2 classic Thai recipes to beat even the best takeaways

Thai cuisine is known for its complex flavour combinations, which makes it tempting to leave to the experts. But these two quick and simple recipes will help you match the masters in no time.

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Fresh and fragrant ingredients are at the heart of Thai cooking, which has won the hearts of diners the world over. Many dishes feature intricate layers of sweet, salty, sour, bitter and spicy flavours expertly blended to create one harmonious dish. But don’t be intimidated – our two dishes still deliver a depth of taste, yet can both be made from scratch in just a few minutes. So save yourself some time (and money) and reach for the pan instead of that menu!

1. Pad Thai

This iconic noodle dish is quick and simple but rich and intense in flavour.


200g flat rice noodles
60ml fish sauce
60g palm sugar
2 tsp tamarind paste
Chilli powder to taste
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
100g tofu
8 large prawns
2 tbsp peanuts, chopped
Lime wedges


  1. Soak the rice noodles according to the packet instructions, then drain them.
  2. Combine the fish sauce, tamarind and sugar with three tablespoons of water in a bowl. Season with chilli powder and set aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok on a high heat. Add the garlic, stir for a few seconds, then add the noodles with a splash of water aside.
  4. Stir-fry until the water evaporates, then add the sauce and fry until they are soft with a little bit of bite.
  5. Push the noodles to the side of the wok and add a splash of oil, the prawns and tofu.
  6. Fry until they are beginning to colour, then push aside and add the eggs. Scramble them and stir through the noodles.
  7. Top with the peanuts, a squeeze of lime and extra fish sauce before serving.

2. Thai green curry

Fragrant and complex with a touch of heat, this is the most popular Thai curry for good reason.


For the curry paste
Medium green chillies
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2-inch piece of ginger
2 crushed garlic cloves
2 lemongrass stalks, chopped
1 lime, zest grated and juiced
8 kaffir lime leaves, torn
1-inch piece galangal, peeled and chopped
2 tsp Thai fish sauce

For the curry
750g chicken, in chunks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
400ml coconut milk
Thai fish sauce
Small bunch coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, juiced


  1. Make the curry paste by blending all the ingredients in a food processor with three tablespoons of olive oil.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok, then add two tablespoons of curry paste with sugar, stirring for a minute before putting the chicken in, stirring to coat it with the paste.
  3. Add the coconut milk and fish sauce, and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, allowing it to reduce and thicken. Stir in the coriander and lime juice.
  4. Serve over your choice of rice.

Have you mastered a simple Thai recipe? Share it with us in the comments section below.