A blue dish with pad thai and chopsticks and a sauce dish visible next to it
Photography, Jamie Cho

Easy Pad Thai

With the help of a few shortcuts, this chicken pad thai comes together in under 15 minutes.

Traditional pad thai has a lengthy ingredient list that can make the dish difficult to prepare at home, but chef and food writer Ching-He Huang simplifies things in her book Wok for Less: Budget-Friendly Asian Meals in 30 Minutes or Less. “My tasty version [of pad thai] is perfect for a light supper. Use shop-bought veggies and cooked noodles to make the meal even speedier,” Huang writes. “This recipe is healthy and light without breaking the bank as it uses store-cupboard ingredients.”

To make the recipe vegan, use slices of shiitake mushrooms or smoked tofu instead of the chicken and swap out oyster sauce for mushroom sauce.
A blue dish with pad thai and chopsticks and a sauce dish visible next to it

Easy Pad Thai

Ching-He Huang's simplified pad thai, featuring easy-to-find ingredients and premixed veggies.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 11 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Servings 2


  • 7 oz (200 g) flat rice noodles
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 10½ oz (300 g) chicken breast sliced into strips
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 1 in (2.5 cm) piece fresh root ginger peeled and finely grated
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 7 oz (200 g) bag mixed stir-fry vegetables (beansprouts, cabbage, red onion and carrots)
  • 2 small spring onions trimmed and sliced into 1 in (2.5cm) pieces on the diagonal
  • 1-2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp golden syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce or fish sauce
  • ½ lime juiced

To garnish

  • oz (50 g) roasted, salted peanuts crushed
  • 1 pinch dried chilli flakes


  • Bring a pan of water to the boil. Add the flat rice noodles and cook according to the packet instructions. Drain, refresh under cold water and drizzle over the toasted sesame oil. Set aside.
  • Place the chicken strips in a bowl. Add the dark soy sauce and mix well, add the salt and ground white pepper and then dust with the cornflour.
  • Heat a large wok over a high heat. Add the rapeseed oil and give it a swirl to coat the sides of the wok. Add the grated ginger and stir for a few seconds to release its flavour and aroma in the oil. Follow with the chicken and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the rice wine and dark soy sauce and cook for a further minute until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Quickly follow with the crunchy mixed vegetables and spring onions and toss for 1 minute. Add the oyster sauce, golden syrup, light soy or fish sauce and lime juice. Follow quickly with the cooked rice noodles and toss well together. Cook for another minute until all the ingredients are coated well in the sauce.
  • To serve, divide the noodles between 2 serving plates, garnish with the peanuts and chilli flakes and eat immediately.

More recipes from Ching-He Huang

Wok Roasted Chili Chicken
Ching He Huang's wok recipe for chicken thighs with chili bean sauce and Chinese five spice.
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Chili Chicken Fried Rice
Ching He Huang's recipe for next-day fried rice made with leftovers from her Wok Roasted Chili Chicken.
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Spicy Sichuan Lamb
Ching-He Huang's recipe for a Sichuan-style lamb stir-fry loaded with spicy chilies.
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A book cover in a light frame

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