Pad Mee Korat Thai Spicy Noodles Stir Fry dish is a sweet, salty rice noodles recipe. It's a popular dish from Korat, a province in Northeast Thailand. The bold flavors make this recipe highly addictive. And for a deliciously good reason!
For more Thai rice noodle recipes, make these delicious recipes too. Pad mee. Pad Thai, Pad See Ew, and Drunken noodles. These recipes will give you full local Thai flavors that you will enjoy for many meals!
What is Pad Mee Korat?
Pad Mee Korat is a Thai spicy noodle stir fry recipe that offers bold and sassy flavor with spicier, more umami, salty, and sweet! Though it uses more sauces than Pad Thai and Pad Mee, it uses fewer other ingredients in the stir fry. All the full flavors of Isaan food in one noodle dish!
Pad Mee Korat is what I grew up eating, especially at Festivals, night markets, and significant events like weddings and funerals. For the longest time, I thought Pad Mee Korat was the same as Pad Thai. I came to realize that it wasn’t at all! In Isaan, we ate Pad Mee and Spicy Pad Mee Korat more because it offers spicy, salty, and sweet.
Why this recipe works
- You can add more vegetables for a healthier option. Feel free to add vegetables to your Pad Mee Korat. Shredded carrots, slice pea pods, shredded cabbage, broccoli, and green bean are great options.
- You can make the sauce ahead of time and for more than one batch too! For example, if you want to make one batch with protein and another for vegetarian friends or family.
- Pad Mee Korat keeps well as leftovers; you can reheat it for a few meals.
- You can easily adjust the spiciness of the recipe.
- It's vegetarian-friendly! Add tofu and or a few other vegetables instead of the meat.
Ingredients for making Pad Mee Korat
- Oil. Use coconut, avocado, canola, or vegetable oil. Divide the oil into two different steps in the cooking process. Check the instructions for more details.
- Garlic. Be generous with the garlic. It adds to the strong flavor of the Pad Mee Korat. (;
- Thai chilis. Fresh bird's eye chilis, long red chilis, serrano, or jalapenos are great for use to add heat.
- Shallot. Use purple onion as a substitute.
- Chicken breast. Cut the meat into small thin slices for quick cooking. Any protein is excellent for Pad Mee Korat—pork, chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu, or only vegetables.
- Rice noodles. Dry or fresh rice noodles will work for this recipe. Smaller rice noodles like Pad Thai or pho noodles work best. If using dry noodles, follow packet instructions before cooking. Read more about the different types of Thai noodles here.
- Eggs. Add excellent extra protein and flavors to the stir-fry.
- Spring onion. A must for this recipe.
- Bean sprouts. Mung beans or soybeans sprouts work great!
Ingredients for making Pad Mee Korat Sauce
Learn more about the essential sauces for Thai cooking here.
- Sweet soy sauce. It adds a sweet, umami flavor to the stir fry.
- Thin soy sauce. Use any soy sauce, but adjust more if necessary at the end.
- Fish sauce. Any brand is fine. Adjust with more flavors before serving if it needs more saltiness.
- Soybean paste. It adds an intense umami flavor to Pad Mee Korat. There's no substitute for soybean paste or sauce.
- Tamarind paste. Use rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or fresh lime juice as a substitute. Learn more about tamarind here. Also, if you feel adventurous, make your own tamarind paste from pulp using this recipe.
- Sugar. Use brown, white, or palm sugar.
- White sugar. It adds a nice sharp sweetness that intensifies and compliments the palm sugar.
How to Make Pad Mee Korat Thai Spicy Noodles Stir Fry
STEP 1. Soak dry noodles in hot water (not boiling) for 15-20 minutes. Drain and set aside until ready. If using fresh noodles, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes.
STEP 2. Add fish sauce, soybean paste, tamarind paste, palm sugar, sweet dark soy sauce, and thin soy sauce in a small saucepan. Microwave for 1-2 minutes until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to let cool. Or bring to a gentle boil on the stove on medium heat.
STEP 3. Heat a large skillet on medium-high heat using half of the oil. Add garlic, shallot, and chilis, and fry for 30-45 seconds until fragrant.
STEP 4. Add the chicken, and cook until lightly browned, 4-5 minutes.
STEP 5. Add the rice noodles, stir well, and cook for 2 minutes. Add water if your noodles are sticking to the pan, 2-3 tablespoons.
STEP 6. Move the noodles to one side of a wok, add the remaining oil to that empty side, and crack two eggs. Stir everything together after the eggs are cooked to a light scramble.
STEP 7. Add the sauce to the noodles, stir well, and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring once or twice.
STEP 8. Add the bean sprouts and green onions. Stir together, taste your Thai Pad Mee Korat, and adjust with more fish sauce, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, and sugar. Stir gently one last time, remove from heat, and serve fresh. Garnish with a lime wedge, crushed peanuts, and fresh or dried chili flakes. Enjoy!
Helpful Kitchen Tips
- If the rice noodles stick together before adding them to the pan, rinse in the water before adding.
- If you can find fresh rice and noodles, lessen the soaking and cooking time.
- If you don’t want your pad to see Korat spicy, omit the chilis entirely.
Helpful Tools for Making Pad Mee Korat
Frequently Asked Questions
Pad Thai has 3 sauces that make up the famous Pad Thai flavors: fish sauce, palm sugar, and tamarind paste. Pad Thai uses tofu, pickled daikon, and dried shrimp in the recipe, while Pad Mee Korat doesn’t. Instead, Mad Mee Korat uses more sauces but fewer vegetables and other ingredients. Pad Mee Korat is also spicy, whereas Pad Thai is not.
Pad Mee Korat has sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and bold flavors from fresh Thai chilis, garlic, and shallot. It has intense umami flavors from a sauce that uses sweet soy sauce, thin soy sauce, fish sauce, soybean paste, tamarind, and palm sugar.
More Thai Recipes You’ll Love!
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