Enjoy a comforting bowl of Shrimp Pad Thai made in your own kitchen, without the starchy carbs or extra sugar. Chopsticks optional!
Thai food is a new love of mine. For years, I was strictly a New York style Chinese takeout kind of girl, until my sister introduced me to Thai food. One order of pad thai noodles with crushed peanuts and I was sold.
Thai food is so incredibly fresh – and spicy! I’m a wimp and have to order my pad thai mild style. One time, I ordered medium thinking I’d be able to handle it, but I was so wrong. Mild Pad Thai lover for life, over here. Thanks.
WHAT IS PAD THAI?
The main staples in a traditional Pad Thai recipe include rice noodles, usually stir-fried with tofu and eggs, with a stir-fry sauce made with tamarind paste, fish sauce, garlic and sugar: a lot of authentic recipes call for palm sugar, which is often less processed than cane sugar.
Most at-home Pad Thai recipes call for brown sugar and vinegar or lime juice to get that sweet and salty combo. But, to keep this cleaner and whole30 compliant, I use coconut aminos and tamarind paste. If you are not on a whole30, and want to use sugar, I definitely suggest coconut sugar [learn more about coconut sugar here].
I love rice noodles, but to keep it light and veggie packed during the week, I like to swap out noodles for zucchini spirals – zoodles, zoods…whatever you like to call them. Swapping out zucchini spirals keeps the carbs lower and just less processed overall.
It’s incredibly easy to make your own zoodles, but if zucchini isn’t in season for you (I live in Florida, so our season is different than just about anywhere else) it’s easy to grab a box or three of frozen zucchini spirals from Sprouts! You already know how much I love shopping at Sprouts (and now there are THREE locations very close to Casa de Crews!!), so finding fresh zucchini spirals that have been frozen is a time saver for this Whole30 Shrimp Pad Thai recipe. Sprouts saves the day – and this 30-minute meal.
WHAT IS TAMARIND PASTE?
Many Asian and Indian recipes call for Tamarind Paste; it’s thick and also runny similar to the texture of molasses but it’s tangy in flavor with a very mild sweetness that kind of reminds me of a date. A little goes a long way, and it will keep in the refrigerator for several months.
Since we swap out rice noodles for frozen zucchini spirals, I wanted to make sure everything else about this Pad Thai recipe tasted like the real deal, so I made a stir-fry sauce utilizing tamarind paste. Tamarind paste is easy to find at your local Asian market, but a little harder to find at your everyday grocery store; in my experience anyway. Except, I was able to find it at Sprouts while shopping for everything else for this Shrimp Pad Thai.
You can customize this Pad Thai recipe however you like. Traditional Pad Thai calls for crushed peanuts. I used raw cashews to keep this Pad Thai Whole30 compliant, but if you’re not on a whole30, you can use peanuts. You can also omit nuts altogether if you have an allergy.
Obvi, I swapped in zucchini to keep this Pad Thai lighter and cleaner. But you could add half rice noodles and half zucchini if you like as well.
I love using shrimp or chicken in my Pad Thai – either protein will work great with the veggies and stir-fry sauce used to make our Pad Thai. You do you, friend.
Other takeout fakeout recipes to make at home in under 30 minutes:
whole30 shrimp pad thai
for the pad thai sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoon tamarind paste
- ½ cup coconut aminos - or ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce - look for no sugar added when doing whole30
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 garlic cloves - minced
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes - optional
for the stir fry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil - divided
- 1/2 yellow onion - diced
- 6 ounces raw shrimp - thawed, peeled and deveined
- 4 stalks green onions - roughly chopped
- 1 Yellow bell pepper - thinly sliced
- 1 Red bell pepper - thinly sliced
- ¼ cup shredded carrot sticks
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 2 - 12 ounce packages frozen Zucchini Spirals - cooked to package directions
- 2 eggs - lightly whisked
- cilantro - lime wedges, jalapenos, crushed raw peanuts (or cashews), sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- To a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine all sauce ingredients and set aside.
- To a skillet, add 1 tbsp olive oil on medium heat, once hot add yellow onion and stir to cook until fragrant and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Add 6 ounces of raw shrimp, and cook 2-3 minutes, until cooked through, and shrimp turns pink. Remove shrimp from skillet and transfer to a bowl, as to not overcook
- Add remaining olive oil (1 tbsp) and add in all veggies (green onions-zucchini) and mix to combine. Sauté 3-4 minutes.
- Push everything to one side of the pan, pour 2 whisked eggs in on the other side. Scramble using spatula (add a pinch of extra oil if pan is too dry). Add shrimp back in.
- Pour in pad thai sauce and combine everything in skillet together.
- Serve immediately and garnish with crushed peanuts (or cashews), cilantro, etc.
Thank you to Sprouts Farmers Market for sponsoring today’s post. All opinions are my own. Please see the disclaimer here.