Pad Thai is one of the dishes that first comes to mind when thinking of Thai cuisine. Sadly, most North American restaurant versions are little more than a big plate of uninspiring saucy noodles. A good pad Thai will be a medley of carefully matched ingredients that comes together fast with just the right amount of sweet, sour, and salty.
Here roasted soy nuts provide the necessary nutty crunch traditionally achieved by peanuts. Soy nuts are rich in protein as well as range of minerals such as magnesium and copper.
6 ounces rice noodles
2 tablespoons chopped tamarind pulp or 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or honey
1 small red chile pepper, minced or 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes
1 tablespoon grapeseed or peanut oil
1 pound medium-sized shrimp, peeled
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups bean sprouts, plus more for garnish
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup roasted soy nuts, plus more for garnish
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped, for garnish
1 lime, sliced into wedges, for garnish
1. Prepare noodles according to package directions.
2. If using tamarind, mix pulp with 1/4 cup boiling water in a small bowl and let sit for 10 minutes. Press mixture through a fine sieve and reserve tamarind water. Stir together tamarind water or rice vinegar with soy sauce, fish sauce, sugar or honey, and chili.
3. In a wok or large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and stir-fry until just beginning to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add noodles and stir-fry for 1 minute more. Stir in sprouts and tamarind mixture, and stir-fry until noodles have absorbed the sauce, about 1 minute.
4. Push noodle mixture to one side of the pan, add eggs and cook, stirring frequently, until eggs are scrambled, about 1 minute. Add soy nuts and green onions, and combine with noodles and egg. Stir-fry for 1 minute more.
5. Place on serving plates and garnish with additional soy nuts, bean sprouts, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Nutrition score per serving: 390 calories, 9g fat (2g saturated), 52g carbs, 24g protein, 4g fiber, 103mg calcium, 4mg iron, 1,099mg sodium
Swap out shrimp for chicken or tofu
Try dry roasted edamame instead of soy nuts