I love a good Pad Thai. But in the past when I’ve looked up recipes for it, I’ve been put off by the need for exotic ingredients, such as salted radish and palm sugar. Speaking of sugar, I was also a bit scared to find out just how much of the sweet stuff is actually in the dish (you may remember the headlines from a few years back which suggested that Pad Thai contains more sugar than a chocolate bar).
I am not a chef and have no desire to traipse around ethnic shops to look for fancy ingredients. As I assume that many others are like me in this respect, when it comes to creating recipes, I try to only use ingredients which are easy to find in the supermarket. As a result, this may not be the most authentic version of Pad Thai (the carrot is probably not very Thai) but believe me, it tastes really good.
Instead of using lots of noodles, I’ve bulked things up by using more veg (hence the carrot), which keeps the calories down. I’ve left out the salted radish and used regular sugar instead of palm sugar (which is available in my local supermarket but is stupidly expensive). I tried leaving the sugar out altogether, but I discovered that adding just half a teaspoon per serving really does transform the dish (demerara sugar is a better substitute for palm sugar if you happen to have any).
A few tips on stirfrying:
- slice all of your ingredients as thinly as possible (but don’t cube them as they will burn)
- prepare everything you will need in advance and keep it close to the stove
- unless you are going to use lots of oil, use a good non-stick wok
- the wok should be really hot before you add any of the ingredients (and should remain on high heat until any liquid is added)
- you need to stay in front of the wok and stir continuously – don’t wander off!
The recipe & full macros (calories, protein, fat & carbs breakdown) can be found in my book High Protein Classics.