Go Back
+ servings
Homemade Pad Thai on a white plate
Print Recipe
4.34 from 6 votes

Pad Thai Sauce

An authentic Pad Thai sauce (with gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian/vegan variations in the notes) for making Pad Thai noodles.
Recipes makes 1.5 cups (enough for 6 servings of Pad Thai) and stores in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: DIY Thai, homemade sauce, homemade Thai
Servings: 6
Calories: 99kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $2.00


  • Saucepan


  • 1 cup Tamarind paste
  • ¼ cup Water
  • ¼ cup Fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Low-Sodium Soy Sauce
  • cup Brown sugar


  • Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the brown sugar is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. (Do not let it reduce any further once the sugar is dissolved or it won't be the right consistency for making pad thai.)
  • IMPORTANT: At this point, you need to taste the sauce and adjust it to fit your taste. Some people like their sauce a bit more sweet, so if that's you, add a bit more sugar and simmer for another minute. If you prefer a bit more salty/umami flavor, add a bit more soy or fish sauce. You can also add a bit of lime zest if you like a more pronounced citrus flavor. With all the flavorful elements of this sauce, you'll love it the most if you adjust it suit your own unique taste preferences.
  • Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 weeks.
  • Click here to get the recipe for Authentic Pad Thai using this sauce!


Use the following ingredient variations for these diet preferences. Cooking instructions are the same (though palm sugar may take a few minutes extra to dissolve for paleo).
For paleo:
1 cup Tamarind paste
¼ cup Water
¼ cup + 1 Tbsp Fish sauce
6 oz / 170 g Palm sugar, finely chopped
For gluten-free variation:
substitute tamari for soy sauce
For vegetarian / vegan variation:
1 cup Tamarind paste
¼ cup Water
¼ cup Soy sauce
⅓ cup Brown sugar


Serving: 3g | Calories: 99kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 857mg | Potassium: 174mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 24g | Vitamin A: 7IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1mg