How Long Does Pad Thai Last?

Pad Thai is a popular Thai rice noodle dish typically served with egg, tamarind sauce, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts and topped with coriander leaves or dried shrimp. It is most often eaten at lunch or dinner time and is often served as street food.

In this short guide, we’ll go through how long pad thai lasts, proper storage, how to tell when they are bad, and how to keep them fresh longer. If that’s the information you’re looking for, keep reading.

What Is Pad Thai?

Pad thai is a type of stir-fried rice noodle dish that is served in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. The name comes from the Thai word for stir-fry, “Pàd Phitháai”.

This dish is typically made with tamarind broth, fish sauce, palm sugar or brown sugar, garlic, shallots or onions, kaffir lime leaves, and dried chilies.

How Long Does Pad Thai Last?

It is typically served with rice or noodles and it typically will need to be eaten right away. Due to the ingredients used, pad thai tends to not last very long.

At room temperature, it will last for about 1 hour. Any longer than that will cause harmful bacteria to start growing.

If you need to store them longer, pad thai should be stored in the refrigerator, which will stay fresh for about 9 hours.  After that time, it will need to be discarded.

pad thai

Can Pad Thai Go Bad?

Pad thai is a popular Thai dish consisting of crushed rice noodles, shrimp, tamarind juice, fish sauce, peanuts, bean sprouts, palm sugar and lime wedges.

There are many ways that this dish can go bad. The most common ones are when the dish isn’t properly made or stored. If it’s stored in the fridge for too long then bacteria will grow on the leftovers which can make it spoil easily.

Pad thai is one of those dishes that can go bad really quickly so you have to keep an eye on it while cooking it to prevent any mishaps.

How To Tell When Pad Thai Is Bad?

Once the pad thai is prepared, it tends to not last very long. For this dish, it’s recommended to eat it once it’s prepared.

If you end up with some leftovers and decide to store them for later, they may go bad.

When pad thai goes bad, it’s important that you know how to tell when it has spoiled.

Some signs that pad thai has gone bad include:

  • The noodles have hardened and become rubbery.
  • The noodles have become slimy.
  • The sauce becomes overly sour.
  • The color of the pad thai sauce has changed from clear to dark brown or purple.
  • The smell is slightly off. It smells a bit like wet dog or sour cheese in that it starts to smell stronger as time goes on.

How To Store Pad Thai

The best way to store Pad Thai is in an airtight container if you have any leftovers. If the container isn’t airtight, wrap it in plastic wrap or cling wrap. Then place them into the fridge.

Never store pad thai at room temperature as harmful bacteria will start to grow on it quickly.

Can You Freeze Pad Thai?

The answer is essentially no, you cannot freeze pad thai. But it’s not what you might expect.

You can freeze fried rice noodle dishes or stir-fry dishes with a lot of ingredients, but not Pad Thai because there’s no cooking involved once the noodles are dry and cooked.

Freezing pad thai will result in the dish becoming mushy when it thaws.

Therefore, it’s best to try to finish the dish in one sitting. Any leftovers should be stored in the fridge. After 4 hours, if it’s not eaten, pad thai should be discarded.

How To Keep Pad Thai Fresh Longer

Many people like to eat Pad Thai for lunch or dinner at their local Thai restaurant – however, the dish does not last for very long. Here are some tips on how to keep Pad Thai fresh longer:

  • Keep the noodles covered in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.
  • Wash and dry freshly cooked noodles immediately before storing them covered in plastic wrap.
  • Store fresh ingredients such as shrimp and tamarind juice separately from each other.


Pad thai is a tasty dish that’s popular not only in Thailand but around the world. Since this dish is usually prepared and cooked, it tends to not last very long. Pad thai should be consumed right away once it’s cooked.