Pad thai with egg wrap

Pad thai with egg wrap

Phad thai hor kai

Street Food Asia
Alan Benson

Pad thai is so famous – maybe the most famous of all Thai dishes – that initially I was hesitant to discuss it. Then I discovered Thip Samai. I am blown away by this place, where pad thai is the speciality and they make a few different variants. By far the most interesting is the one that comes wrapped in fine egg omelette. You find the restaurant at 511 Mahachai Road, in a slightly quieter part of the city and you can’t miss it. Just look for the bonfires of wok flames out the front of the restaurant, where the cooking stations are. The first thing to know is that Thip Samai is always super busy. The cooks move at warp speed in a blur of flames and smoke, sending noodles literally flying, to keep up with the constant demand from in-house diners and customers swooping by for takeaway. I love watching the cooks at work. They cook maybe ten serves at a time and I reckon a fully loaded wok must weigh around 20 kilos. Once a batch of pad thai is cooked, on goes another; it’s an endless process, involving awe-inspiring speed and skill, that continues without break until they close at 2 am. To make the pad thai sauce they crush prawn heads to extract the tomalley, or juices, within. This gives wonderful flavour to the noodles; as a chef I respect little refinements like this. What’s really amazing to watch is how they make the omelette wrapping for the phad thai hor kai. Dozens of portions of cooked noodles are transported to chefs using smaller woks, who make one thin omelette after another. As each omelette cooks, they throw in a portion of the cooked noodles, deftly flipping the whole thing so the noodles are enclosed in omelette. Thip Samai is an essential food destination in Bangkok, but you can make the omelette pad thai at home – it's not complicated. Be sure to use the right, thin flat rice noodles – definitely not vermicelli noodles!


Quantity Ingredient
2 eggs, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 garlic cloves, diced
3 red asian shallots, diced
10 raw medium-sized tiger prawns, peeled and deveined with tails intact
1 tablespoon dried shrimp (see glossary), soaked in warm water for 15 minutes, then drained
100g very firm tofu, drained and cut into 2 cm cubes
200g flat rice noodles, soaked in water for 20 minutes, then drained
6 garlic chives, sliced into 4 cm lengths
90g bean sprouts
2 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts
1/4 teaspoon dried chilli flakes, for sprinkling
2 coriander sprigs, to garnish
sea salt


Quantity Ingredient
125ml Tamarind water
4 tablespoons fish sauce
2 1/2 tablespoons liquid palm sugar (see glossary) or shaved palm sugar (jaggery)

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 lime, cut into wedges
90g bean sprouts
4 garlic chives, cut in half
4 red chillies, sliced and mixed with 2 tablespoons fish sauce, (optional)


  1. Combine the sauce ingredients together with 80 ml water in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Stir until the palm sugar dissolves, then transfer to a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs together in a bowl and season with a pinch of salt. Set aside.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil to a hot wok and heat until smoking. Add the garlic and shallots and stir-fry for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the prawns and stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the dried shrimp, tofu, noodles and sauce. Toss for 2 minutes, then add the garlic chives and bean sprouts and toss for another minute. Transfer to a mixing bowl and cover to keep warm. Set aside.
  4. Wipe the wok clean and place back over a medium–high heat. Add the remaining vegetable oil, ensuring it coats the surface of the wok evenly. Taking hold of the handle with one hand, pour in the beaten egg, then quickly swirl the wok in a wide circular motion, coating the sides of the wok and creating a very thin crêpe-like layer of egg. Cook for 1 minute, or until the egg ‘crêpe’ is set.
  5. Spoon the cooked noodle mixture into the centre of the wok and scatter over the peanuts, then fold over the sides of egg ‘crêpe’ into the centre to cover the noodles and form a parcel. Flip the egg-wrapped pad thai over in the wok to briefly seal the folded ends, then slide it onto a serving plate.
  6. Garnish with the chilli flakes and coriander sprigs and serve with lime wedges, bean sprouts, garlic chives, and a mixture of chilli slices and fish sauce.
South-East Asian
Street Food
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