Our kid, Sam, has recently been really into eating Thai Food, specifically Pad Thai noodles. He asks to go the restaurant all the time and gets pretty sad when we say no. So, as a compromise, I told him we’d make Pad Thai at home. That was pretty exciting…until I made it with spaghetti squash (that part of the compromise was for me). The recipe came out pretty good, if I do say so myself, but he informed me that these “noodles” were NOT as good as the ones at the restaurant. He ended up eating all the chicken and shrimp out and then had a hot dog for dinner. Whatever, I’ll claim a partial win for that one.
Interested in trying this? Of course you are, it’s not hard! Here you go…you’re welcome.
For the sauce:
4 T Tamarind paste/nectar. You can usually find this in the store with the “Goya” products.
4 T Fish Sauce
4 T Rice Wine Vinegar.
1 T Peanut Butter
1 T Brown Sugar
For the Noodles :
1 Large Spaghetti Squash, roasted (see notes below)
1 Lb Large Shrimp, cleaned with tails on
3 Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1-2 Bunches green onion (depending on how much you like it)
2 Shredded Carrots (or a bag of the pre-shredded carrots)
1 Bag bean sprouts
1 Bunch Cilantro, chopped (for garnish)
½ Cup Crushed/Chopped Peanuts (for garnish)
Olive Oil for cooking
What to do:
Start with roasting your spaghetti squash. I did this the day before, but it takes about an hour, so if you have the time do it works. Cut the squash in half and remove the seeds and stringy bits. Coat the inside with a little olive oil and place face down on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 for about an hour, or until the shells are soft to the touch. When cooled, use a fork to scrape out the “noodles” and set them aside.
Now, make the sauce. Combine all of the ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl, or small saucepan and warm until all ingredients are incorporated. Taste it. If you think it tastes great, you did good. If you think it needs a little more of the salty, add a bit of fish sauce. If it needs more tang, add more tamarind. If it needs more acid, add more vinegar. You get the idea. Adjust it to your tastes, as these are unique ingredients that have very distinct flavors.
Ready to pull it all together now. Heat a large saute pan over high heat with a couple of tablespoons of oil in it. Add the chicken and saute until done. Remove the chicken from the saute pan and set aside. Add a little more oil and heat over high again. Add the shrimp and saute until opaque. Remove and set aside. Add a little more oil and let the pan cool down a bit. Over medium heat, add the noodles and gently separate and saute them for a minute or two. Now add the sauce. Coat the noodles, and add the carrots and green onion. Mix everything together and saute for another couple of minutes. Now add the chicken and shrimp and remove from heat. Toss everything together so the sauce is well distributed.
Serve with the crushed peanuts and cilantro on top. If you like things spicy, put out some Sriracha or Chili garlic sauce. Enjoy!
Some extra notes:
– You can use noodles in this recipe instead of Spaghetti Squash. Just follow the package directions.
– I chose to put peanut butter in the sauce, this isn’t mandatory at all. You can do it without.
– If you’re using the Tamarind nectar instead of the paste, I would hold off on adding any sugar until you taste it. There tends to be a fair amount already in the nectar.
– Feel free to try adding any other veggies or proteins in place of what I chose, including tofu, egg, beef, etc.
– You can also add chili to the sauce for more kick.