I really like Pad Thai. There’s just something about fish sauce I can’t quite stomach, so that’s why I tried this No Fish Sauce Veggie & Chicken Pad Thai. If a dish is prepared for me with it, no problem. If I have to use it, I just can’t do it. Although the fish sauce does add that tanginess and a richer flavor to Thai dishes, I’d rather omit it. I kept the tanginess and acidity by adding soy sauce. For this vegan/vegetarian Pad Thai sauce, keep the whole dish meatless by substituting the chicken and egg for tofu as your protein, but either way, it’s gluten-free! I added more veggies than the traditional dish and kept it 50/50 with rice noodles and zoodles. The bean sprouts and chopped peanuts add a contrasting crunch to the soft noodles, while the cilantro contributes a whole new level of freshness. Toss in shredded carrots, snap peas and bean sprouts and this dish is packed with a little something extra.
Ingredients (serves 4-6).
For the Sauce:
- 1 T neutral oil
- 1 ½ T brown sugar
- Fresh lime juice from 1/2 lime
- 3 T soy sauce, reduced sodium
- 1-2 t sriracha
- 2 T whipped peanut butter
For the Dish:
- 1 package of chicken tenders
- 6 oz. Pad Thai rice noodles
- 1 egg (or egg white equivalent), beaten
- 1 T light olive oil
- 1 large zucchini, washed and spiralized into noodles *
- 2 c shredded carrots
- 2 c snap peas
- 1 scallion, finely shopped
- 2 c bean sprouts, washed
- 1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- 1/4 c chopped peanuts
- Salt to taste
- Lime wedges to garnish (optional)
* NOTE: you can also use a Julienne slicer to make zucchini noodles. When I bought this in December last year, this was one of the few spiral vegetable slicers available. Now, they seem to have popped up everywhere. The one I have is dishwasher safe and available here.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Set aside cooked noodles.
- Place the chicken tenders in a deep baking dish. Bake for about 30 min or until fully cooked through. Once cool, cut into small 1/2 inch cubes. Set aside chicken.
- In a wok, whisk together ingredients for the sauce over medium to high heat. Continue stirring until peanut butter dissolves. Set aside sauce.
- In the same wok, cook and scramble one egg into small pieces. Once scrambled, add in 1 t of light olive oil to the wok and the egg.
- “Cook” zucchini noodles and carrots in the same wok with the cooked egg and newly added oil. Once zucchini noodles are translucent, about 3-5 minutes, add in prepared sauce, cooked rice noodles and cooked chicken.
- Steam snap peas according to package directions. Add cooked snap peas into noodle-veggie mixture. Reduce to low heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is warm. Remove from heat.
- Fold in washed bean sprouts and chopped scallions to veggie, noodle and chicken Pad Thai mixture.
- Top with chopped peanuts and chopped fresh cilantro (optional). Add salt to taste. Garnish with a lime wedge (optional).
- Serve warm and enjoy!
These steps may look complicated or intimidating, but everything can be done in steps: make the sauce, prep the veggies, cook the chicken or rice noodles all ahead of time. That way you’re not during a marathon session in the kitchen!