Perfect Pad Thai with Shrimp

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

I had some peeled, raw shrimp and was craving something Thai-inspired and saw this recipe on  I tweaked it a bit, but was amazed at the first ingredient -- ketchup!  Could it really be part of the recipe?

Not being one to turn down a challenge (and a huge fan of ketchup), I tackled this recipe and it came out great -- it really tasted like the Pad Thai we order when we're out.  And, it only took about 30 mins.

Pad Thai with Shrimp
  • 8  ounces  wide rice stick noodles (Banh Pho)
  • 1/4  cup  ketchup
  • 2  tablespoons  sugar
  • 3  tablespoons  fish sauce
  • 1/2  teaspoon  crushed red pepper
  • 2  tablespoons  vegetable oil, divided
  • 1  pound  medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2  large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1  cup  fresh bean sprouts
  • 3/4  cup  (1-inch) sliced green onions
  • 1  teaspoon  bottled minced garlic
  • 2  tablespoons  chopped unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts

To Do:

  • Place noodles in a large bowl. Add hot water to cover; let stand 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.
  • Combine ketchup, sugar, fish sauce, and pepper in a small bowl.
  • Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp; sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp are done. Remove shrimp from pan; keep warm.
  • Heat 4 teaspoons oil in pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; cook 30 seconds or until soft-scrambled, stirring constantly. Add sprouts, green onions, and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add noodles, ketchup mixture, and shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until heated. Sprinkle with peanuts.

To Gourmess it up, I used a mix of rice noodles and thin Udon noodles in my version, put in twice as much red pepper flakes, and added a teaspoon each of red curry paste, rice vinegar, garlic powder, and sesame oil to step 2.  And, I tossed in a handful of minced cilantro at the end, along with the peanuts.

It was delicious!  However, this recipe will be short-lived, as Chris has recently decided he's not a fan of shrimp any longer (but didn't tell me until after I made this), so next time, I'll just use chicken or pork with it, I guess.