I did it again. I just couldn't help myself. This whole turning vegetables into noodles has gotten the best of me. I'm totally addicted.
Thanks for putting up with me while I work my way through this veggie noodle phase.
It turns out carrots make great noodles. Did you know that? I'm often the last to know things so I wouldn't be surprised if this is old news for you.
To make carrot noodles all you need is you handy ol' vegetable peeler. Pad Thai noodles are typically wider and a vegetable peeler does a great job at helping carrots mimic these wider noodles.
If you're using older ‘winter' carrots you'll want to start by gently peeling them first. (If you have fresh, new, summer carrots you can skip this step.) Next you'll want to peel the carrots into long, noodle-like strips.
I find that pad Thai is typically a little mushy but by using carrots you have more control over how mushy, or not, you want the dish to be. I like it when the carrots have just a tiny bit of crunch left to them. If you'd like yours even softer you can cook them for another minute or two.
Tips for making carrot noodles
- Rotate the carrot every few peels to get noodles of the same width.
- Pull the peeler towards you so the noodles are slightly thicker. I prefer them this way.
- Once the carrot is too small to hold onto and peel set it down on a cutting board at the edge of your counter. You want the handle of the peeler to be off the counter so that the blade can have contact with the carrot until it is very thin.
- Count on 2-3 noodles per person.
I have to tell you … I am absolutely in love with this carrot noodle pad Thai for 3 reasons:
- The flavour is amazing. It's a little bit sweet, a little bit tangy and has just the right amount of heat. There's a good handful of peanuts on top and a good squeeze of lime. Yum!
- It makes me feel like I'm eating not-so-healthy noodles when I'm actually eating a big bowl of vegetables. Yay for trickery!
- The whole meal takes 30 minutes tops to throw together. Love simple and delicious meals!
If you love the idea of turning veggies into noodles make sure you check out the recipes Zucchini Pasta with Kale Pesto, Pistachios and Pomegranate and 15 Minute Zucchini Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce.
If you make this Carrot Noodle Pad Thai make sure to snap a pic and hashtag #theendlessmeal on Instagram so I can like and comment on it!
- 5 medium carrots
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 3 tablespoons very hot water
- ¼ cup palm sugar, grated if it is in a block
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce (for celiac friendly use gluten free)
- 4 tablespoons oil, divided
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 onion, julienned
- 20 prawns (Tail-on is prettier but tail-off is much easier to eat. Your choice.)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 2 green onions, sliced
- A handful of cilantro, stems torn off
- 1 lime
- Garnish: sriracha, chopped chilis, extra green onions and cilantro, chopped or whole peanuts (or almonds for paleo)
- Place the tamarind in a small bowl and pour the hot water over top. Let it sit while you peel the carrots in Step 2 then use your fingers to mix it into a paste. Discard the pulp and any seeds. I find this easiest to do by picking it up in my hand and squeezing the liquid back into the bowl. Add the palm sugar, fish sauce and soy sauce to the bowl and mix together.
- Peel the carrots then slice them into long ribbons using the peeler. (See the blog post for more detailed instructions.) Place the carrot noodles into a large bowl.
- Heat half the oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the prawns and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have turned pink, about 1-2 minutes. Remove the prawns and onions from the pan.
- Pour the rest of the oil into the pan. Once it is hot crack both the eggs into the pan and stir them around. Cook them until they are scrambled then remove them from the pan and put them in the same bowl as the prawns.
- Put the pan back on the heat and add the carrot noodles. Unless you have a very big skillet they will barely fit. Don't worry though, they will shrink as they cook. Cook them for about 2 minutes, turning them over with tongs so they cook evenly. Add the bean sprouts and mix them in using the tongs. Pour in the tamarind sauce and continue to toss the noodles. Continue to cook the noodles until they are soft but still have a slight crunch, about 2-3 more minutes.
- Add the cilantro, green onions and reserved prawns and eggs back into the pot and toss it so everything it mixed in well.
- Divide the pad thai between two bowls. Return the pan to the heat and turn the heat to high. Let the liquid in the pan boil until it thickens then pour it over the noodles.
- Top the pad thai with a squeeze of lime, some peanuts (or almonds for paleo), green onions, cilantro and some sriracha and chills.
- Serve right away.
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