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4.43 from 7 votes

Pad Thai with Beef

A bed of rice noodles and tender strips of beef coated with the savory flavors of tamarind, garlic and fish sauce, flecked with peanuts and cilantro.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time6 mins
Total Time36 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 807kcal
Author: Judy Purcell


  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles
  • 1/4 cup Red Boat Fish Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut palm sugar , adjust to taste
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic , minced
  • 1 lb beef , pork, or chicken (or a combination), sliced in 1/4" strips; or shrimp halved lengthwise
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups chopped green onions (2-3 bunches), white and green parts separate (the exact amount of each is not important)
  • 8 ounces bean sprouts (about 2 cups), rinsed and dry
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Bonito flakes , or more to taste
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts , coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 whole lime cut into wedges for garnish


  • In a large bowl, combine the noodles with enough warm water to cover. Soak until just tender, about 30 minutes, then drain and set aside. Or follow package directions.
  • Using a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, vinegar, tamarind paste, crushed red pepper, and sugar; stir until the tamarind paste and sugar dissolves and is well blended. Set aside.
  • Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet or wok. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds or just fragrant. Stir in the meat and cook until the just cooked through, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  • In the same skillet, cook the eggs about 1 minute, stirring to break up into small pieces. Add the white part of the onions and cook for 2 minutes to soften. Stir in the sprouts, Bonito flakes, green part of the onions, fish sauce mixture, and noodles, and cook until mixed well and warmed through, stirring frequently. Taste, and sprinkle in more Bonito flakes, as desired.
  • Toss in the reserved meat and peanuts, and cook for 30 seconds to incorporate into the noodles. Sprinkle with the cilantro and lime juice; serve immediately with lime wedges and Sriracha sauce on the side.


  • Dried Bonito flakes, known as katsuo-bushi or katsuobushi in Japanese cuisine, are thin flakes of dried, smoked bonito fish.
  • Like dried shrimp or shrimp paste (often used in Pad Thai), bonito flakes add a savory flavor to any dish.
  • Bonito flakes were easier to find than dried shrimp or paste in our area. Bonito is sliced so thinly it melts into soups, sauces, or stews for a umami flavor boost.


Calories: 807kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 44g | Saturated Fat: 19g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 714mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 780IU | Vitamin C: 19.1mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 4.9mg