Budget Meal: Shrimp Pad Thai


Servings: 5
Cost per meal: $9.77
Cost per serving: $1.96
Prep time: 40 minutes
Estimated Calories: 256

Pad thai is a restaurant favorite but with this simple and inexpensive recipe you can customize it however you like! It also has significantly lower sodium than restaurant or pre-made versions of pad thai. The original recipe from Big Girls Small Kitchen was adapted by doubling the recipe and adding shrimp for protein. I bought the shrimp, rice noodle, fish sauce, oyster sauce, and bean sprouts at a small independent Asian supermarket. Prices are significantly lower and there is much more variety at local ethnic supermarkets compared to mainstream grocery stores.



  • 1 pound rice noodles
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 4 scallions, sliced (white and green parts divided)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce


  • 1 cup beansprouts
  • 1/2 cup ground peanuts (roasted and unsalted)
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • Sugar

1. Boil 5 cups of water and cook rice noodles for approximately 8 minutes or until soft, then drain and set aside.

2. In a large wok or non-stick skillet, heat oil on medium-low. Add shallots and white scallions and cook for approximately 3 minutes or until they begin to brown.


3. Add garlic and cook for approximately 1 minute, then pour in eggs and quickly scramble.

4. Mix together fish and oyster sauces in a separate bowl. Add rice noodles, sugar, green scallions, and sauces to the skillet. Stir fry all ingredients for approximately 3 minutes until sauce is evenly distributed.


5. Serve with traditional garnishes of peanuts, beansprouts, sugar and lime. Siracha or red chili paste optional!

5 thoughts on “Budget Meal: Shrimp Pad Thai

    • You’re welcome! You can definitely control the amont of sodium easily in this recipe, and I checked the labels on the fish and oyster sauces before purchasing. The brands really differ with sodium content! Best of luck with your pad thai and let us know how it turns out!

  1. If you want to make it tasty but not so much sodium, you can add tamarind pulp, eliminate the oyster sauce completely and add a dash of palm sugar.

    I post the full recipe on my blog, if you want an authentic pad thai recipe.

    • Thanks so much for this suggestion! Yes, always looking for alternatives for healthier eating, and fresh ingredients! Cheers!

      • I probably try to post the low carb padthai recipe sometime. I use spaghetti squash or shredded raw green papaya instead of rice noodles too but for the right tasting I still use coconut palm sugar in the sauce so it’s not a “no carb” dish.

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