What do you do when you’ve been quarantined at home for weeks, forced to order take out only or cook at home?? Sometimes I find myself in that dilemma where I have spent the entirety of my day in the kitchen but I want something easy and quick to whip up.
Head to my Instagram page by clicking on the link below and click on the Highlight bubble, “RECIPES” to watch the step-by-step 🙂
At the same time, I want something unique and different.. So I turn to this incredibly delicious, stupid-easy pad Thai.
Disclaimer: I originally had this meal called “peanut pad Thai,” however, there is so many ways you can modify this that you really don’t need even need peanut butter, or any nut butter for that matter! Making it friendly for any allergy restrictions you may have. 🙂
Another disclaimer: I don’t want to call this a recipe, because throughout the post I’m outlining tons of swaps and modifications you can use to make this as easy as possible to make in a pinch! Perfect for when you’re short on supplies and trying to limit your trips to the grocery store.
Supplies you will definitely need
While you can modify these ingredients to suit your pantry’s availability, I’m categorizing them as “must-haves” because they are the base of the meal.
- Cooking oil
- Ginger & garlic
- Light vinegar
** Totally optional protein/nut butter: chicken, shrimp, or tofu and peanut’/almond butter or tahini
Pretty simple so far, right?? As long as you have these four ingredients, you are fast on your way to making a delicious home-cooked pad Thai!
However, the recipe can be made into a more authentic Asian dish by using these specific ingredients…
- Noodles – pad Thai rice noodles
- Cooking oil – sesame oil
- Vegetables – sliced bell peppers, carrots, bok choy, broccoli
- Ginger & garlic – fresh minced, but dried is okay too
- Light vinegar – rice vinegar
Alright, so what happens if you don’t have any of those ingredients?? I’m going to let you in on how to use what you have to still make it great!
For the noods…
You can basically use whatever kind you have, as long as they are the long, string-like variety! Obviously for authenticity, rice noodles are ideal, but I use spaghetti and fettuccine all the time. You can even use zoodles if you’re trying to cut back on carbs.
If you don’t have sesame oil, don’t panic… But run to the store and go get some as fast as you can!!! I’m kidding, kind of, but any oil will do. The sesame oil is pretty much the staple ingredient in this meal. It adds that nutty, rich Asian flavor and serves as the perfect base for sauteeing your vegetables and mixing your pad Thai sauce (if you choose to go the nut-butter route).
My favorites are crunchier so they hold up well after being stir-fried.. Peppers, carrots, bok choy, broccoli and peas! But often if I’m lacking fresh veggies I’ll grab a bag of frozen peas and carrots and toss those in. This recipe is perfect for using the veggies that have been starting to look a little sad!
How to make it!
First, you’ll want to add your oil to a large frying pan. Let it heat up to med-high, then add your garlic; heat until fragrant (about 1 minute).
Next, add in your sliced veggies and toss to combine them in the oil. You’ll want to make sure you let them sizzle for a while before turning them. If you turn them and you see they haven’t browned a bit, then wait longer before turning them again. The secret to a good stir fry is just that; getting it to fry!
Meanwhile, cook your noodles according the the directions. Let them cool in the strainer by running cold water over them. Set ’em aside.
While your veggies are cooking, you can also get your protein set up. Cook up some chicken, tofu, beef, or simply get a pad Thai sauce made from Tahini or any nut butter.
Head on over to my Instagram page and click on the Highlight bubble “RECIPES” to get the full pad Thai sauce recipe I use! It’s SO GOOD!
Finally, add all of your cooked ingredients to the large pan and toss to combine. If You’ve made my delicious sauce recipe, you’ll want to add that in while the ingredients are still hot so it mixes in easily and completely.
Serve with diced green onions, sesame seeds, sriracha, chopped peanuts, a squeeze of lime, or whatever else suits your pad Thai desires!
I hope you enjoyed this meal and I hope it gives you inspiration for making a delicious meal as an upgrade to some simple pantry staples.
Let me know in the comments below if you try this and tell me what your favorite pad Thai toppings are!
P.S. Don’t forget to head over to my Instagram page for more daily recipe,
health, wellness and motherhood inspiration!