I have a major love affair with noodles. I could probably eat noodles for every meal of the day. Seriously. Give me noodles and some kind of sauce and I am good to go. Over the past few years, I have become particularly fond of Pad Thai. I love that it uses rice noodles and incorporates veggies, fresh herbs, and even sprouts with a deliciously tangy sauce. I was so happy to figure out how to make this dish at home so that I could enjoy it in a more healthy way without MSG or fish sauce. I experimented with many different versions before I settled on the one I will share today. Previous attempts have included tamarind or tomatoes for a bit more acid/sour flavor but I find that it is just unnecessary.
This dish is very forgiving and is fun to adjust spiciness or the acidity in it according to my taste on that particular day. Traditionally you would find this dish to include tofu, egg, and peanuts for protein. I do not include egg in mine, but please do so if you enjoy eggs as part of your diet. I typically do not add tofu in this dish either because I do try to limit my soy intake and prefer these noodles without it. Pad Thai is usually made with rice noodles, but to make it healthier I use brown rice noodles instead.
You will not typically get carrots or red bell peppers in pad thai, but I add them to bump up the nutritional value of this dish. The red bell pepper is anti-inflammatory and contains Vitamin A and C and has been shown to contain cancer fighting nutrients. The carrots are another excellent source of Vitamin A and fiber.
Many of the traditional ingredients have excellent benefits too. Garlic and green onions have been shown to slow the growth of cancer cells and by far one of my favorite ingredients to use in most dishes. Cilantro is high in antioxidants and a is very flavorful and distinct tasting herb. I sprouted the mung beans fresh for this pad thai and they add a really nice crunch and a bit of sweetness to the dish.
All and all, for me, this dish is a champ!
- 8 ounces Brown Rice Pad Thai Noodles
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- ½ red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 carrot, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 TBS sweet chili sauce
- 2 TBS water
- 1-2 TBS lime juice
- 2 TBS tamari or soy sauce
- 1 TBS chili sauce
- 1 TBS coconut sugar
- ½-1 tsp chili paste (adjust to your heat level)
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 handful of cilantro, chopped
- 1 handful of peanuts, chopped
- 1 handful of mung bean sprouts
- Cook brown rice noodles according to package directions.
- Rinse noodles and set aside to cool.
- Chop all the veggies and topping ingredients. Keep the white ends of the green onions separate so you can add them in the wok.
- Mix all of the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.
- Heat wok on medium heat until hot and then add oil.
- Add peppers, carrots, and the white ends of the onions and cook until the peppers are tender.
- Add the garlic and cook for about a minute.
- Throw in the brown rice noodles and mix with the veggies.
- Finally, pour in the sauce and let the noodles cook for a few minutes until they absorb the excess sauce.
- Garnish with green onions, cliantro, mung beans, and peanuts.
*You can use other sugars in place of the coconut sugar.
*Add eggs and/or tofu for additional protein and a more traditional dish if you prefer.