Pad Thai is a favorite take-out dish for many, but when it arrives tasting too sweet, oily, and starchy it’s not worth the splurge. When ordering Pad Thai, you can ask restaurants to hold the peanuts, but you’ll have less luck asking them to leave out sugar, vegetable oil, or rice noodles. Especially rice noodles, since they make up most of the dish.
Although rice noodles aren’t the worst noodles out there, it’s possible to enjoy the sweet, funky flavor of Pad Thai without them. Made without noodles, refined oil, or too much sugar, this Pad Thai salad is a winner. Crunchy purple cabbage and bean sprouts are tossed with egg and shrimp and a bold dressing inspired by the flavors of traditional Pad Thai.
Still craving those noodles? Then go ahead and toss rice noodles into the salad, too.
Time in the Kitchen: 25 minutes
1 small purple cabbage, thinly shredded
2 cups bean sprouts (155 g)
2 tablespoons fish sauce (30 ml)
2 tablespoons coconut aminos (30 ml)
1 tablespoon maple syrup (15 ml)
1 tablespoon lime juice (15 ml)
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (1.2 ml)
3 tablespoons avocado oil (45 ml)
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons finely chopped ginger (10 ml)
1 small shallot, finely chopped
1 egg, whisked
12 to 16 ounces raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (340 g to 455 g)
Optional: fresh mint and cilantro for garnish
In a large bowl, toss together cabbage and bean sprouts. Set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk fish sauce, coconut aminos, maple syrup, lime juice and red pepper flakes. Set aside.
Heat avocado oil in a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, ginger and shallot. Sauté for two minutes.
Push the garlic, ginger and shallot to the side and pour the egg into the skillet. Stir just until the egg begins to set (about 30 seconds). Add shrimp, continuing to stir and break up the egg, until the shrimp are just turning pink (about 3 minutes).
Pour the fish sauce mixture into the skillet. Rapidly simmer 2 to 3 minutes, until shrimp are cooked through. Pour everything in the skillet over the cabbage and bean sprouts. Toss well, and serve. Add fresh herbs if desired.