Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

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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 ofΒ 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 Time: 7 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Servings: 1

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

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

  1. Scramble the eggs and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Once the sauce is thick, add in the zucchini pasta and cilantro and stir to combine thoroughly.
  6. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add in the scrambled eggs and grinded peanuts. Cook for about 30 seconds, stirring to combine.
  7. Plate onto dishes, garnish with sliced peanuts and cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.
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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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Comments

  1. Melissa :

    I am trying this tonight! thank you for posting such lovely recipes,…

    • Inspiralized :

      Melissa – I’m glad you like the recipe! Thanks for the kid note and following Inspiralized! Let me know how it goes…

  2. Anonymous :

    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?

  3. RES :

    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 :)

  4. ruth detroit area :

    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

  5. Steve B :

    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.

  6. Rae-Ann :

    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??)

  7. Melissa :

    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!!

  8. Aaaaand I no longer have a reason to not make zucchini pasta. Thanks for this! :)

  9. spillai :

    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.

  10. 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!

What do you think?