I love Pad Thai. When we lived in the city, ordering it for dinner made for a happy day. Also a highly caloric one, because as delicious as it is, Pad Thai does not fall into the healthy eats category. But at the same party that I got the chicken enchilada soup recipe, I also heard about making Pad Thai with spaghetti squash. I was intrigued and filed it away as something I might research in the future.
And then last week, I was at Trader Joe’s and one of the first items I noticed on the shelves was fish sauce. I had no idea TJ even sold fish sauce, so clearly the universe was trying to tell me that I should make Pad Thai soon. The main thing I needed to figure out was the sauce. Spaghetti squash is easy to roast, thanks to this method, and Bridget, of the chicken enchilada soup fame, told me that cutting the squash into rings, like this, allows you to achieve longer, spaghetti like noodles. Genius! I have a fair amount of spices, oils and sauces in my pantry, so I tried to find a sauce recipe that I could adapt with what I have (no tamarind paste, though, so any recipe that called for that was out.) And then I came upon this recipe from The Peanut Butter Runner that gave me the flavor I was looking for. I picked up a squash, some bean sprouts, lime and cilantro and I was good to go.
Wow! This dish is amazing. So flavorful and without much guilt, because you aren’t eating actual noodles. I would definitely include the bean sprouts, peanuts, lime and cilantro because they add a ton of flavor and texture. I used chicken and shrimp in this version because I had some cooked chicken from the other night that I wanted to use up and I didn’t have a ton of shrimp, but use whatever you like, even tofu. I also used thai chili garlic sauce, but if you are a Sriracha fan, go for it. Just make this soon. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai (adapted from The Peanut Butter Runner)
For the sauce:
1/3 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce (if you don’t have this, just use
2 tablespoons of soy and omit the fish sauce)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons organic peanut butter
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar (if you don’t have this use white vinegar or 2 tablespoons lime juice and omit rice wine vinegar)
1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Sriracha or thai chili sauce
1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
For the pad thai:
1 medium to large spaghetti squash, baked, cooled and shredded into noodles
1 cup bean sprouts (shredded carrots also work well too)
1 chicken breast
1/2 pound of shrimp
1 egg, beaten
Cilantro, chopped peanuts peanuts, and limes for garnish
Bake the spaghetti squash according to the links above. (Only the roasting part of the recipe, not the parmigiano prep.) When cool enough to handle, cut into thirds, crosswise, and shred into noodles. Set aside. In a deep skillet, or wok if you have one, heat the oil. Add the chicken and toss until almost cooked through. Scrape to the side and add the egg, scrambling it. Add the shrimp and cook for another minute or two. Add the squash noodles to the skillet and pour the sauce over them. Keep tossing all of the ingredients until coated and the sauce begins to thicken. Remove from heat and add the bean sprouts, cilantro, chopped peanuts and lime juice to taste. Enjoy!