Peanut-Beef Pad Thai


By Jessica Formicola, as featured in her cookbook “Beef It Up! 50 Mouthwatering Recipes for Ground Beef, Steaks, Stews, Roasts, Ribs, and More,” published by Storey Publishing.

When I tell you that you may never order pad Thai at a restaurant again, I am not kidding. This recipe is that good and can be made with any protein, but obviously beef is my favorite. (Shrimp is a close second.) Many pad Thai recipes call for tamarind paste, a slightly acidic and sweet ingredient that I don’t keep on hand because I don’t use it in any other recipes. My version skips the tamarind paste but provides just as much flavor.


Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Serves 4


1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth

3 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

2 tablespoons fish sauce

2 heaping tablespoons creamy peanut butter

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon lime juice

1 (14-ounce) package stir-fry rice noodles

3 teaspoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds top sirloin, cut against the grain into thin 2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup fresh sugar snap peas

½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced

½ cup shredded carrots

1 egg

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

½ cup dry-roasted peanuts

4 scallions, whites only, chopped

Lime wedges, for serving


  1. Whisk together the broth, sugar, vinegar, fish sauce, peanut butter, soy sauce, and lime juice in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Cook the noodles according to package directions for al dente. Drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Toss with 1 teaspoon of the oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
  3. Season the beef with the salt. Heat another 1 teaspoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the beef on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer the beef to a plate. Pour off any liquid and wipe the skillet with a paper towel.
  4. Add the remaining 1 teaspoon oil to the skillet and reduce the heat to medium. Stir in the sugar snap peas and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and carrots, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes longer.
  5. Move the vegetables to one side of the skillet and crack the egg in the empty side. Using a spatula, scramble the egg right in the skillet until cooked, then mix it in with the vegetables. Return the beef to the skillet and pour the peanut sauce over the top. Toss in the rice noodles, coating all the ingredients well, and let everything heat through.
  6. Divide the pad Thai among four serving bowls and top with the cilantro, peanuts, and scallions. Serve with lime wedges.

Cook’s Note: Fish sauce adds a deep umami flavor to many dishes. If you don’t have any in your pantry, you can use a little extra soy sauce instead.

See more of Jessica’s recipes at:

All in Good Taste

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