Easy and healthy Pad Thai recipe with chicken
This super delicious healthy Pad Thai recipe is easy to make and will be a winner in your house hold. It’s also easy to adjust to your liking.
If you’ve been to Thailand then you have probably tried that iconic Thai recipe Pad Thai. Or at least I cannot imagine that you haven’t! The first time we had an original pad thai was in Chiang Mai. Still one of my favorite cities in Thailand (and we’ll soon go there again!) Yay!) and a city where you definitely do not have to suffer from hunger. Is there anything better than Thai food?
How to make a delicious Healthy pad thai at home
We were wandering around a little Asian market and all the delicious smells from the various stalls made us rather hungry. We spotted a small stall that was very busy. Three women where behind the ‘counter’ continuously scooping something in small boxes. A closer look revealed that it was pad thai (well we did have to ask what it was. Haha..) Since it appeared to be the busiest stall and it looked fantastic, we had to try for our selves. It cost us a total of 50 cents. Ridiculously cheap for a rather filling meal. It has been a couple of years since but I’m guessing you can still enjoy a good meal for little money in Chiang Mai!
Now on to the recipe for this healthy version of a Pad Thai. To be honest pad thai itself is not necessarily unhealthy. it largely depends on how much vegetables you put it and how you create your pad thai sauce. Obviously pad thai is essentially street food and uses simple ingredients to get the job done.
Which noodles to use?
For a healthier version of pad thai the first item on the list to think about is what kind of noodles will you be using. If you opt for brown rice noodles the dish wins in healthy points. Or you could also go with zucchini noodles which is obviously not at all original but it does give you more vegetables. And that is always a good thing. So this is not an authentic pad thai but it is a delicious one for sure!
What do you need to make the pad thai?
To make a more or less traditional pad thai recipe you need the following items:
- chicken. You can use chicken thighs or chicken breasts, if you like to use lean protein
- thai noodles. I like to use rice noodles for the pad thai.
- fresh bean sprouts
- lime wedges
- tamarind paste
- brown sugar or substitute with palm sugar, maple syrup or honey
- coconut aminos (or soy sauce)
- fish sauce
- green onions
- fresh garlic
- red pepper flakes
To make this healthy pad thai is super quick. And while I do use brown sugar in this recipe, you can easily substitute this for honey or coconut sugar if you prefer. A little bit of sweet is good to have to make the sauce super delicious.
Making the dish is a stir fry making it one of the quickest meals to make for a week day. You heat the wok or a large skillet on a medium-high heat and you add the garlic, shallots and the chicken and fry them until golden brown. In the meantime cook the noodles and rinse under cold water. Set aside till further use.
You can add the sauce in stages or you can opt to mix the ingredients in a small bowl. In addition to the ingredients listed in the recipe card I like to also sometimes use sesame oil to give it an extra flavor. Adding a bit of peanut butter is also delicious. But then again; I like everything with peanut butter so that might just be me.
Adding the eggs
After having prepared most of the dish I like to add scrambled eggs to the wok. I basically shove the contents of the pan to the side and add the egg mixture to the pan and quickly scramble it through the rest. Super quick and easy.
The bean sprouts I like to add half during the cooking process and the other half fresh on top. A little squeeze of fresh lime juice makes the dish even better.
Making it even more healthy
Now this healthy chicken pad thai can be even more healthy by a few simple adjustments to the basic recipe below. You can add more vegetables for one. I like to add bell peppers or snow peas. And definitely sprinkle the dish with spring onions. I’ve already mentioned changing the type of noodles you use for the healthy pad thai.
For cooking I like to either use coconut oil or avocado oil. You can reduce the amount of oil used or for even less a cooking spray can come in handy. I am not a fan of such sprays. I like to go for saturated fats for high heat cooking.
Obviously you can use whatever oil you like but if you are on a weight loss journey it might be a good idea to opt for less oil.
If you want to make a vegetarian pad thai it is easy to swap out the chicken and the fish sauce and replace for either vegetarian chicken or just leave it out all together. Alternatively a shrimp pad thai is also delicious.
This healthy pad thai is definitely one of my favorite recipes and fit perfectly within a healthy diet.
What to serve for dessert?
One of my favorites dessert recipes to serve with pad thai are these delicious coconut pancakes
- 100 gr rice noodles
- 100 gr bean sprouts
- 2 cloves garlic
- 100 gr chicken cooked and chopped
- 1 chopped shallot
- 1 tbsp oil for cooking
Pad Thai sauce
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 3 tsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp chopped peanuts
- 1/2 lime
- 1 egg
- Cook the noodles, drain and set aside in cold water.
- Chop the (Chinese)chives in 2 cm pieces. Set a few aside for the garnish. Wash the bean sprouts and save half to add at the end. Chop the shallots and garlic together.
- Use a wok and heat it on high. Add oil and roast the peanuts. Remove from the wok. Add the shallots, garlic and chicken and stir until golden.
- Add the (drained) noodles to the wok. Quickly stir fry to prevent it sticking to the wok. Add tamarind paste, sugar, fish sauce and chili. Stir on high. If you see a lot of moisture the wok is not hot enough. Turn the heat up in that case.
- Make room for the egg by placing the noodles on one end of the wok. Crack the egg and scramble it until almost cooked. Stir through the rest of the noodle dish.
- Sprinkle with white pepper. Add bean sprouts and the chives. Stir again.
- Place in a bowl or on plates and sprinkle with fresh pepper and peanuts. Serve hot with a slice of lime, chives and the rest of the bean sprouts.
The nutritional values above are calculated per portion. The details are based on standard nutritional tables and do not constitute a professional nutritional advice.