Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

gluten freevegetarian

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During my junior semester abroad, I lived in London – South Kensington, to be exact. There was this little Thai chain restaurant called “Thai Square” that I fondly remember. They might remember me – I spent all of my pounds there…. lbs and GBPs! My roommate and I frequently spent a weeknight there to indulge in a thai curry or a piping hot plate of pad thai. Like pasta, noodle dishes are another comfort food. Who says no to pad thai?

I’m not going to lie, I struggled with this recipe. I made it for Lu and hated it. He slurped up the whole bowl, but I could barely get down a forkful. Too limey, too fishy, too peanut-y, too watery, too bleh! I literally made this sauce SIX (6) times before I finally arrived at a combination that I found pad thai-y enough. Perfectionism isn’t one of my best qualities, you see.

While I’ll continue to perfect this recipe, I’ve finally arrived at a pad thai that I can show to the world without cringing as I click “Publish.” Beware, I excluded bean sprouts (which are typically included). I couldn’t find them (fresh) in three different grocery stores near me, so I figured neither would you. If you live in a big city with a Chinatown or happen to live next to an Asian grocery store (lucky you!), add bean sprouts at the end.

Why is Inspiralized pad thai better? Pad thai noodles are normally fried in oil. You won’t have to release the top button of your jeans after eating this rendition. Zucchini noodles absorb the sauce famously and offer a slight crunchiness that’s similar to a warm fried noodle. Look at us, so healthy.

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time17 mins
Servings: 1

Ingredients

  • For the sauce:
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce omit if strict vegetarian
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp chili sauce Sriracha
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar, if you can find it
  • For the rest:
  • 1.5 zucchinis peeled, Blade C
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp cilantro chopped
  • 1 shallot diced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup peanuts
  • 1/2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 tbsp sliced peanuts for garnish
  • a few leaves of cilantro for garnish
  • lime wedge for serving

Instructions

  • Scramble the eggs and set aside.
  • Place 1/4 cup of peanuts into a food processor and pulse until lightly ground (no big peanuts should remain, but it shouldn't be powdery). Set aside.
  • Pour all of the ingredients (except for the cornstarch) into a small saucepan, place over medium-high heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.
  • Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add in oil, garlic and shallots. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots begin to soften. Add in the sauce and cornstarch. Stir frequently until the cornstarch dissolves to thicken the sauce.
  • Once the sauce is thick, add in the zucchini pasta and cilantro and stir to combine thoroughly.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes and then add in the scrambled eggs and grinded peanuts. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring to combine.
  • Plate onto dishes, garnish with sliced peanuts and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.

Instructions with Pictures

Scramble the eggs and set aside.

Place 1/4 cup of peanuts into a food processor and pulse until lightly ground (no big peanuts should remain, but it shouldn’t be powdery). Set aside.

Pour all of the ingredients (except for the cornstarch) into a small saucepan, place over medium-high heat, and stir until sugar is dissolved. Set aside.

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Add in oil, garlic and shallots. Cook for about 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until the shallots begin to soften. Add in the sauce and cornstarch. Stir frequently until the cornstarch dissolves to thicken the sauce.

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Once the sauce is thick, add in the zucchini pasta and cilantro and stir to combine thoroughly.

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Cook for about 2 minutes and then add in the scrambled eggs and grinded peanuts. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring to combine.

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Plate onto dishes, garnish with sliced peanuts and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.

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22 comments

Melissa says:
I am trying this tonight! thank you for posting such lovely recipes,...
Inspiralized says:
Melissa - I'm glad you like the recipe! Thanks for the kid note and following Inspiralized! Let me know how it goes...
Anonymous says:
While not exactly vegetarian, as fish sauce is the first ingredient listed, I'll still try this out. Do you have any suggestions for a substitution for fish sauce?
Thanks for your comment! I note in the recipe that it has fish sauce and to just replace with soy sauce if you're a strict vegetarian! It tastes just as good :) Thanks for visiting!
RES says:
I tried this tonight and it was so good! It has a lot of kick, so if you're not a spice fan (luckily I am!), maybe go light on the Srirachi. I added chicken to add some protein, and next time I'm going to do more zucchini just to get more veggies in :)
I'm so glad you tried the recipe! Yes, give it another try!
ruth detroit area says:
This was SO GOOD! I noticed in the instructions it called for garlic, but none was listed in the ingredients, so I just decided to add 2 chopped cloves - perfect. My husb gave it a 5-star (out of 5 stars), so it was a hit all around ~ ruth
Ruth - thanks so much for the feedback! I'll definitely make that change.
Steve B says:
I made this last night and it was very good. One question: your instructions mention garlic, but garlic is not in your list of ingredients. Can you clarify that for me? I ended up adding a healthy shake of garlic powder...either way, now that I have all of the different ingredients, I plan on making it again soon.
Rae-Ann says:
Super yummy!! Have made several times:-) (Not sure why the first recipe called for coconut flour and honey and this corn starch and brown sugar??)
I made slight changes to make it healthier and tastier!
Rae-Ann says:
I love this dish. Thank you for sharing!!
Melissa says:
Made this last night--Absolutely fantastic! I messed up the eggs, though. I thought you were supposed to scramble them in the noodles, which made for a mushy texture. I'm guessing I was supposed to cook them separately and then add them in with the peanuts. Now I know for next time, and there will definitely be a next tine because the flavor was great! Thanks for the recipe!!
Aaaaand I no longer have a reason to not make zucchini pasta. Thanks for this! :)
spillai says:
Maybe you should change your heading to omit Vegetarian. This recipe anything but that with fish sauce as the first ingredient. Strict vegetarians or not, fish sauce will be a no no.
virk2220 says:
This was so delicious! I literally loved everything about it. I didn't put in shallots and when I cooked I was a little worried that there was too little sauce and too much zoodles ..but it actually turned out just about perfect! Not runny at all..a little dry if anything. Thank you!
christina says:
This was soooo good! Next time I'm going to add some baked firm tofu!
Caroline says:
This looks great! Can I make this ahead of time and reheat it for lunch?
Anonymous says:
This was good but WAY too spicy for our family. And too salty for us. I think next time I will replace half or more of the fish sauce with the soy sauce (we used coconut aminos) and cut the sriracha in half. It was good thought, just need to tweak for out families tastes and dietary needs.
Kathy says:
I made this tonight. The taste was yummy, but it turned out soupy. I expect pad thai to be fairly dry. Is that not possible with zucchini noodles?
Rachel says:
I recommend using extra starch to thicken up the sauce; the same thing happened to me the first time I made this dish. This time I used extra coconut flour (instead of cornstarch), putting in a teaspoon at a time and stirring until I achieve the consistency I desired. Happy cooking!
Rachel says:
I prepared this recipe for the second time tonight and it was OUTSTANDING!! This recipe is so delicious already and an extra tablespoon or two of fresh squeezed lime juice plus a generous scoop of unsweetened crunchy peanut butter once everything's mixed together took it to another level for my boyfriend and me. I also let the sauce marry in a mixing bowl for about 15 minutes prior to heating it in the pan and used coconut flour instead of cornmeal and this time it turned out with a perfect creamy, not soupy, pad thai consistency. Success!! Thank you so much for posting these awesome recipes and congratulations on choosing to live your passion!

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