{Low(er) Fat} Pad Thai

Pad Thai

I grew up eating mostly meat and potatoes {Nebraska does that to a girl}.  My mom is a fabulous cook, but the closest we ever got to “ethnic” food was Chicken Chow Mein with those crunchy La Choy noodles on top (correct me if I’m wrong Mom!).

Then came my first “real job” and business travel.  And expense accounts.

At a client dinner at some swank Vegas restaurant, a colleague – eager to help broaden my food horizons, insisted I try an oyster. Let’s just say that my “pharyngeal reflex” response is seared into my memory (and probably the client’s as well), and I STILL can’t get up close and personal with shellfish of any kind.

So while I tend to stay in my comfort zone with food items {except for that time I ate crickets in Mexico}, I grew to love experimenting with different flavors and cuisines.  And one of my favorites is Thai food.

Thai food is known for its use of fresh ingredients.  Typically, it’s not as full of MSG and fat as some its Asian cuisine cousins. It emphasizes lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components, and strikes a balance with the taste senses of sour, sweet, salty and bitter. Pad Thai is a great example of this.

Often called the national dish of Thailand, every cook has his/her take on it.  {I just Googled “Pad Thai Recipe” and was greeted with 1.4 million results!}

I continue to play around with the recipe, but this is my current version, and one that is a regular weeknight meal at our house.

Make sure all your ingredients are ready to go as this comes together fast. {Professional chefs call this “mis en place.”} I get everything chopped and organized and don’t even heat the wok until 10 minutes before I want to serve dinner.  How great is that!?

pad thai - kraft - ingredients

Sometimes I’ll substitute a shredded rotisserie chicken from the deli for the ground turkey {add it at the end just to heat it through, since it’s already cooked}.

You could substitute ground pork, or shrimp – if you like eating things that resemble their life form.  As discussed above, I do not.

pad thai - wok

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{Low(er) Fat} Pad Thai
Serves: 6 Servings
  • 8 ounces dried brown rice noodles
  • 2½ tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1½ tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoon hot chili sauce (such as Sriracha)
  • ½ cup sweet chili sauce ("no added sugar" version if you can find it)
  • 1¼ pound ground turkey
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic; minced
  • 1 red bell pepper; sliced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 2 cups green onions; sliced
  • 2 tablespoon lime juice
  • ¼ cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. In a large bowl, combine the noodles with water to cover. Soak until just tender, about 45 minutes, then drain.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the fish sauce, Worcestershire, sweet chili and hot chili sauce. Stir until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
  3. Season the turkey with cayenne. In a wok or large saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the turkey and cook until brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  5. Add a little more oil if necessary and add the red peppers. Cook, stirring until just getting crisp/tender, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and cook, stirring, until just set, about 45 seconds.
  6. Add the sprouts, onions, fish sauce mixture, and noodles, and cook, stirring, until warmed through.
  7. Add the turkey, lime juice and peanuts, and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to a serving platter and sprinkle with cilantro and more peanuts. Serve immediately.

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