A taste of Thailand. Well sort of.
The last time I had Pad Thai was months & months ago in Thailand. Not the country sadly but a great Thai restaurant near my house. The Pad Thai there is awesome – such amazing flavour to the dish. Traditional Pad Thai is usually made with rice noodles, contains a little palm sugar, and topped with crushed peanuts. So – whilst it does appear to be gluten free it isn’t really a Paleo dish and something I would reserve for a special treat.
Out with the rice noodles, and in with courgette noodles. Out with the peanuts and in with cashews. Out with the sugar and in with no replacement (It’s a savoury dish and I ain’t going to sweeten it)….In comes Paleo Pad Thai.
Whilst researching authentic Pad Thai recipes a friend of mine informed me that she swears by this recipe on Thai Table. I used this recipe as a very basic place to start to assemble my dish. The new ingredient for me was tamarind paste, and I was hoping this would give the dish the X factor of flavour that I had enjoyed in Thailand. I know very little about this ingredient apart from the fact it is a fruit and used in Asian cooking and toddled along to my local Asian supermarket to pick up a jar. Many brands contain extra vegetable oil or sugar – so do check your labels before purchasing. You can also make up the paste yourself from a block of tamarind. I’ve since discovered it is used in plenty more cuisines so will be exploring some more ideas now that I’ve an open jar lurking in the fridge.
This was a really tasty dish, and quite far removed in flavour from my usual cooking style. I had leftovers cold the next day (yes, it really worked cold!) by which point the flavours had developed even further. One word of advice when cooking – prep and measure all your ingredients before you start. It really helps when throwing everything into the wok during the minimal cooking time!
If you like my idea of using the courgette instead of processed & higher carbohydrate noodles in the post then you may also like an entire guest post I have just written about subbing veg for processed carbs over on Fabulicious Food.
Ingredients (Serves 2)
- 1-2 tablespoons cashew nuts
- 1 minced banana shallot
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- coconut oil
- 2 courgette’s spiralised (or julienned)
- 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
- 4 teaspoons fish sauce (choose a sugar free brand such as Namjai)
- Pinch chilli flakes
- 1 egg
- 175g, cooked and peeled king Prawns
- 100g mange tout – sliced
- 2-3 Spring onions, sliced
- black pepper
- 1/2 lime
- Fresh coriander to serve
- Pulse the shallot and garlic in a mini food processor till very fine.
- Heat up a wok and dry fry the cashews until toasted. Remove from the wok , bash into smaller pieces and set aside.
- Warm up a small dollop of coconut oil in the wok, and cook the shallot and garlic until softened.
- Add the courgette noodles, and stir quickly. Keep moving things around the pan, till they too begin to soften.
- Next add the tamarind, fish sauce and chilli flakes and stir through. The heat should remain high.
- Push the noodles to the side of the wok and crack in the egg. Scramble till almost cooked before folding it into the rest of the ingredients in the wok. You can now add the prawns, mange tout and spring onions.
- Pour onto the serving plate and sprinkle with black pepper (you shouldn’t need to add salt because of the fish sauce)
- Top with the toasted cashews and fresh coriander.
- Add a 1/4 wedge of lime to the side of the plate.