I cook this Pad Thai, a lot. It started out as an obsession with this wonderful recipe from Chris Yenbangroom on Food52. For a while during the pandemic I was even sprouting my own mung beans! But then, the recipe evolved. Mung Beans are a bit of a pain to sprout or aquire and I often have lots of other vegetables because I belong to a CSA (Community Supported Agirculture) Farmshare. Also, I had a portion problem. I could easily eat the entire recipe myself because it was so delicious… but then I’d really eaten too much. But if I split it with my husband, I felt really annoyed that I had to share it. Awful right? To make a long story short, now I make extra “noodles” out of various vegetables (not bean sprouts) and I’ve increased the amount of sauce, egg and peanuts. It’s not an authentic Pad Thai but it is a very good way to pack a bunch of vegetables into your dinner. It also takes less than a half hour to make! I use shrimp. Feel free to replace with chicken or tofu or leave the extra protein out. It already has eggs and peanuts.
Extra Vegetables Pad Thai
Serves 2 as a complete meal unto itself and up to 6 as part of a larger spread. You could have the complete Thai restuarant experience if you served this with Coconut Chicken Soup, Green Vegetables in Yellow Bean Garlic Sauce and Red Curry Salmon Cakes or Salad Rolls.
- 8 large peeled shrimp (I use frozen wild caught)
- 4 oz dried rice stick noodles (1/8 t o1/3 inch wide)
- 3 Tablespoons white sugar
- 3 Tablesppons fish sauce (I like tiparos or red boat)
- 3 Tablespoons distilled white vinegar
- 2 medium or large carrots
- 1 cup of vegetables such as cabbage (any kind or color), bok choy, snow peas, snap peas, green beans, sweet red or yellow peppers or broccolini
- 2 eggs
- 2 scallions cut into 2 inch long pieces
- 3 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
- Chili powder to taste (optional)
- 3 Tablespoons mild oil for high heat
- Lime to serve
- Start a kettle of water boiling.
- Take the shrimp out of the freezer, rinse them and let them drain and thraw while you prep other things,
- Soak the noodles in hot water from the kettle until they are pliable enough to wrap around your finger. I prep the rest of the ingredients while they soak. When they are pliable, drain them and set near the stove. Don’t over soak them or you will have mushy Pad Thai. They should finish cooking in the sauce.
- Whisk together the sugar, fish sauce and vinegar and set near the stove.
- Use a vegetable peeler, a mandeline or a spiralizer to cut long, thin strips of carrot roughly the size and shape of the noodles. Set in a bowl next to the stove.
- If you are using cabbage, bok choy or peppers cut them into long thin strips roughly the size and shape of the noodles. If you are using snow peas, snap peas, green beans or broccolini, trim them and cut into a size that you like. If you are using cabbage, green beans or brocollini put them in the same bowl as the carrots. If you are using bok choy, snow peas, snap peas or peppers put them in a seperate bowl next to the stove (these take less time to cook).
- Chop the scallions into 1 inch lengths and combine with the peanuts and chili powder (if using) in a small bowl near the stove.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan until it begins to smoke. Add the shrimp and fry for about a minute or until they just begin to turn opaque. Add the sauce and the drained noodles and cook stirring constantly until the noodles have absorbed most of the sauce.
- Add the carrots (and cabbage, green beans or brocollini, if using). Cook for about 30 seconds, tossing, until the veg has wilted a bit.
- Push the noodles, shrimp and veg to the side and crack the eggs in the center. Cook for about 20 seconds or until the edges of the egg start to set. Scample the eggs roughly and then toss them with the noodles and veg while the eggs are still soft.
- Once the eggs have coated the noodles and veg and seem mostly cooked (less than a minute), toss in any bok choy, snow peas, snap peas or peppers you are using along with the scallion and peanut mixture. These will cook from contact with the hot noodles.
- Serve hot with a slice of lime.