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30 Minute Pad Thai Using Pre-Made Sauce Recipe (Cheater Version)

I’m going to be sharing with you how to make homemade Pad Thai using a pre-made sauce from your local asian grocer. I’m going to show you my favorite brand of Pad Thai pre-made sauce and a recipe to go with it. 

Pad Thai is the ultimate Thai noodle dish that has a special place in pretty much everyone’s heart. It is an absolutely delicious noodle dish that is a staple at every Thai restaurant. The sauce itself is made with the perfect blend of savory, spicy, sweet, and tangy flavors with fresh ingredients.

The sauce for Pad Thai can sometimes tricky to get just right, but I’m going to show you this simplified version so that you can have homemade Pad Thai on your table in 30 minutes or less. It doesn’t get ANY easier than this.

If you are looking for a recipe without all the flair of finding tamarind, palm sugar, and other ingredients that you may not use again, I’m going to show you how to make this on a busy weeknight. With this cheater version of Pad Thai, you’ll have homemade Pad Thai in less than 30 minutes!

premmade recipe for homemade pad thai

Asian Supermarket Ingredients

As always, in most of my recipes on this site, I list out special ingredients that you need to pick up from your local asian market. And if you have never been, don’t worry – I have a guide that can help you navigate your local Asian grocer if it’s your first time

Best Pad Thai Sauce

I’ve tried MANY Pad Thai sauces from my local Asian grocery store, and I’ve often been disappointed. After lots of searching I’ve found my favorite Pad Thai sauce.

The best pre-made Pad Thai sauce has a label titled “Pad Thai Sauce: Sour and Spicy Sauce for Stirring with Rice Sticks”. It is a sauce that provides the sweetness that Pad Thai needs, yet also has the balance of flavor from the tamarind. 

When you pour this jar into your wok or pot during cooking, it will look darker as it is poured in. However, the color will lighten as you continue to mix in the noodles.

Rice Noodle Sticks

Rice noodle sticks are not the same as vermicelli noodles. They come in various options, but the ones that you should get are the thin, somewhat flat ones. In order to save time, there are rice noodles that you can buy in the refrigerated section that have been hydrated, which is best if you are in a hurry and need to cut out some time in making Pad Thai.

Here are the ones that I use that I keep on hand. If you use this version, you’ll need to soak the rice sticks in hot, but not boiling, water so that it will soften the noodles enough to the point where the stir-fry will then finish cooking the rice noodles.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Prawns

Prawns and shrimp are an amazing deal at most Asian markets and you get larger (and often fresher) batches. Sometimes, you’ll see them with the heads. If you can get over this, you’ll be getting an absolute steal on this ingredient for Pad Thai. Prawns are optional for Pad Thai, but it provides the protein along with the chicken for this recipe.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I ensure that the eggs in my Pad Thai don’t end up soggy?

In order for your eggs not to become soggy in Pad Thai, I recommend scrambling the eggs and cooking them into a flat omelette. Remove them from the heat and then cut them into 1/2 inch long strips.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Is it better to use hydrated rice noodles or dehydrated rice noodles for Pad Thai?

It really depends on when you plan on stocking up on the ingredients and when you plan on actually cooking the dish. If you plan on cooking Pad Thai right away, using hydrated noodles will shave off about 10 minutes of the time needed to soak the noodles. If you plan on just stocking up your cupboard for a couple of weeks, dehydrated rice sticks may be best so that the noodles don’t expire and you can stock up as needed.

What are the ingredients in Pad Thai sauces?

Pad Thai sauce usually consists of tamarind concentrate, palm sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, and lime juice.

The hardest part about making Pad Thai sauce from scratch is getting the perfect balance of these ingredients into the sauce so that each one sits in harmony with one another.

What are ways I can modify this recipe?

Aside from the sauce, Pad Thai can be adapted and modified to suit most tastes.

  • Protein: The most popular proteins are chicken and shrimp. However, you can also use pork.
  • Oil: You can use any mild cooking oil – vegetable oil, peanut oil, or coconut oil.
  • Veggies: The most traditional veggies added are bean sprouts and cilantro/green onion as a topping.

Related Post: What’s the difference between Pad Thai and Pad See Ew?

How to Make Homemade Pad Thai with Pre-Made Sauce

Ingredients for Easy Pad Thai

  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pound of chicken breast, thinly sliced and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 ounces of Pad Thai Sauce in a jar
  • 1 pound of shrimp, deveined and cooked
  • 10 ounces of rice noodle sticks
  • 3 eggs, whisked and cut
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts

Garnish

  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedge

Instructions for Simple Homemade Pad Thai

Step 1 – Prepare your noodles

If you are using dehydrated rice noodles, you will want to soak them in hot (not boiling water) for 10 minutes. If you are using hydrated noodles, you will want to separate the noodles and cut them into shorter lengths.

Step 2 – Get the other ingredients ready

The eggs should be cut into pieces. The chicken should be chopped into bite-sized pieces, uncooked. The shrimp should be cooked, deveined with the tail still on.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 3 – Heat your pot

Put a large wok or pot on medium heat. Add in the cooking oil. Next, add in the minced garlic until lightly golden.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 4 – Add in diced, cubed chicken or any other protein (see recipe notes below)

Add in the chicken into the pot, and continue stirring until halfway cooked.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 5 – Add additional seasoning

Add in the brown sugar and the salt.

Step 6 – Add in the Pad Thai premade sauce

Continue stirring the chicken until cooked.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Add in the entire jar of the Pad Thai sauce jar.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Fill the empty jar with water and scrub the remnants of the sauce, stir it together. Set aside to reserve for a few steps after this.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 7 – Add in the Prawns and Shrimp

Add in the prawns and/or shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Next, grab the jar and add the water with the Pad Thai sauce.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 8 – Add Rice Sticks

Next, add in the rice sticks. Stir until the sauce has covered all of the noodles.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 9 – Add in the eggs

Add in the eggs. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 10 – Add in the bean sprouts

Add in the bean sprouts and continue stirring.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Step 11 – Garnish and serve

Serve the Pad Thai while it is hot, garnished with cilantro, green onion, crushed peanuts, and a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

pad thai recipe using premade sauce

           pad thai recipe using premade sauce

Summary for Easy to Make Pad Thai

Using pre-made Pad Thai sauce doesn’t have to be underwhelming. If you choose the right sauce, you can enhance the store-bought Pad Thai with fresh, flavorful ingredients. But the foundation is getting the RIGHT sauce.

So there you have it – this cheater Pad Thai with a Pre-Made sauce is a quick, delicious way to get your Thai fix in on a busy weeknight.

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premmade recipe for homemade pad thai

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Pad Thai Using Pre-Made Sauce Recipe

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes

With this easy and simplified version, you can have homemade Pad Thai using a pre-made sauce on your table in 30 minutes or less. It seriously does not get any easier than this!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pound of chicken breast, thinly sliced and cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 ounces of Pad Thai Sauce in a jar
  • 1 pound of shrimp, deveined and cooked
  • 10 ounces of vermicelli rick sticks
  • 3 eggs, whisked and cut
  • 1 cup of bean sprouts

Garnish

  • 1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of peanuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 lime, cut into wedge

Instructions

  1. Prepare your noodles. If you are using dehydrated rice noodles, you will want to soak them in hot (not boiling water) for 10 minutes. If you are using hydrated noodles, you will want to separate the noodles and cut them into shorter lengths.
  2. Get the other ingredients ready. The eggs should be cut into pieces. The chicken should be chopped into bite-sized pieces, uncooked. The shrimp should be cooked, deveined with the tail still on.
  3. Put a large wok or pot on medium heat. Add in the cooking oil. Next, add in the minced garlic until lightly golden.
  4. Add in the chicken into the pot, and continue stirring until halfway cooked.
  5. Add in the brown sugar and the salt.
  6. Continue stirring the chicken until cooked. Add in the entire jar of the Pad Thai sauce jar. Next, use the jar with the remaining sauces that are stuck on the sides of the jar and add in water. Pour that water into the pot.
  7. Add in the prawns and/or shrimp. Cook for 2 minutes.
  8. Next, add in the rice sticks. Stir until the sauce has covered all of the noodles.
  9. Add in the eggs. Keep stirring for another 2 minutes.
  10. Add in the bean sprouts.
  11. Serve the Pad Thai while it is hot, garnished with cilantro, green onion, crushed peanuts, and a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

Notes

If you want to use a different protein, here are some options on how to prepare the protein for Pad Thai for use with this recipe.

  • Pork Pad Thai: Use lean, boneless pork loin cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • Beef Pad Thai: Use lean steak like a New York steak strip that is sliced and cut into bite sized pieces.
  • Tofu Pad Thai: Use 14 ounces of extra firm tofu cut into 1/4 inch cube pieces. Next, drain the tofu by pressing slices between paper towels. Cook the tofu in cooking oil in a single layer for 1 minute, undisturbed on both sides to prepare.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 492Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 317mgSodium: 1879mgCarbohydrates: 34gFiber: 2gSugar: 15gProtein: 49g
pad thai with premade sauce

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Tuesday 2nd of February 2021

Thanks for a great tasting and easy to make recipe! I have been searching for a tasty pad Thai that was quick and yummy.

Laura McGrew

Monday 24th of February 2020

This is great! I found this sauce easily at the Asian market. I like a little more lime in my Pad Thai, so I used lime juice to rinse the sauce bottle. It was just perfect! Thank you!

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