Easiest Tastes Like Pad Thai Peanut Sauce | Nutrition Stripped
Eat Well Aug. 7. 2018
Eat Well

Easiest Tastes Like Pad Thai Peanut Sauce

Aug. 7. 2018
Eat Well
McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Hill, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder

This is the Easiest Pad Thai Peanut Sauce that takes about 5 minutes using pantry staples you already have.

When I traveled to Thailand in 2015 I had the joy and honor to soak up the Thai culture including the most delicious fresh foods, including pad thai. Disclaimer, this is totally not a full on pad thai, but when I’m in a time crunch and I want to throw a healthy meal together that “tastes like pad thai”, or at least reminds me of those meals in Thailand, this is the sauce and dish I make.

I hope that you guys enjoy making this when you’re craving pad thai but want to whip it up with ease at home using most of your pantry staples and some fresh bits.

What Is Pad Thai?

Pad Thai is easily one of the most popular dishes ordered at local Thai restaurants and is a great introduction to Thai food in general. In fact, it is the national dish in Thailand which makes sense as it’s so delicious!

Pad thai is a simple stir-fry dish that usually contains rice noodles, eggs, tofu, another source of protein such as shrimp, chicken, etc. and flavored with fish sauce, tamarind paste, garlic, red chili pepper, palm sugar, cilantro or Thai basil, and a lime wedge. People describe the flavors of this dish as bold, rich, vibrant, sweet and sour, and a little funky from the fish sauce.

There are a variety of ways you can make this dish with your choice of protein, sprinkling crushed peanuts on top, adding a handful of bean sprouts on top, and more. It’s up to you and what you like or think will fit well with the flavors.

This sauce can be made and used for meal-prep if you need to whip up a quick lunch or dinner, if you’re just craving pad thai but you’re in a hurry, or if you’re hosting a couple of friends at your home. Either way, it won’t take you much time which is the important part.

Want To Step It Up?

Again, this is a bare-bones sauce that hits the spot when you’re craving pad thai, but to get the real thing, try adding these ingredients to your grocery shopping list and how to use them in this recipe to make a full on pad thai:

  • Garnishes: fresh bean sprouts, dried shrimp, red chili oil, lime wedges, roasted peanuts
  • Add to the sauce: fish sauce (I’m personally not a fan of the flavor of fish sauce, but it does give pad Thai its umami flavor that can’t be beaten — oh, and a little goes a long way), coconut sugar (about 1 teaspoon to this sauce for the whole sweet, spicy, and savory thing), and tamarind
  • Recommended vegetables to use: garlic chives, pickled radishes
  • Proteins recommended: anything from organic tofu, fresh shrimp, scrambled eggs in with the noodles, to chicken, whatever you enjoy and fits your lifestyle

Stripped

Antioxidants

Many people use limes to give a little bit of zest to their food without even knowing how incredibly healthy they are for you. They are rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that protect your body from any harm caused by free radicals or chemicals, which have been shown to help boost your immune system.

The combination of vitamin C and antioxidants give your immune system the power it needs to fight infections such as the cold or the flu. Additionally, since limes contain high amounts of antioxidants, it has been linked to helping your body fight off cancer cells.

These antioxidant properties of lime promote healthy cell function and prevent the growth of colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer cells.

Fiber

Red bell peppers (or whatever vegetable you choose to use for this recipe) all contain good amounts of fiber which helps our digestive system move along properly, helps us stay full for a longer period of time, and releases a steady flow of energy into our bodies.

The bell peppers pictured in this recipe contain good amounts of carotenoids and vitamin C which combined together provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.

Per 1 cup of broccoli, it contains 5g of fiber, easily making it one of the Top 5 Vegetables For Digestion. This veggie helps your digestion by protecting your gut microbiome because it contains fiber compounds that bind very well to bile acids in our digestive systems. Overall, this veggie is a powerhouse because of its anti-inflammatory properties that protect against oxidative stress, provides cardiovascular and digestive support, and protection from certain cancers.

Carrots are another popular and versatile veggie to add into your pad thai. I recommend carrot shreds because they are easier to eat with this dish. A cup of carrots contains 4g of fiber and is rich in carotenoids and vitamin A, which have been linked to improving and protecting our vision and overall eye health.

Flexibility

This dish offers variety in the way you choose to make it, which means you can use whatever combination of vegetables and protein you would like. Some of the most common choices of protein you’ll find when dining at a Thai restaurant would be chicken or shrimp.

If you’re wanting to keep this a vegetarian dish, then only adding tofu is a great way to add protein in.

You can always switch the sources of protein and vegetables you choose depending on your mood or what you have stocked in the fridge.

The Recipe

Serves 4ish

Print

For the pad thai peanut sauce:

Heaping 1/3 cup organic creamy peanut butter

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons organic gluten-free soy sauce

2 large cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

Juice of 2 limes

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/3 cup hot water, adjust according to desired sauce texture

For the paid thai meal per one serving:

1 cup cooked rice noodles

2 cups vegetables of your choice

1 serving of protein of your choice cooked as desired (examples include organic tofu, chicken, shrimp, or all vegetable with no added protein source)

Garnish options: fresh chopped cilantro, crushed peanuts or cashews, fresh lime juice, and red pepper flakes

Instructions

Step 1

In a small mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the pad thai peanut sauce and stir until creamy. You may need to loosen it up with a bit more hot water until it’s saucy but still can coat the back of a spoon.

As usual, adjust seasonings to taste: for more tang add more lime juice and for more spice add more red pepper flakes.

Step 2

After you’ve cooked the rice noodles using the package directions, vegetables of your choice, and protein of your choice, then upon serving to add 2-4 tablespoons per dish depending on much sauce you like.

Step 3

Toss and serve with optional garnishes like chopped fresh cilantro, fresh lime juice, and crushed cashews of peanuts.

Have Leftovers? Here’s What To Do With Them:

As always, store in an airtight glass container that we recommend from the NS Shop for up to 5 days. Enjoy for a quick dinner or lunch on the go.

Can’t wait to see you try it!

Did you know that you can submit your own photo of whatever recipe you make from NS? Scroll down to the bottom right and you’ll see a section for you to show off your creations from home!

Can’t wait to see how you make these and share your meal with me! Tag us on Instagram @nutritionstripped #nutritionstripped

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