If you love rice, noodles, veggies, and shrimp on one plate, pad thai is the perfect dish.
It’s part of Thai cuisine and is commonly sold as street food.
Today, pad thai has garnered plenty of admirers and is widespread in many places.
Pad thai is a hearty food, and it’s a stand-alone dish.
But it’s also versatile; you can eat it with multiple items.
Thai green papaya salad, tom yum soup, stir-fried bok choy, and bean sprout salad are some items that go with pad thai.
If you think about what to serve with shrimp pad thai, read on as we mention the ten best food items with the rice noodles dish.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Shrimp Pad Thai?
As we discovered earlier, pad thai with shrimp is a star.
But it’s not fun to eat only one lone dish, and you can quickly get bored.
Besides, one dish doesn’t make a complete meal, no matter how tasty.
It also becomes essential to have side dishes to make your meal complete.
If you host an event and plan to serve pad thai as the main item, you’ll undoubtedly require a handful of yummy side dishes.
What to Serve with Shrimp Pad Thai? 10 BEST Side Dishes
Here are the ten items you can serve and enjoy with shrimp pad thai.
1 – Thai Marinated Ribs
We’ll begin the list with one of the most popular Thai dishes you’ll taste.
Thai marinated ribs are not only delicious but also complement shrimp pad thai.
Ribs always taste wonderful.
But when you infuse the meat in Asian-inspired marinade and sauce, the dish’s flavor enhances even more.
Though it’s incredibly delicious, making Thai marinated ribs is easy.
The taste and texture depend on the ingredients and the cooking time.
Hence, you must follow the exact instructions regarding the duration of the cook.
2 – Thai Steamed Dumplings
Dumplings are among the most loved foods in Asian cuisine.
All countries have a recipe, and people eat them as a staple or include them as side dishes.
Thai steamed dumplings are yummy, filling, and also compatible with shrimp pad thai.
Thai steamed dumplings are versatile, and you can make them with different proteins.
It depends on what you like and what is available.
So, you can use pork, chicken, or turkey, or even other ingredients.
While the dumplings are incredibly delightful, the sauce is an integral part of the dish.
It’s a sauce with Asian flavors that include soy sauce, fish sauce, and sesame oil, among others.
When combined, you’ll have a dish that’s addictive and hearty.
3 – Tom Yum Soup
Soups also combine nicely with shrimp pad thai, so what better than tom yum soup? It’s a type of hot and sour Thai soup that typically has prawn or shrimp.
Thus, the noodle-rice dish and soup will match well, and you’ll have a hearty meal.
Since pad thai also has shrimp, you can reduce the quantity in the soup.
That way, the shrimp or prawn will not overwhelm your taste buds.
Tom yum is typically a hot soup.
But if you can’t handle a lot of heat, you can also tone it down by adding only a few chili peppers.
You’ll get some heat, but it won’t burn your palate.
4 – Green Papaya Salad
There’s nothing like munching on a fresh salad when eating shrimp pad thai.
You can obtain multiple flavors from the green papaya salad, also called Som Tam in Thai.
It’s sweet, tangy, and spicy with a crunchy texture.
Besides being wonderfully tasty, som tam offers freshness and cleanses your palate.
Hence, no matter how heavy or hearty a dish is, it won’t overload you.
Som tam is a popular salad, so make a large batch.
If you have a papaya tree, you won’t have trouble picking fruit.
However, if you’re buying papaya from the store, pay attention to the labels and buy them only from known brands.
5 – Classic Thai Fish Cakes
One seafood tastes good with another.
Thus, even if pad thai has shrimp, you can still add one more seafood dish.
Thai fish cakes are yummy and also popular.
So, you’ll have an ideal combo when you serve the two items.
You may have tasted fish cakes before.
But what makes classic Thai fish cakes different is the inclusion of fish sauce, coconut milk, and ginger.
Once you take a bite, you can immediately taste Asian flavors.
Any white fish is suitable for making the dish.
White fish generally refers to mildly-flavored, quick-cooking fish that is also affordable.
Hence, you can choose cod, bass, haddock, snapper, grouper, or tilapia.
6 – Stir-Fried Bok Choy
Bok choy or pak choi is a type of Chinese cabbage that belongs to the cruciferous vegetable group.
The veggie is one of the most widely used ingredients in Asian cuisine.
It’s also a versatile veggie and you can make a lot of dishes with it.
Stir-fried bok choy is one of the most widely served dishes with pad thai.
It’s flavorful, simple to make and cooks fast.
Hence, I would be a suitable dish to serve when you don’t have much time.
You may also find it interesting to know that you don’t have to use too many ingredients to make stir-fried bok choy.
7 – Thai Mango Salad
Like green papaya salad, Thai mango salad is also a popular side dish served with shrimp pad thai.
It’s fresh, sweet, sour, and slightly spicy.
Thus, you get to experience multiple flavors at the same time.
The unripe mango is the salad’s main ingredient but you can also include other items.
Onions, red pepper, fresh herbs, courgette, bean sprouts, tomatoes, and coconut are some other veggies used in the mango salad.
Besides the veggies, the dressing is also an essential item.
It’s what makes the salad even more flavorful and unique.
Typical dressing for mango salad contains lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar/maple syrup, and chile flakes.
8 – Bean Sprout Salad
It’s yet another popular Asian dish that complements shrimp pad thai nicely.
Bean sprout salad isn’t only delicious but it cleanses your palate too.
It brings an element of freshness and adds a crunchy texture.
Bean sprouts are the main ingredient in the salad, but you can also include other items.
As with other salads, the dressing is quite important and it can make or break the salad.
The usual items for the dressing include soy sauce, garlic, red chili, powdered sugar, lemon juice, oil, and roasted crushed peanuts.
Bean sprouts are highly perishable foods.
Hence, you should clean them thoroughly and use them at the earliest.
9 – Asian Cucumber Salad
We’re adding several salads, but they taste exceptionally well with pad thai.
So, you’ll have a hit combination with each item.
Asian cucumber salad is another dish that adds crunch and offers sweet and tangy flavors.
If pad thai overwhelms you, the salad will immediately cleanse your palate and refresh it.
Add a few fresh chile peppers if you’re up for some spiciness.
It will make a perfect balance with the sweet and sour taste.
Cucumbers have excess water content and can get mushy when sliced.
Hence, look for firm cucumbers without spots and remove the seeds when prepping them.
10 – Thai Chicken Satay
Last but not least, juicy and aromatic chicken satay in Thai style.
Though a non-veg item, it combines nicely with shrimp pad thai.
It’s also one of the most widely served side dishes with pad thai.
Thai chicken satay contains multiple ingredients popular in Asian cuisine.
If you’re wondering what they are, they include coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, curry paste, garlic, ginger, turmeric, and cumin.
You can also make a dipping sauce to go with chicken satay.
Peanut sauce is one of the tastiest and most compatible varieties that pair with pad thai.
Whip it up and serve them together and see how good they taste.
With ten items to choose from, serving shrimp pad thai won’t be a problem.
You’ll have one superb combo after another, and everyone will have a great time.
However, repetition can make a dish boring, so choose different items every time and keep your menu exciting.
You can increase the number of dishes depending on the number of guests invited.
Since all the items are flavorful, you’ll need plenty of items to fill up everyone’s bellies.