s an interesting idea I picked up from an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s F Word to add some veg to a noodle dish:

    Take a carrot, and use a peeler to cut it into long noodle-like strips, running the peeler down the length of the entire carrot. Add the carrot noodles to the stir fry the same time you add your rice noodles, they’ll cook very quickly because they’re so thin.

    Also, I very much agree with the comment about the tamarind paste above!

  1. There are no trackbacks for this post yet.

Leave a Reply