Gluten-Free Pad Thai Topped with Fresh Cilantro & Thai Basil & PEANUTS
OKAY, so I had a craving for Thai food tonight (You know, those perfectly boiled noodles, topped with tangy sauces & combined with the crunch of chopped peanuts… YUM!). Not gonna lie, I fantasized about that all day, then I FINALLY got up & whipped this dish up, and well, it was DELISH. I just HAD TO share it with you guys right away (plus, so many of you asked, so, here it is!).
Before I get into the nitty gritty of this dish, just so you guys know, it took me almost no time to prepare so it makes for a great quick dinner recipe, not to mention, the combination of the browned onion, mushrooms, bell pepper & garlic with the whisked egg, fresh Thai basil & cilantro & my improvised soy (we’ll talk about my soy sauce replacement soon), sesame oil, peanut & rice vinegar sauce TOPPED WITH SLICED PEANUTS (the. best. part. of. this. recipe. DUH!) is literally HEAVEN ON EARTH. I can’t even. (You must be drooling at this point. Come on. Don’t lie). As always, I devoured the entire plate (Just wondering, do I really have to keep telling you guys or is it obvious at this point that I LOVE to eat & that I will always devour my plate? Let me know. kthnx.). ANYWAYS, all this to say, this babe satisfied my Thai craving beyond words & if you like Thai food, you will fall in LOVE with this guilt-free recipe INSTANTLY.
P.S. Can we all take a second to acknowledge the milestone that is me, Kelly Ohana, eating peanuts again??? For almost two years, I was legitimately scared of nuts, oil & all that other good fatty stuff & now, I am proud to say that I make a conscious (YES, very conscious) effort to include good & healthy fats in every single one of my meals & snacks! And you know what? IT FEELS SO GOOD & I feel amazing! Just thought I should share. This journey has truly taught me that eating is really about nourishing your body & feeding it all the right nutrients that it needs to function on a daily basis (YES, even FATS! Of course, just be mindful. Don’t eat like, entire chocolate bars or bags of chips in one sitting cause I mean… then it might get out of hand. BUT, DO INDULGE SOMETIMES, PLEASE). OK, I’ll shut up now & tell you how to make this dish… I mean, this post is supposed to be about Pad Thai, right?
P.P.S. For those of you who have been asking for chicken/meat/fish dishes, this one is a perfect example where throwing in some chicken, ground turkey/beef, cubed beef chunks, seafood & even fish is totally doable! In my opinion, the best way to prepare your protein would be in a pan with some sesame or coconut oil (to keep in line with them Thai flavours) & to add it to the dish once all the other ingredients are ready. All this to say, this recipe is SUPER VERSATILE, so like, if you weren’t already convinced to make it for dinner tonight after reading thus far, now you must be… right?
All the yumminess necessary to make this dish is as follows:
- 180g of pasta or rice noodles (I used gluten-free pasta, but traditional Pad Thai is usually made with rice noodles, so GO FOR IT. Otherwise, literally any type of spaghetti/fettuccine/angel hair pasta will work!);
- 1 tbsp. of soy sauce. OK, I didn’t use real soy sauce. I actually used Bragg’s (LOYAL CUSTOMER, RIGHT?) Liquid Aminos, which is a liquid protein concentrate derived from soy-beans & purified water. It’s THE BEST alternative to soy sauce and tamari. Of course, there are tons of other soy replacement products on the market & tons of reduced sodium soy sauces as well, so use what you have, or go for that full-on sodium REAL DEAL soy sauce (I will admit, the recipe will probably taste even better this way, so DO IT);
- 1 tbsp. of fish sauce (If you’ve never used this before, it probably sounds disgusting to you, BUT IT’S NOT. It literally adds so much flavour to the dish, you have no idea. And, it’s ALWAYS used in Pad Thai, so if you’ve ever eaten Pad Thai in a restaurant, you’ve probably already had fish sauce & didn’t even know it. SO POUR IT UP;
- 1/8 cup of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (I used Pacific Organic Vegetable Broth, but most brands actually make reduced-sodium versions of their broths these days, so you shouldn’t have a problem finding something non-organic at the regular grocery store OR USE WHAT YOU HAVE #nowastepolicy);
- 1 tbsp. of sugar or sugar substitute (I used Erythritol by NOW Foods);
- 3/4 tsp. of cornstarch or arrowroot starch (I used Bob’s Red Mill arrowroot starch, but both will work perfectly!);
- 2 large eggs;
- 3 tsp. of sesame oil;
- OPTIONAL: 1/2 – 1 jalapeño pepper (Make sure you remove the ribs & seeds), finely chopped (This totally depends whether you want to spice up your dish or not!);
- 1/2 small onion, thinly sliced (about 1/2 cup);
- 40g of mushrooms;
- 40g of bell pepper (Make sure you remove the ribs & seeds), thinly sliced;
- 2 garlic cloves, minced;
- 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped;
- 1/4 cup of fresh Thai basil, roughly chopped;
- THE BEST PART EVER: 2 tbsp. of finely chopped peanuts (You can use salted or unsalted – depends if you’re a “salt-person” or not! Also, keep in mind that Thai food is generally salty because of all the soy sauce/fish sauce/chicken or veggie broth, so you might want to use unsalted peanuts just to counter-balance all the ingredients. I used organic unsalted ones);
OK, NOW GET READY TO WHIP UP THIS BABY:
- Boil them nooooodles according to the package directions;
- While your noodles are boiling (Yes, I’m all about saving time & killing two birds with one stone & stuff), in a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, fish sauce, chicken or vegetable broth, sugar/sugar substitute, cornstarch/arrowroot starch & 1 tsp. of sesame oil;
- In another small bowl, beat them eggs;
- In a skillet, heat a teaspoon of sesame oil over medium-high heat. Once heated, add the jalapeño (IF YOU ARE SPICING THIS BABE UP), onion, bell pepper & mushrooms & cook, stirring frequently, until tender, but still crisp (I cooked my veggies for about 5 minutes, but it always depends on the stove, so KEEP AN EYE ON YOUR VEGGIES. CARE FOR YOUR VEGGIES);
- Add the garlic & cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (a.k.a. until your kitchen begins to smell like the heaven that is fried garlic). This should take about 30 seconds. NOW, put your veggies in a plate & set aside;
- Add the remaining teaspoon of sesame oil to the skillet. Add your noodles & coat them in the sesame oil. This should take no more than 30 seconds (You don’t want to overcook your noodles, so DON’T leave the kitchen while you’re doing this). Add them eggs & cook, stirring constantly (If you don’t FOCUS & stir constantly, your eggs will clump & burn. Ew) until they are set. This should take about 2 minutes;
- NOW, the dish is finally coming together guys, I SWEAR. Add the soy sauce mixture to your skillet. Stir well until the noodles are coated in the thick, glossy sauce (ZOMFG YUM, I’m legit drooling).
- Add your veggie mixture to the skillet and combine with the noodles (OMG, your kitchen will smell like sesame a.k.a. HEAVEN at this point. You have been warned. Control yourself. You can do this);
- If you are adding any chicken, fish or meat to the dish, add it now and combine it with the noodles & veggies;
- Remove your skillet from the heat & stir in the fresh cilantro & fresh Thai basil;
- BACK TO THAT BEST PART WE SPOKE ABOUT EARLIER, sprinkle your chopped peanuts over this beautiful dish & EAT UP! #NOMZ (That’s if you didn’t already munch on all the peanuts while you were waiting for this babe to cook. If you did, CHOP UP SOME MORE & top your dish with them!).
& NOW, the moment you have all been waiting for. What should the dish look like when ready? HEAVEN. But, just in case you aren’t sure what that looks like, please see below for some tangible stuff:
Enjoy my loves! Xoxo!