Jun 7, 2012

Shrimp Pad Thai on the Lighter Side



I've been a huge fan of Rasa Malaysia for many years and recently Bee and I have become friends. Bee spent a few months traveling Thailand and when she returned I asked if she could guest post making a Skinnier version of a Thai Classic. Pad Thai is probably my most requested makeover, so who better than to have Bee give us her authentic version with a lighter touch! Vegetarians, leave out the shrimp and add more tofu or add more veggies!


Hi there, I’m Bee from Rasa Malaysia, a website about easy Asian cooking. I’m also the cookbook author of Easy Chinese Recipes (Tuttle, September 2011) — one of the best-selling Chinese cookery books on Amazon. First of all, I wanted to thank Gina for giving me the opportunity to guest post on Skinnytaste and share my Pad Thai recipe with you. I’m very honored—and thrilled—to grace this space, and I hope you like what I have to share with you here.

I love Thai food so there is no surprise that I’m a big fan of Pad Thai, or Thai stir-fried rice noodles. If you have dined at Thai restaurants, I’m sure you have had Pad Thai. Pad Thai is quite possibly the most famous dish outside of Thailand.

Thai cuisine is prized for its perfect balance of the four main tastes: hot, sour, salty, and sweet. Pad Thai is no exception. The spiciness of this noodle dish comes from the use of chili powder while the tartness comes from tamarind. The saltiness of most Thai food comes from fish sauce, or nam pla, while palm sugar lends the sweetness to the overall dish. For this recipe, I opted to use vinegar in lieu of tamarind juice, as it’s commonly used by the street vendors in Thailand. Palm sugar is not a common ingredient for many people, so I substituted it with sugar. The recipe is very versatile as you can make it healthier by adding more bean sprouts and reduce the rice noodles. Other than shrimp, you can also use chicken breast. The fried firm tofu is a key ingredient in authentic Pad Thai but you can’t find it at your local stores, feel free to opt it out.

I love eating my Pad Thai with a generous squirt (or two) of lime juice. It’s a delightful dish to make at home and a complete meal on its own. I hope you enjoy the recipe. If you have any questions, do leave me a comment! Again, thanks Gina for having me.







Shrimp Pad Thai On The Lighter Side
www.Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 2 • Serving Size: 1/2 • Old Points: 9 pts • Points+: 11 pts
Calories: 400 • Fat: 18.7 g • Protein: 37.5 g • Carb: 25.1 g • Fiber: 2.1 g • Sugar: 9.4 g
Sodium: 1391 mg

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz packaged rice noodles (rice sticks)
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 6 oz medium-sized shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 2 oz fried firm tofu, cut into slices (optional)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 5 oz bean sprouts
  • 1 oz Chinese chives (or scallions), cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 tbsp crushed peanuts
  • lime wedges

For the Seasonings:

  • 1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce (Thai Kitchen brand for gluten free)
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder or more, to taste

Directions:

Follow the package instructions to cook the dry rice noodles. The rice noodles should be soft (but still chewy and not mushy) after boiling. Rinse the boiled noodles with cold running water.


Mix all the seasoning ingredients in a small bowl until well combined, set aside.

Heat up a large skillet on high heat and add the oil. As soon as the oil is hot, add the garlic to the skillet and start stirring until you smell the aroma of the garlic. Add the shrimp and the tofu and continue stirring. As soon as the shrimp changes color, add the noodles and stir-continuously, about 30 seconds. Use the spatula to push the noodles to one side of the skillet, and crack the eggs on the empty side of the skillet. Use the spatula to break the egg yolk and let cook for about 30 seconds. Combine the egg and the noodles, and add the seasoning sauce. Stir to combine well with the noodles.

Next, add the bean sprouts and chives and continue stirring. As soon as the bean sprouts are cooked, stir-in the crushed peanut. Turn off the heat and serve the Pad Thai immediately with the lime wedges.

99 comments :

  1. yummmyy!! I absolutely LOVE pad thai!! I always get the veggie pad thai from a restaurant near by. Thank for posting this..I will now be making this from now on! :)

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  2. Oh what a great dish!!! The photos look so tasty! I never had rice sticks, I'm going to look for them today! Have a wonderful day!!

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  3. I tested it out for myself and it was delicious!!

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    1. wonderful, I'll make it tonight!! and I scooted over to Bee's blog, thanks Gina for introducing her. I noticed her shrimp fritters (http://rasamalaysia.com/shrimp-fritters/2/) any suggestion to make them without the deep frying?

      btw, I love your recipes, I don't use cookbooks anymore since I found your blog :-)

      Happy cooking,
      Evelyn

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  4. Recipe is very tempting. I love Shrimps.

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  5. Ooohh this looks good!! Pad Thai is one of my favorites :D

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  6. Looks good....except for the fish sauce. FISH SAUCE? I can't imagine anything that sounds worse. Is there a substitute for fish sauce?

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    1. Thai food without fish sauce is just not Thai. But if you must, soy sauce... won't be the same.

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    2. Kara--fish sauce doesn't taste like fish once it's in a dish. Just don't smell it. :)

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    4. Totally agree, Fish Sauce is the magical ingredient in this. Do NOT do it without it. As the other poster said, don't smell it!

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    5. You gotta trust the fish sauce! It is a necessity, and you'll never know once it's in it.

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  7. Gina,

    Is the half recipe enough for a whole meal? I'm really watching points so 11 is all I can allot for a dinner. I'm also not a huge tofu fan. How do you think dropping the tofu would affect the recipe?

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  8. Looks amazing!! I'm a huge fan of Thai food but my son is deathly allergic to nuts... I know it's a big part of traditional pad Thai but how would it taste without the peanuts??

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  9. Hi Gina. I'm guessing most of the points are coming from the rice noodles? Do you think substituting with Shiritaki noodles would suffice, to lower the points value? Thanks for all the great recipes!

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  10. I love Pad Thai and it's a million fewer calories when you make it at home!

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  11. Yum! This looks delicious. I've had limited experience with Thai food but, what I've had has been delicious. I'm sure this would be wonderful as well. I'll have to give it a try!

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  12. Yes, can you go without peanuts? My peanut allergry has kept me away from pad thai all these years!

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    1. I'd say you could leave out the peanuts... they add a nice nutty flavor and a subtle crunch to the dish, but I don't think they're necessary for Pad Thai. The fish sauce and bean sprouts make the dish for me, personally :)

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  13. How long do we cook bean sprouts for?

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    1. Bean sprouts don't need too much cooking at all, that's why you add them in at the end. Just make sure you don't overcook them! You want lots of crunch!

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  14. I am trying to eat healthily and lose some unwanted pounds and was pointed in your direction.
    Your blog looks wonderful and I have signed up as your lastest follower. :)

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  15. Wow...sounds great, except for the huge amount of sodium...I am following a sodium reduced diet for healthy blood pressure...what would be your advice to reduce the sodium counts in the recipe? Thanks

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  16. I love Pad Thai and can't wait to try this! I want to say I love your blog as well and use it constantly to find things to make. I have yet to be disappointed!! Thanks for all the great food ideas!

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  17. Perfect recipe for the summer!

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  18. I love Bee's blog andI love Pad Thai! I"ve had amazing results with Bee's recipes and can't wait to give this a try!!!!

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  19. I LOVE Pad Thai and I can't wait to try and make it at home!!

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  20. I can't tell you how many times I've thought to myself, "why doesn't Gina have a Pad Thai recipe?". That said, I can't believe this still has 11 points+ per serving! Yikes! It makes me wonder what a restaurant serving (which is usually huge) is calorie-wise. WOWZA!

    You can bet I'll be making this, though :)

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  21. Yes, please!!! I want some right now!

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  22. How many points would it be with the shrimp left out? I'm not a seafood fan!

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  23. This looks delicious!!

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  24. I am ADDICTED to your website, have been making your recipes regularly for the last week and a half and I have yet to have a bad one. Nice work, keep them coming! I will be making this Pad Thai recipe this week, it looks delicious! :)

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  25. Yes, it does look good, but I have the same concern as another posting regarding the sodium levels. How can we reduce that?

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  26. This is an amazing recipe, can't wait to try it!! thanks for sharing! :)

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  27. I can't wait to cook this! I love pad thai. Gina, I haven't found a recipe on your site that isn't good.

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  28. Gina, thanks so much for having me on your blog!! :)

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  29. Did you fry the tofu yourself? Can you tell me a little bit about how you did it? I see big blocks of tofu at the store and it has always intimidated me. I don't know what to do with it!

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  30. What type of oil? canola? peanut oil? olive oil?

    There is a recipe at shesimmers.com (I also follow her blog, so I hope it's ok to point it out) that substitutes the rice noodles for shredded green papaya. Taste and texture won't be the same, but it has less calories.
    http://www.shesimmers.com/2012/04/green-papaya-pad-thai.html

    I LOVE pad thai, but always make the original calorie-laden recipe (soo yummy), I will definitely try this one.

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  31. How do the points change if you leave out the tofu? (Ie, how many points is fried tofu???)

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  32. Could you use oyster sauce? I have never had thai but I am going to make this. It sounds yummy

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    1. Hi. You probably don't want to use the oyster sauce. It completely changes the dish. It makes it more like Pad Krapow Kung (Thai Stir Fried Shrimp with Basil and noodles). Although if you have never tried a Krapow dish, I highly recommend doing so soon. :)

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  33. Gina, thank you for taking the time to post your recipes on Pinterest. It's really the easiest way to find them. It's really appreciated!

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  34. Hey!! Love it - as I love all your recipes! Chili Powder - the usual chili powder from the spice aisle, or something from a thai brand?

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    1. I have the same question - my 'regular' Chili Powder, or my Indian Chili Powder or is there another one?

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    2. I was wondering this too. I'm doubtful that it's the regular old Chili Powder as that flavor wouldn't work in the dish. I have been to Thai restaurants where they give you a chili powder instead of sriracha to add spiciness. I saw someone (further down) added sambal olek instead of the chili powder. I'm thinking I'll try that.

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  35. hello friend! I just blogged about one of your older recipes here: http://www.northerncottage.net/2012/06/fav-blogger-recipe-finds.html

    stop on by for a visit anytime! xo

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  36. Hi, Gina! Thank you, thank you, thank you! I LOVELOVELOVE shrimp pad thai! I can't wait to try this!

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  37. YUM!! These looks wonderful!

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  38. do you have the nutritional information for this!? thank you.

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  39. Lovely guest post! This is certainly a skinny version of Pad Thai I'm putting on my menu.

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  40. Yay! I am so glad you posted this! Ironic that I was JUST talking about how I needed to find a healthier version as I splurged on a restaurant version (which provided several leftover meals!) this weekend! I even picked up some Annie Chun's Pad Thai rice noodles that were on sale, so hopefully I can make it very soon! Thanks again!

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  41. This looks great, I will have to try it. Pad thai is a family favourite.

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  42. Love the site and love pad thai. This one looks great. Just piping in to say that i make essentially the same recipe but with spaghetti squash instead of noodles. It is amazing and drastically lowers the carb and calorie count :).

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  43. Wow - this looks awesome; and it is 2 servings - How great for small families; no leftovers!!!! Quite often halving a recipe just doesn't work out the same. Pad Thai for 2 - can't wait to make it. Will add cilantro and possibly make the mango cole slaw as a side dish. Thank you Gina.

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  44. Thank you Bee for the wonderful recipe and thanks Gina for having guests posts occasionally. I always love your recipes, but through the guests have found other wonderful sites too!

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  45. This is my first time posting, even though I've made a few of your dishes. Love, love, love Pad Thai. I made this today, and it was delicious. The serving portion was also filling. Thank you, Gina!

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  46. I love Pad Thai and this does sound tasty, but no tamarind? I thought that was one of the secret's of Thai cooking?

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  47. I'm such a sucker for colorful foods! This looks sooo yummy and beautiful, too!

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  48. I tried this tonight, it was good. One of the better homemade versions of pad thai and definitely gets bonus points for not having a million hard to find ingredients. I did have some tamarind around so I used that in mine. If you make it expecting restaurant flavor you'll probable be disappointed but if you have realistic expectations (and a VERY HOT PAN) you should be very pleased!

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    Replies
    1. How much tamarind did you add, and did you adjust anything else? Thanks!

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    2. I just made this with tamarind, equal parts to the vinegar. Added baby spinach and mushrooms to up the vege content, would like to get my hands on some chinese broccoli to mix through

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  49. Can you find packaged rice noodles in any grocery store? Not sure where I should get them at..

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    1. I have seen them in both Super Target and Kroger. In grocery stores,they are usually in the Ethnic food section (Asian).

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  50. Made this tonight. It was delicious!

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  51. I am so hungry looking at this and I even had a fabulous supper tonight. I am drooling over this! Thanks! Cannot wait to try it at my house.

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  52. I made this for dinner last night - so good! I have tried many recipes for Pad Thai and this one was perfect - simple and delicious! It's going into my regular rotation for sure

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  53. Wow! Thanks! Such a pretty, pretty, well organized presentation. Looks yummy, and will make this one for sure.

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  54. I just finished making this with chicken instead of shrimp and I left out the tofu. It's delicious! I'm glad I have enough of the ingredients left over to make it again.

    Just be sure that the sugar doesn't stay at the bottom of your mixing bowl when adding the seasoning ingredients to the pan. Mine did without me realizing and I thought it wasn't sweet enough, but was able add some sugar dissolved in warm water to balance out the flavors.

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  55. Thank you Thank you Thank you to both of you for giving us such a wonderful dish. I made it tonight for my husband and he went wild. You introduced me to a new food product Rice Sticks. I check your website everyday for new recipes.

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  56. I finally made this last night. My husband, who is not into Thai food actually loved it and had two servings and I thought it was a little bland (but that is my fault).

    I could not find the rice noodles in a 3 oz package, only a 12 oz, and they were very difficult to separate into a smaller portion (think flying noodles). So, I had more noodles and more shrimp but did not make more sauce (and should have, but I wasn't sure what to add in which proportions since I didn't double the recipe).

    At any rate, make sure you get your ingredients in place prior to starting as the cook time is very quick. This is a VERY good home version of this popular restaurant dish.

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  57. It was ok. Almost no sauce. It's not Pad Thai. Call it Shrimp Noodles and you've got it.

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  58. One question before I make this... Crushed peanuts? Can I buy them already crushed at the grocery store or do I crush them myself? Could I substitute peanut butter?

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  59. I made this last week; it was totally amazing; substituted Sambal Goleek for the chili powder; sprinkled it with cilantro before serviing; but I must admit that I did find it a little dry; would have liked more sauce; but definitely going to make it again this week using chicken - in order to use up some of the tofu and cilantro.

    I don't understand some of the questions here - i.e. crushed peanuts - can you not crush up a few peanuts??

    Couldn't find a 3 oz. pkg of noodles - then just use part of it.

    This recipe is sooooooooo simple; I really don't think it's rocket science.

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  60. This is the first thing I've made from SkinnyTaste that I didn't like at all. I've been cooking you recipes for 2 years now, and I was pretty disappointed with this one. I made it with chicken instead of shrimp because I'm allergic, but I found it incredibly dry and bland. I'm not complaining - just giving feedback!

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  61. I am a HUGE Pad Thai fan and loved this. The portion size is perfect and I didn't think it was dry at all. I just added 2 oz of firm tofu (not fried) and it was fine.

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  62. I made this last night and it was delicious! I was a little hesitant of the fish sauce because the first recipe I ever made with it was disgusting, it was fine in this recipe! I also added 2 T of sweet thai chili sauce for a little extra kick! I also used some soy noodles that were in the refrigerator section with the bean sprouts that had only 20 calories and 2 carbs and they were not bad! They are endorsed by hungry girl. I wouldn't like them with spaghetti because the texture is strange, but in this Asian dish they were fine. That with the lime made this dish delicious, I am so glad that I doubled it! Thanks for satisfying another craving Gina!!

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  63. I just made this and it was amazing!!! Thank you!

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  64. Delicious! I omitted the tofu and added a few more shrimp. I was nervous about scrambling the eggs, but they cooked into the noodles just like I have had at restaurants! Added 1 tsp of chili powder for more flavor. Fish sauce does not taste gross as you might think, wouldn't even know it was in there, but it does add good flavor. The lime finish is a must! Thanks Gina!

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  65. This was excellent! It was my first attempt at pad thai and it turned out great! Thank you so much for posting the recipe!

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  66. Great recipe! It made a TON and was delicious. I followed the recipe exactly and frankly wouldn't change a thing next time and there will be a next time. My man said he has tried pad thai at many restaurants and this was by far the best he's had. Nice work! Another winner!

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  67. Tried this last night for dinner - came out tasty! Loved it! Next time I'm going to add Sriracha to the seasoning mix; I like my Thai food with a little more kick xD

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  68. Just wanted to let you know I made this and added some green beans too. Absolutely delicious!

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  69. Made this last night. I was delicious! Whole family enjoyed it. Instead of crushed peanuts, we added peanut butter thinned out with water to the sauce. 22 year old daughter who loves pad thai felt the sauce was lacking something so we tried this and it worked very well.

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  70. I just made this last night. I doubled the recipe thinking it would make for a great cold lunch, boy was I disappointed. My three teenage boys finished off the whole pot! Can't complain when it is mostly bean sprouts, veggies and shrimp. I did sub the noodles for regular rice, I think the rice absorbs the flavors better and is easier to mix. Thanks for a great healthy recipe!

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  71. I make this at least once a week as we LOVE Thai food and this is a great healthy alternative! But tonight I made this with tofu noodles and it tasted exactly the same as it does with regular rice noodles! They're only 20 for 4 oz!

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  72. Do I need to soak the noodles first? I bought dried noodles but I know sometimes they come pre-moistened in vacuum packed bags. The type I bought are dry so I assume I'll need to soak them before adding them to the pan...

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    1. Nevermind I just read your directions again. Oops!

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  73. Hi Gina, I have some left over cooked shrimp from the red coconut curry shrimp , I was wondering could I toss those in at the end of this recipe instead of buying new uncooked shrimp? Or would it mess up the flavor? I would hate to waste it since I am allergic to shrimp but my husband would love this dish.

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  74. Hi Gina,

    I love this recipe! One tasty modification is replacing the chili powder with Sriracha in the sauce portion. Thank you!

    Morgan

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  75. We added Sriracha to taste after everything was complete. LOVED it! Wonderful recipe!

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  76. I tried this tonight, and I have to say I was really disappointed. This dish was really bland. I wanted to love it. I won't be making this again.

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  77. We made this and didn't go so well. I don't think we cooked the noodles right because they were really hard when we soaked them in hot water so we boiled them and think we over cooked them. My husband also bought COOKED Shrimp so we had to improvise. Fried tofu and crushed peanuts weren't available so it was very bland and the noodles were mushy. We might try again.

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  78. This was amazing! We tried this tonight and it was easily one of the best homemade dishes we've tried yet. As for those who commented on how bland it was we added more red pepper flakes than what was listed. We love red pepper flakes so we usually add more to every dish we make. Thank you Gina and Bee!

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  79. I have loved your website for a while now, and everything I have tried I have LOVED. I wish I could say the same for the recipe :( I tried to love it, but in the end, I couldn’t.
    I don’t know if the combination of the fish sauce and the vinegar is correct - but holy SALT!!! I followed this recipe to a T, and in the end, all it ended up tasting like was vinegar shrimp noodles, and nothing at all like Pad Thai :(
    I thought maybe it was just me, but unfortunately no one in my family liked it. It was just way to vinegary for us and not at all satisfying.

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  80. Gina,

    What do you think about using PB2 for added PB flavor? My husband loves peanutty Pad thai, but I want to keep the calories as low as possible. Thank you for your wonderful blog!

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  81. I think I want to try this but use Shirataki Noodles instead. I have never cooked with either rice noodles or Shirataki Noodles, but the low cal, low carb thing seems like a good plan

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  82. I really love pad thai and today was a snow day that I found myself with all the ingredients needed to make this. I usually love your recipes, but this WAY salty. I wouldn't make this again.

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  83. We made this last night. It was just okay. The problem we had was the noodles seemed to turn to mush. We followed the directions for preparing them on the box and then went on with the recipe. The other parts of the dish were good. I'm glad we tried it, but it's not a favorite.

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