Pad Thai

  Blog, Food Blog   0   

Lorna’s friend sent this to her in an email…. and Lorna added her commentary in brackets! In some places I even added my own brackets after Lorna’s brackets… confusing?

“This might be the best Paleo meal we’ve had to date. (I agree… we make this on average about once a week. Then we fight over the left overs.) Pad Thai, made with spaghetti squash instead of noodles. We made one vegetarian version with tofu, and one with chicken and shrimp, and it was nothing short of awesome. (We have only done chicken and shrimp and it is indeed awesome.) There are a few non strict Paleo items in here, including soy sauce (get the low sodium kind)(Heather here: or use coconut aminos) and brown sugar (you can omit if you want but it’s such a small account I think you’ll still be OK) (Heather again: or coconut sugar)

Serves a family of 4 with some for leftovers.

* 2 medium sized spaghetti squash, halved and gutted.
* 1 cup raw free range organic chicken breast, boneless and skinless
* 15 prawns, de-shelled

Meat Marinade:
* 1 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 3 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce (or alternate)

Pad Thai Sauce:
* 3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste (Nesters has tamrarind sauce which is ok, but the tamarind concentrate is better. Save on foods was going to order the tamarind paste but I haven’t been back to check if they have it in yet.) dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water (look for tamarind at Asian/Chinese or Indian food stores)
* 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, + more to taste
* 1-3 tsp. chili sauce, or substitute 1/2 tsp. or more dried crushed chili or cayenne, to taste
* 3 Tbsp. brown sugar (you can omit this, along with the soy sauce, if you want to be 100% paleo strict. But my view? Whatever. You’re doing pretty amazingly here with the whole no noodle no bread thing. And I usually only do 2 Tbsp brown sugar)

Remaining Ingredients:
* 3 cups fresh bean sprouts
* 4 cloves garlic, crushed
* 3 spring (green) onions, sliced
* 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
* 1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped cashews (I stuck mine in the coffee grinder and pulsed once for perfectly crumbled cashews.
* 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock
* 1 or 2 red chilis, sliced
* extra virgin olive oil for stir-frying, and wedges of lime


* Heat oven to 350 degrees and place halved spaghetti squash in to bake, hollowed side up with a bit of olive oil and pepper inside. Cook for 30-40 minutes before you start on step 2. If you’re pressed for time, just nuke the suckers.

* Make the Pad Thai Sauce by combining the sauce ingredients together in a cup. Stir well to dissolve the tamarind paste and brown sugar. Set aside.

* Place chicken and shrimp slices in a small bowl (if you’re a vegetarian, omit the meat and add tofu if desired) Pour the marinade (2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp. soy sauce) over the chicken. Stir well and set aside.

* Warm up a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil plus garlic and minced chili, if using. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds).

* Add chicken and shrimp together with the marinade. Stir-fry 30 seconds to 1 minute. When wok/pan becomes dry, add a little chicken stock, 1-2 Tbsp. at a time, to keep the chicken frying nicely. Continue stir-frying in this way until the chicken is cooked (5-8 minutes).

* Remove spaghetti squash from oven (or microwave, and scoop out the “spaghetti”.) I use a pot holder while I’m scooping, cause the gourd is pretty hot. The squash should be firm but easily scoopable. (I usually cook the spaghetti squash a bit earlier so it can really cool down by the time I scrape it. I have dropped an F-bomb or two after getting really hot fingertips.)

* Add the spaghetti sqush “noodles” to your fry pan, and pour the Pad Thai sauce over. Stir fry the “noodles” with a wooden spoon on medium high heat. Stir-fry in this way 1-2 minutes.

* Add the bean sprouts and sprinkle over the pepper. Continue “tossing” 1 more minute or so.

* Taste-test for seasoning, adding more fish sauce until desired flavor is reached (I usually add at least 1 more Tbsp. fish sauce). (We put the fish sauce and crushed red chilies on the table so that people can doctor it up as they wish.) Toss well to incorporate.

* Lift noodles onto a serving plate. Top with generous amounts of fresh chopped cilantro, spring onion, and crushed/chopped cashews..

Squeeze a messload of lime overtop. And then roll your eyes and thank the Universe you’re so over Kraft Dinner. SO good. I’m going to eat the leftovers right now. (I roll my eyes EVERY TIME I make this and inwardly sigh with praise and gratitude that this dish is in my weekly rotation. This dish makes me happy!)”