Pad thai, Thailand’s most famous noodle dish is the perfect balance of salty, sour, sweet and spicy. It’s really tough to beat! When I go out for Thai food I, without fail, always order the pad thai. But after thoroughly enjoying every bite…crumb…speck on the plate, I usually end up with a stomach ache, and am guzzling water for the rest of the day – a result of the rich, creamy sauce and mounds of sodium. That is why pad thai is one of my favourite food makeovers!
Firstly, I only used a very small amount of oil, a bit for sauteing the onions and garlic, and a bit for the sauce. I used brown rice noodles instead of white rice noodles, and my favourite trick of course, I added plenty of vegetables!
You can swap the shrimp or tofu for a different protein like chicken or eggs. And those who can’t tolerate gluten would just need to modify the sauce, as the noodles are naturally gluten free.
Lightened Up Pad Thai
For the sauce:
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar
- juice of one lime
- 1 tbsp ketchup
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp grated gingeroot
- 200 g (8 oz) dried wide brown rice noodles
- 2 tsp cooking oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup extra-firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- 10 uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 large carrots, grated
- 2 medium zucchini, grated
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup peanuts (unsalted)
- 1 fresh lime
- In a small bowl, combine all sauce ingredients and set aside.
- Place rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak for ~7 minutes. Drain. (Be careful not to oversoak).
- Heat cooking oil in a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until onions are tender. Add tofu and shrimp. Cook shrimp until no longer pink. Cook tofu until each side is light brown and crispy. Add noodles, sauce, carrots, zucchini, bean sprouts and green onions. Continue to saute until mixture is hot. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, fresh lime juice and serve.
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