What Does Pad Thai Taste Like?


Quick Answer: What Does Pad Thai Taste Like? 

Pad thai has a taste range from sweet to sour and salty traditionally. However, since it has gained popularity, the taste differs according to spice. Some get a spicy flavor, and others find it acidic, tangy, bitter, and nutty.

This is an ultimate guide on what Pad Thai tastes like!

What is Pad Thai?

It is a famous street food of Thailand where ingredients like rice, noodles, shrimp, egg, tofu, and veggies get stir-fried in a wok.

Then, finally, they get dressed with the pad thai sauce that gives the dish its bold, tangy, umami, salty, and mildly sweet flavor.

The sauce comprises tamarind, fish, dried shrimp, garlic, red chili pepper, and sugar.

To wet your tastebuds more, check out this video:

What Does Pad Thai Taste Like?

Traditionally, pad thai is known for its sweet, acidic, bitter, nutty flavor without overpowering saltiness, making the dish rich but not robust. Moreover, tamarind adds to the tanginess of the recipe. On the whole, it tastes savory.

However, it differs according to the alteration done once it became famous. Sometimes, the other version is spicy with more chili powder.

Even the ingredients vary where some add tofu for a vegan version and others add chicken instead of shrimp.

Most people get a better flavor if pad thai gets seasoned with lemon wedges or ground nuts. 

But, interestingly, amid the alteration of pad thai across recipes, the sweet and salty taste remains the same.

Moreover, the current noodles we use to make pad thai are rice noodles and not the traditional "pad thai Woosen."

Traditionally, chopsticks go handy to eat pad thai, but currently, forks have taken an alternative for those uncomfortable.

Here’s a tour of the pad thai taste with a Thailand chef. Click to explore and relish your pallets:

What is the Texture of Pad Thai?

Depending upon the variety of noodles used, pad thai has a soft or a hard texture, which relies on personal eating choices. Moreover, it is a blend of shrimp, tofu, bean sprouts, and chopped roasted peanuts texture.

For instance, a rubbery and chewy texture arises if the noodles are thick and are mushy if noodles get softened.

Moreover, the veggies and tofu or shrimp, or poultry added to the noodles give a unique texture to the dish. Finally, the recipe should have an al dente texture. 

To get a visual touch to know the pad thai texture, check out this self-explanatory cookery video:

What is the Smell of Pad Thai?

It has an intense fried egg aroma due to the tamarind sauce and the mix of various ingredients.

However, some are aversive to the smell due to the various sauces fermented while cooking. Therefore, it will result in a substantial smelly cloud.

But in the end, it smells pleasant, releasing a rich and delicious aroma. 

Also, it depends on the dehusking process since the rice gets boiled with the husk and further dried for removal. This affects the odor, thereby giving an unpleasant smell while cooking pad thai.

Does Pad Thai Taste Fishy?

Yes. It might be fishy at the initial stage once you add the sauce.

But it gradually changes as you cook it further. For example, it becomes mellow when cooked while adding other ingredients.

Does Pad Thai Taste like Peanuts?

No, peanuts are a part of the dish that gives a nutty flavor. But that doesn’t make up the entire dish’s taste. 

Also, they add crunchiness to the dish with the sweet and salty flavor while mixing other ingredients. However, it is not mandatory to add peanuts since there are other choices!

Is Pad Thai Spicy?

No, the traditional recipe doesn’t call for spiciness. 

It depends upon people’s choices to add peppers into the recipe to make it spicy since pad thai has become popular to travel globally with numerous variations.

Does Pad Thai Taste Like lo Mien?

No! Amidst them being noodle varieties, they have their tastes and differences. Choosing the flavor depends upon your tastebuds, and there is no single verdict that pad thai tastes like lo mien. However, you can conclude it as an alternative.

Check out this comparison chart to know more:

Classification in Terms ofPad ThaiLo Mien
CuisineThailand (also has traveled to the US)Chinese
Noodle varietyRice noodlesWheat noodles
IngredientsStir-fried Tamarind sauce, veggies, tofu/ shrimp/ chicken topped with roasted peanuts.Tossed in Light sauce, veggies, and proteins topped with wonton or beef brisket.
Taste (depending upon the ingredients used)Savory, sweet, sour, saltyCrunchy, spicy, or salty
Calroies (per cup)357 calories310 calories

Is Pad Thai Healthier than Chinese Food?

Yes, pad thai is considered the unhealthiest Thai food for health-conscious eaters. However, Chinese food is generally unhealthy since the oil content is high compared to Thai with a more robust flavor. 

Pad thai consists of coconut oil, palm oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, and soybean oil as cooking foundations. All these contain saturated fat and are not heart-healthy.  

On the other hand, most Chinese foods are generally unhealthy because of the heavy amount of oil and sauce with little taste.

In terms of ingredients, pad thai uses fresh ingredients, and the counterpart uses preserved ingredients.

Moreover, Chinese foods might be healthy if cooked without oil.

To Conclude

Wow! Didn’t you find this famous noodly Thai dish flavorful?

If so, do share your feedback and comments to intensify the flavor of the article.

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About Irene Clark

Irene is a supermom of 4 kids who always has a smile on her face. She's an amazing dancer - you should see her moves! - and she loves to eat, especially with wine. She also loves pop music and travels across the country with her family and friends.