This quick and tasty beef pad Thai differs slightly from the classic shrimp or chicken pad Thai. This cast iron pan recipe, with beef and broccoli, carrots, beansprouts, and green onions give this version an added depth of flavor which distinguishes it from the more common versions.
Of course, that's not to say it's not authentic. Many street food vendors in Bangkok offer pad Thai beef as an option alongside shrimp or chicken pad Thai noodles. As with most classic dishes, it's the little twists we put on them that make them the most interesting.
Once you've mastered this easy pad Thai recipe, you can try out your own variations. We've added a couple of suggestions at the bottom of the page.
You can either use an 8 oz jar of pre-made pad Thai sauce or create your own with the following ingredients:
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 ½ tbsp fish sauce
1 ½ tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp Sriracha or chili garlic sauce
2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Simply combine all of the pad Thai sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl, stirring until all of the sugar has completely dissolved. Cover and set aside for later use.
Heat a pot of lightly salted water to boiling point over high heat.
Add the noodles and cook according to the instructions provided on the packet, or for as long as it takes until they are tender.
Set the cooked noodles aside in a bowl and cover. Ideally, you want the noodles to be slightly undercooked as they will cook further in the wok when added to the pad Thai.
Place a large cast iron skillet on the stovetop over medium heat and add the 2 tbsp of olive oil.
When the oil is hot, add the egg to the skillet. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to scramble the egg lightly. Make sure to keep the egg mixture moving around the pan to avoid any burning it, as this can spoil the flavor of the finished pad Thai.
Once the egg is cooked to your liking, add the pieces of sirloin steak to the pan and season the meat generously with the salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Cook for 3-4 min per side, or until the meat is medium to medium-rare.
Add the broccoli florets, sliced carrots, and beansprouts. Continue to stir fry the mixture until the vegetables have become tender, but still retain a slight bite.
Add your precooked noodles and the pad Thai sauce. Stir well and cook for another 2-3 min until the noodles are hot throughout.
Serve your finished pad Thai with a topping of crushed peanuts and finely chopped green onions.
You can use any remaining soy sauce as an extra dressing, but don't overdo it. Even the lower sodium version is still quite salty, and it can overpower the other delicate flavors in the dish.
What are possible variations for beef pad Thai?
As with chicken pad Thai, the noodles for beef pad Thai can be substituted for rice if you prefer, although it's not the norm. You can also try different types of noodles, for example, ramen, udon, cellophane/glass noodles, or even buckwheat noodles.
Is beef pad Thai spicy?
Pad Thai sauces are not generally spicy. If you like a bit of heat, add fresh chili or chili powder. Make sure not to overdo it to prevent overpowering the flavor.
Beef pad Thai Takeaway
Whether this is your first time trying your hand at making pad Thai or you are a seasoned expert, this recipe will have you looking for reasons to serve up this delicious meal!