TODAY IS THE DAY. As this post goes to publication, I’m on my way to the other side of the world for the trip of a lifetime: a multiweek journey through Thailand and Vietnam. To celebrate, I’m sharing this easy, light recipe for Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai. It’s simple and filling, you can find all the ingredients you need to make it in a standard grocery store, and if you apply a little hustle, the entire dish can be ready in 15 minutes flat.
The question I hear most when I tell anyone about our trip is “Why Thailand?” I don’t have a succinct answer.
For as long as I can remember, Thailand has been a country I’ve wanted to visit. It strikes me as a place of gorgeous scenery, open hospitality, and, of course, epic food. When we decided to pool our vacation time and pennies for an extended trip to a TBD location abroad, Thailand emerged at the top of the list. We wanted to try something different, and this trip to southeast Asia will be that and more.
Ben’s and my typical vacation style involves a beach, margaritas, and a bowl of guacamole. Therefore, when we decided to completely forgo the south of Thailand, famous for its incredible beaches and party scene, to spend a week hiking through the hills of the north, it surprised us both. We’ll be carrying our belongings on our backs and staying in small villages. Guacamole will not be present.
Following the hiking, we’ll be sleeping out on a boat and kayaking through Halong Bay, then floating down a river to see cottage industries that are still in operation in Vietnam.
I packed four dresses, four tops, and two pairs of shoes for this entire trip. To put that in perspective, on our last trip to New York (which lasted as many days as this trip does weeks), I brought five pairs of shoes and seven tops.
My laptop? The most important tool to my work that I never ever leave town without? It’s back at home.
WHO AM I?
Although Thailand and Vietnam won’t be either Ben’s or my first experience in a “developing” country, this trip is a clear departure from our usual travel style, particularly the hiking portion. I’m nervous and excited. The experiences that have had the most lasting, positive impact on my life are the ones that have pushed me the furthest out of my comfort zone. This trip is no exception.
I have plenty of tasty recipes scheduled for while we are away, so keep looking for me in your inbox, your Bloglovin’ feed, or wherever else you so kindly find out about my latest posts.
For today, I hope you enjoy this Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai recipe. It has saved our dinner on more than one night this week, which has been, for lack of a more accurate description, categorically nuts.
If you start with peeled, deveined shrimp (I use frozen), this Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai recipe can be on your table faster than delivery. It has outstanding flavor and will be much kinder to your body than takeout, and the leftovers reheat beautifully too. (Other frozen shrimp dinner winners: Garlic Shrimp Pasta, Healthy Shrimp Scampi with Zucchini Noodles, and Garlic Shrimp with Quinoa!) For another deliciously easy, quick, and Asian-inspired recipe, try this Homemade Fried Rice.
How to Store Healthy Pad Thai
- To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
- To Reheat. Reheat gently in the microwave with a splash of water or chicken broth to keep the noodles from drying out.
More Easy Thai Recipes
Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe
As a cosmic bonus, if you try this light twist on shrimp pad thai this week, we could both be eating pad thai at the same time, on opposite sides of the globe. How’s that for a connection?
Farewell friends! See you soon. If you’d like to follow along with our trip, be sure to follow wellplated on Instagram (both posts and stories) and add wellplated as a friend on Snapchat. I’ll post updates when I can.
Healthy Shrimp Pad Thai
For the Pad Thai Stir-Fry:
- 4 ounces dry brown rice noodles rice sticks
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces medium or large shrimp peeled and deveined (you can use either fresh shrimp or thawed frozen shrimp—if using thawed, lightly pat the shrimp dry prior to cooking)
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts*
- 1/2 cup freshly grated carrots
- 2 large green onions (or 3 small) finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges for serving
For the Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce** gluten free if needed
- 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar I used seasoned
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon honey plus additional 1-2 teaspoons to taste
- 1-3 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
- Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions. They should be soft but not mushy. Drain and rinse under cool water. In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients: fish sauce, rice vinegar, soy sauce, water, 1 tablespoon honey, and 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce. If you prefer a sweeter pad thai, add additional honey. For spicier, add additional chili paste.
- Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium high. Add the shrimp and cook just until the shrimp begins to turn pink, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and noodles. Stir continuously to coat the noodles and shrimp with the garlic, then push the ingredients in the skillet over to one side of the pan. Crack the eggs into the empty side of the skillet. Break apart the yolk with the spatula and let cook for 30 seconds, until just beginning to set. Stir the egg in with the noodles. Stir in the sauce.
- Add the bean sprouts, carrots, and chopped green onions and let cook until the bean sprouts are crisp-tender, about 1 minute. Sprinkle on the peanuts and cilantro. Serve immediately with lime wedges.
- *If you cannot find fresh bean sprouts (my grocery only carries them sporadically), you can swap rinsed, canned bean sprouts (available in the Asian foods section of many grocery stores) or substitute another fresh vegetable of your choice. The canned bean sprouts have a more fermented taste, so if this bothers you, I would recommend omitting them.
- **Fish sauce is available in the Asian food section of most grocery stores. I HIGHLY recommend using it, as it adds important saltiness and irreplaceable Thai flavor to the dish. If you must make a substitution, use additional low-sodium soy sauce.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Reheat gently in the microwave with a splash of water or chicken broth to keep the noodles from drying out.
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