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The Broke Chef: Shrimp Pad Thai

Hi everyone,

Today I will be giving a recipe that is a little bit larger and more complicated than previous posts, but is definitely something anyone can tackle. I personally love Thai food and this is my own personal version of Shrimp Pad Thai.

Shrimp Pad Thai

  • 21-42 deveined shrimp
  • ½ of16 oz package of rice noodles
  • 1 can sliced waterchesnuts
  • 2 cups baby corn
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup peanuts (unsalted)
  • 1 cup sliced almonds (optional)
  • 1 limes
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 cup cut scallions
  • 1 red pepper
  • 2 avocados
  • edible flowers (optional)
  • 1 cup sesame oil


Shelby’s Pad Thai Sauce

  • 2 cups sriracha
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 lime
  • 1 ½ cups peanut butter
  • 1 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 cups toasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup red pepper flakes
  • 3-5 cloves of garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste


Food Prep:

Most of the time cutting everything up takes the most time, and when things are being cooked there is a delicate balance of time that must be taken into consideration. I like to prepare all of my vegetables and ingredients before hand so that when it calls to add them to what you are cooking you can do it with more precision of time.

First dice up the red pepper and white onion keeping them separate, set aside.

Next mince up all the garlic you will be using, set aside.

Remove the tails off your shrimp and place them back into the fridge.

Lastly, placing the scallions at an angle to your knife slowly cut for garnish, set aside.

Leave the avocado and the lime to cut at the very end for freshness.

After you have prepped all of your ingredients add 10-15 cups of water to a big pot and bring to a boil. Once you have brought the water to a boil add the rice noodles and allow cooking for 6 minutes. Once the rice noodles are done strain them under cold running water. Add a palm sized amount of sesame oil to the noodles to prevent them from sticking to each other and then set them aside.

In the meantime, start to warm up some sesame or olive oil in a big wok or skillet. Add the diced onions, minced garlic, peanuts and almond slices. Sweat the onions and garlic. Sweating is a process in which you bring the onions and garlic close to caramelizing, but instead you stop a step before that. At this point the peanuts and almond slices should be slightly roasted. In the same pan add the baby corn, waterchesnuts, and bean sprouts. Cover and allow to cook for 20 minutes stirring often.

In a medium sized pot we can begin to make Shelby’s Pad Thai Sauce. Combine all ingredients into the pot and stir constantly. You are looking for a medium thick consistency. If it becomes too thick try adding butter to the mix, or more coconut milk. If it becomes too thin consider adding more peanut butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Keep on a low heat setting to remain warm.

Check in on your vegetables and nuts that are cooking, making sure nothing is burning on the bottom of the skillet. Next set up a skillet to cook the shrimp in. Warm up some sesame oil or olive oil and place the shrimp in the skillet. Flip the shrimp constantly. The shrimp will only take approximately 5 minutes to cook.

Once the shrimp and your vegetables are done, add the vegetables to the big pot that you cooked the noodles in. Then add the noodles to the wok or skillet your vegetables were in. Allow them to heat up a little and get slightly browned. After that add them back into the big pot with the vegetables. Pour sauce over the noodles and vegetables leaving a little bit of sauce for plating. Stir everything together.

At this point you should cut the other lime into at least 7 slices. You should also cut the avocados as well. I prefer to leave the avocado slices to be long and lengthy, but you can cut them however you feel is best.

To plate take a big heap of noodles and vegetables and place in the middle of the plate. Then place the avocado slices on top. Drizzle the leftover sauce over the entire dish. Then sprinkle scallions and red peppers over top for color. Next take the lime wedges and place on the side of the dish along with edible flowers of different colors. In the space left on the sides of the dish add the cooked shrimp. The picture above is a good example of this exact plating. Serve immediately.


For a cheaper, more simplified version use rice noodles, water chestnuts, sprouts, peanuts and sauce along with whatever protein or other vegetables you enjoy. You can also buy pre-made pad thai sauce in the same area of the grocery store where you will find the water chestnuts and sprouts.

Written by

Hi, my name is Shelby Glee Pratt. I was born and raised in a small town in northern Indiana, and moved to Ohio for my undergraduate degree. I am currently still in the process of obtaining my bachelors in Psychology. Beyond that, I am trying to combine the Culinary world with Psychology. One of my biggest passions in life is cooking. More than being passionate, I am motivated to bring sustainability and ethics to the culinary industry. In my downtime I enjoy reading cook books and magazines, watching documentaries, and traveling, among other things.

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