Paleo Prawn Pad Thai

A taste of Thailand.  Well sort of.

Paleo Pad Thai courgette noodles

Paleo Pad Thai, using courgette noodles

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.

Paleo Pad Thai courgette noodles

Paleo Pad Thai, using courgette noodles

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.

9 thoughts on “Paleo Prawn Pad Thai

  1. Ren Behan (@RenBehan)

    Delicious! You’ve made me super hungry now and it’s only 11am! I could devour this easily. Thank you so much once again for your lovely guest post. I keep coming back to it for refence and ideas, as do many readers. I’m just about to post a courgette bolognese recipe, too.

    1. Ceri @CucinaCeri Post author

      Pleasure – and I’ve just seen your courgette recipe which looks scrummy too ( going to try it for sure!) Especially as you take such wonderful photographs. Big high 5 for finishing the whole 30 and for seeing the benefits.

  2. Kelly Chee

    “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.” HAHAH…love this, and love the recipe 🙂 I do like me some rice noodle so I will stick with those instead *naughty*

  3. Pingback: Courgette or Zucchini Boats with Bolognese Sauce - Fabulicious Food

  4. Urvashi Roe

    I love pad Thai. It’s just proper quick comfort food isn’t it? The best I ever made was from the recipe I learned at the vegetarian cookery school in Bath which is very similar to this one. Lovely pics. Made me so hungry!

    1. Ceri @CucinaCeri Post author

      Thanks Urvashi. Totally comforting! & I love how you can cook up this dish in 10 minutes – so long as you’ve measured everything out in good time – just like on Blue Peter…

  5. gen

    Hello I came across your site via Ren who inspired me to do the whole30, I am on day 5 and yet to feel any real health benefits as it is early days. But I am finding the food prep side of it pretty easy with the help of your recipes. I have tried your pad thai and the lamb sausages and both turned out delicious. Thank you!

    1. Ceri @CucinaCeri Post author

      Thanks Gen – so nice of you to take the time and let me know – that’s just fab to hear that you enjoyed the recipes. Keep going and stick with it. It’s a 30 day protocol for a reason! Really wish you the best of luck – and well done you for being inspired to give it a go


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