I recently got back from a trip through Southeast Asia and you bet your boots I went to a full day-long cooking school while in Thailand! We went to Phuket Thai Cookery School and it was a phenomenal experience. Each day at cooking school they make 5 different dishes, so I scheduled the day they would make Pad Thai because I love that dish! I took what I learned and healthified it into this super yummy Low Sugar Pad Thai, with tons of veggies and brown rice noodles. It’s delicious!
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Low Sugar Pad Thai
You know I’m all about taking the flavors you love and healthifying the recipe to give your body the fuel it needs. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I make healthy eating fun and easy! Here’s how I healthified this recipe:
- Reduced the sugar.
- Reduced the added salt by limiting high-sodium sauces and add-ins.
- Added extra veggies.
- Swapped regular rice noodles for brown rice noodles.
I did a few other swaps to simplify the recipe and increase the nutritional value (the original had over 20 ingredients and scant veggies!), but those are the main steps I took!
About This Recipe
This Low Sugar Pad Thai is a bit involved because of the veggies, and it has several more ingredients than some of my easier recipes. But, not to worry! If you have some basic kitchen skills (or helpful tools!) it’s not too complicated!
I’d definitely recommend getting all of your ingredients out and sliced/diced before you put anything on the stovetop (we call this “mise en place” or “everything in its proper place”) . Once things hit the heat it moves pretty quickly, and any downtime can be used to start cleaning up the kitchen or setting the table.
The ingredients in this dish are inherently gluten-free, however if you have a true Celiac disease, I would definitely suggest double-checking each product you use to ensure it’s not produced in a facility that also manufactures gluten-containing products (anything with wheat, barley, or rye).
Making This Dish the Thai Way
Follow the instructions in the recipe to make this dish the Thai way! This is particularly important on preparing the noodles (soak instead of boil), and adding the eggs to the dish (scramble on one side of the pan).
I used the *OXO Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 which made chopping a breeze! This slicer can create up to 21 different cuts in 0.5-mm intervals. You can make straight or wavy slices (the blade is reversible!) and it has built-in julienne and French fry blades. I used the straight blade to quickly slice my radish, and the julienne blades to chop my carrot and zucchini. The slices came out super precise and professional-looking. This slicer is basically only three working parts (the mandoline body, blade, and food holder), which makes cleaning and storage simple. To use it, just place the mandoline over a cutting board, turn the knob to the desired thickness, cup the food inside the food holder and slide it across the blades.
For the tofu, broccoli florets, bok choy and green onion, I simply used a Chef’s knife (*this is the best $10 knife you will ever buy; I got mine in Thailand at the cooking school and saw later they sell it on Amazon. I use it interchangeably with my Wusthof) and cutting board.
This recipe requires a really large pan by the final steps. You can use a wok *or I use this huge, non-stick sauté pan because I don’t own a wok! I used a smaller saucepan to warm water for the noodles and simmer the sauce.
Crush peanuts easily by placing them in a plastic baggy, squeezing the air out, and then lightly tapping them with a meat tenderizer (*what I use), rolling pin, or even the base of a hard plastic cup.
The Finished Product
This Low Sugar Pad Thai, when finished, should be filled with lots of vegetables and shrimp, with a moderate amount of noodles. I love how the peanuts garnished on top bring in a crunchy mouthfeel with each bite, and the fresh-squeezed lime gives it a sweet, tangy taste. The chili sauce gives a little bit of heat/spice but definitely not too much. It should be flavorful and very colorful!
As per usual, I hope you love this recipe! Let me know what you think!
Disclosures: *I received a free Chef’s Mandoline Slicer 2.0 from OXO Good Grips but was not compensated for my time. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. | All opinions are genuine.
Low Sugar Pad Thai
- 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Truvia white sugar baking blend (or can use 3 Tbsp regular white sugar)
- 1 Tbsp fish sauce
- 3 Tbsp + 2 Tbsp water, separated
- 2 Tbsp chili sauce
- 2 Tbsp ketchup (option to use a reduced-sugar ketchup)
- 1/4 block firm tofu, cut in small cubes (~3 oz)
- 1/2 zucchini, julienned
- 1 carrot, julienned
- 1 radish, thinly sliced
- 1 head broccoli florets
- 1 head baby bok choy
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 lb shrimp (or can use any other meat or increase the tofu for vegetarian)
- 1/2 c bean sprouts
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 2 Tbsp roasted peanuts, unsalted, crushed (can crush a little extra for garnish, as well)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 c brown rice noodles (~1 + 1/2 squares of brown rice noodles)
- 1/2 c chopped green onion, for garnish
- 1 tsp chili powder, for garnish
- juice of 1 whole lime
- Combine Truvia (or sugar), fish sauce, chili sauce, ketchup and water in a small sauce pan. Simmer on low heat until the sugar blend is dissolved (~5-8 minutes), then set aside.
- Heat a wok or large sauce pan on medium heat and add the canola oil. Add tofu and pan-fry until golden brown, moving periodically to brown all sides (~10 minutes). Add shallot and continue to cook until fragrant (~5 minutes).
- While the tofu and shallots are cooking, soak the noodles in room temperature water (do not boil these!).
- Add broccoli, zucchini and carrot to the wok with 2 additional Tbsp of water. Cover and cook until broccoli is bright green, ~5 minutes. Remove cover.
- Drain the noodles. Add noodles, sauce mixture, shrimp, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Stir regularly to avoid the noodles from sticking. When the shrimp are half-way cooked, move the entire veggie/noodle/shrimp concoction to ONE SIDE of the wok or saucepan. Turn down the heat slightly (to medium heat) and add the two eggs to the OTHER side of the wok. Allow the egg whites to firm before scrambling the eggs and mixing the eggs in with the veggie/noodle/shrimp mixture.
- Garnish with green onion, chili powder, and any leftover crushed peanuts. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the top just before service.