I don’t know about you, but this girl has a deep-rooted appreciation for Thai food. Pad Thai all-ways, any day would accurately describe my 22 year-old self. Immediately after I graduated university, I started working for IBM & rented my first “solo” apartment in the heart of midtown Toronto. It was “strategically situated” directly above a shopping mall, a movie theatre & my favorite bookstore in the city. An area of town mockingly referred to as “Young & Eligible”- but I was young, conspicuously single (although not for long) & shared my living quarters with my beloved rescue cat, Tiger Woods.
Yonge and Eglinton (as it’s truly called) was also a block away from Springrolls- one of my fave Asian fusion eateries in the city. I was loving my location and making the most of it. Not only would I go to said restaurant and enjoy a hearty bowl of pad thai and a refreshingly icy mango smoothie; I would order in all the time. Read: ALL the time. I would watch a movie while I ate my dinner; simply because I hated the thought of eating alone & the TV (or white noise) made it way more tolerable.
I grew up having crowded, noisy dinners with my family every single night, and boy did I miss them. I was struggling with the biggest decision I had made up until that point: to stay in Canada after completing my studies. Before that, it had all been very black and white; go abroad for university & then come back once you are done. Easy peasy, not much to think about. But now I was (still) here. Indefinitely. Cue in rescue cat companion. Cue in workaholic schedule. Cue in Thai food on repeat. I also got hooked on ALL the late night shows imaginable. Conan O’Brien was my fave.
So, this dish is totally inspired on that transitional period of my life. But with a little twist. You always need a twist, right? So instead of chicken, or tofu or beef we’re doing ginger garlic shrimp! If you don’t like shrimp or are allergic to seafood; don’t panic. This marinade goes with everything! I love it with tofu myself. The other neat little thing about this recipe is you’re not consuming just any noodles, soaked in most likely canola oil. You have the option of spiralizing sweet potatoes for “noodles” or buying sweet potato noodles themselves; which is what I did. Much healthier carb sources & your body just processes them differently. If you’re looking to eat completely gluten-free; rice noodles or soba noodles (which are made from buckwheat) are also great alternatives for this recipe.
And the sauce.. it’s all in the sauce my friends! I’m sharing my trusty homemade peanut sauce which is highly addictive & super easy to prep. I warn you, this sauce will go far beyond this pad thai. It will become a fridge staple!
So let’s get to it. Hoping you guys enjoy this as much as I do. xx
Sweet Potato Noodle Pad Thai with Garlic Ginger Shrimp
- 1 bag of your choice: sweet potato noodles, soba noodles, or rice noodles.
- 3/4 cup of shredded cabbage
- 1/2 cup of shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup of chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup of sprouts (I used soybean)
- a handful of peanuts or cashews
- a handful of cilantro
- 2 tablespoons of coconut or avocado oil (divided)
- sea salt to taste
- 1 lemon
For the Shrimp
- 1 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled & veined removed
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons of coconut sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons of tamari (aged, gluten-free soy sauce)
- 2-3 tbsp white rice vinegar
- 4 garlic cloves finely minced. (about 1.5 tablespoons)
- 1/2 tablespoon of minced ginger
- 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp of smoked paprika
- 1 tsp of chili powder
For the Peanut Sauce
- 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger
- 2+ 1/2 tbsp of tamari sauce
- 1 tbsp of of all-natural peanut butter (or almond butter)
- 1/2 tbsp of rice vinegar
- 2 tbsp of coconut sugar or raw brown sugar
- 1 tsp of sriracha (optional, I like mine spicy)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Cook the noodles in boiling water with 1 tbsp of coconut or avocado oil so that they don’t stick; different brands will call for different water measurements. This will also vary depending on whether you spiralize, or buy noodles. I do recommend that if you spiralize sweet potatoes for noodles, you sauté them for 3-4 minutes so that they soften up a bit and are not as crunchy. Spiralized noodles don’t require water, just a bit of avocado oil, or EVOO or ghee if you decide to cook them.
- While the noodles cook, I like to get my shrimp ready. I throw all the shrimp marinade ingredients into a bowl and whisk them well. I then add the shrimp and let it sit in the marinade for a bit. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick sauté pan or cast iron pan. Use a slotted spoon to move (only) the shrimp to the pan. Sauté for 3-4 mins, don’t overcook. I like to do 2 mins on each side. Remove from the pan & place in a bowl.
- Throw the shrimp marinade into the pan where you cooked the shrimp and do a low simmer until it has thickened nicely. Pour sauce over the bowl with the shrimp.
- When the noodles are ready, drain them & then throw them into a non-stick pan with 1 tablespoon of oil and toss them in low heat for a bit. Throw in the shredded carrots, the cabbage, the sprouts the peanuts, & the spinach. Toss well.
- Top noodled with fresh cilantro & lemon wedges right before serving.
- For the peanut sauce: throw all ingredients into your blender & blend until smooth.
- I like to serve my pad thai with the ginger garlic shrimp & the peanut sauce on the side. Makes life easier and everyone can control how much of each they would like.
If you want to bread the shrimp: I mix 2-3 tbsp of arrowroot flour & 1/4 tsp of sea salt to use as a coating. After the marinade, slightly drain with a slotted spoon and dip the shrimp into a bowl with this mixture. Coat them & then shake off any excess breading before they go into the pan with hot oil. However, once you follow Step 3, do not pour marinade back onto the shrimp if breaded, they may become soft and soggy. I would still thicken the marinade on the pan and use the sauce for the noodles, instead. 🙂