This recipe comes from a friend’s request. She has been craving Pad Thai but has been struggling to find a clean version. These are the challenges I love! There’s ZERO reason we can’t enjoy the meals we love just because we’re choosing clean nutrition. Well, I gave this one a test drive last night with my kids and their friends. I THINK it was high praise when one of them said “Wow, this is like take-out! Nice job, Chrissy!” (Even their friends call me that...I love it! We have that house where people show up anytime after school, especially at dinner, unannounced, through the side door. You never know who’s walking in. I love that too!) So the secret to an authentic Pad Thai recipe is to use real tamarind paste. This ingredient alone is the building block for so many delicious Thai recipes. It’s made from the pulp of the tamarind fruit which is both naturally sweet and sour. No sweetening agents are added to it. And it also gives a slightly sour flavor to dishes. Almost any Asian market will have it. Some Whole Foods carry it too. (If you can’t find it, you can use lime juice mixed with a little white wine or rice vinegar and an equal quantity of light brown sugar. To keep it “clean” I’d use stevia in place of the brown sugar. I haven’t tried this substitution, although I know others who have.) In my opinion it’s easier and cleaner to use actual tamarind paste, which also lasts a really long time. While you’re at the Asian market, you’ll need to pick up fish sauce. That’s another traditional Pad Thai ingredient. (There aren’t really substitutions for this ingredient and it’s unique flavor would be hard to reproduce.) Lastly, you can buy authentic Sambal chili sauce or paste at the Asian market as well, or you can get the Sweet Chili Sauce from Trader Joe’s. (But remember that the brands at the Asian market are less likely to have added sugar.) Also, there are many different kinds of brown rice noodles out there, but my favorite by far are the fettuccine style Pad Thai noodles by Tinkyada Joy. I use this brand with almost every pasta dish I make. I find that the texture really holds up compared to other brown rice noodles that tend to get mushy. So enjoy, and as always, send photos and feedback!!
Ingredients- • 8oz. chicken breast (cubed) and/or shrimp • 1/4c. coconut aminos • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar • 2 tbsp clean Teriyaki sauce (recipe is below) • 2 tsp sesame oil • 1-2 tbsp minced garlic • 3 tsp fresh grated ginger (or 1/2 tsp dried ground ginger) • 2 tbsp Sweet Chili Sauce (TJ) or any Sambal Chili sauce/paste • 1 tbsp tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup room-temperature water • 2 tbsp fish sauce (anchovy sauce) • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper • 1 tbsp raw honey (optional) • 1 tbsp granulated Stevia (2 tbsp if honey isn’t used) • 2 cups bean sprouts • 1/4 cup chopped green onion • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro (or parsley) • 2 tbsp coarsely chopped almonds (cashews are good too) • lime wedges
Directions: 1. Combine coconut aminos, Teriyaki sauce, and chicken/shrimp in a bag or shallow dish and let marinate for at least 15 minutes (or up to 8 hours). 2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add your noodles. Cook according to amount and package instructions. 3. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sweet chili or sambal sauce. Stir for 1-2 minutes until the garlic starts to lightly brown, then add the chicken and/or shrimp. Cook for 5-7 minutes (shrimp needs less time). 4. While your protein cooks, combine the tamarind/water mixture, fish sauce, cayenne, honey, and stevia. 5. Drain the noodles and add them to the skillet with the protein. Then pour the sauce mixture on top 6. Stir-fry the noodles, protein, and sauce for about 2 minutes, then add the sprouts. 7. Continue stir-frying for another 2 minutes until the sprouts are tender but still crisp. 8. To plate, top with green onion, cilantro or parsley, chopped nuts, and fresh-squeezed lime.
Clean Teriyaki Sauce • 1/2 cup coconut aminos • 3 Tbsp rice wine vinegar or mirin (white vinegar can work too) • 4 tbsp water • 1 tablespoon honey or 1/2 tbsp granulated stevia • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (or 1 tsp dried ground ginger) • 2 teaspoons tapioca flour • 1 tablespoon water (additional, to mix with the flour)
Directions- Combine the coconut aminos, vinegar or mirin, sweetener, garlic, and ginger in a small saucepan with 4 tbsp water. Bring to a boil. Mix the tapioca flour with the 1 tbsp water, whisking it into a slurry. Then add it to the pot. Boil for 1 minute and turn off the heat.