Pad thai, “fried Thai style” is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as a street food and at casual local eateries in Thailand. It is made with soaked dried rice noodles, which are stir-fried with eggs and chopped firm tofu, and flavored with tamarind pulp, fish sauce (nampla น้ำปลา), dried shrimp, garlic or shallots, red chili pepper and palm sugar, and served with lime wedges and often chopped roast peanuts. It may also contain other vegetables like bean sprouts, garlic chives, coriander leaves, pickled radishes or turnips (hua chaipo หัวไชโป๊), and raw banana flowers. It may also contain fresh shrimp, crab, chicken or another protein. Vegetarian versions may substitute soy sauce for the fish sauce and omit the shrimp.
So, my original plan was to name this dish PAD THAI. It certainly seems “pad thai-ish” to me ~ in flavor, construction, and context. However, based upon the above definition of the traditional coveted dish…I may have led a few readers astray, drawn in a few outsiders unnecessarily, or just made a blatant error all together. Really, this recipe hardly resembles the above.
Regardless of that, I believe the amazing peanuty goodness of this Pad Thai concoction will leave your mouth watering, no matter what your first impressions were from the pleasantly arousing title…
am I right?
It’s grain free, gluten free, vegetarian – almost vegan, primarily spaghetti squash, Paleo, and simply perfect.
What more could you ask for?
Paleo Pad Thai
1/4 cup all natural, fresh ground peanut butter or almond butter
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 Tbs. Red Boat fish sauce
1 Tbs. gluten free Tamari
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 large spaghetti squash
1 Tbs. coconut oil
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup fresh Thai purple basil, chopped
Combine the nut butter (well, let’s face it, we all know peanuts are legumes and NOT Paleo – just deal with it), broth, fish sauce, tamari, and sesame oil in a high speed blender. Process until smooth, delicious, and creamy. Add a splash of lime juice and a touch of additional salt, if desired.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Halve the spaghetti squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Bring the two halves back together and wrap tightly in foil. Bake 60-90 minutes, until super soft.
Once cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides and set aside.
In a large cast iron skillet, melt the coconut oil and sauté the cabbage and peppers until soft. Feel free to add garlic and onion if this is something you tolerate well in your little tummy.
Add the cooked spaghetti squash strands. Stir well. Remove from heat.
Add the peanut sauce and continue to stir until well combined.
Serve garnished with plenty of fresh cilantro and basil.
Pad Thai pad schmai…it tastes and LOOKS pretty amazing.