Soft Thai rice noodles in a classic pad Thai sauce with big juicy prawns tossed in.
Thailand's most famous dish is so delicious and more-ish, it's difficult to go to a Thai restaurant and not have it. In fact, traditionally, it's thought of as a snack food. However, it's so popular you can have it at pretty much any meal. We've even see people eat it for breakfast - though we prefer it at lunch or dinner. Usually the noodles are cooked in a lot of oil, and there's not much protein in the dish. It can be a pretty calorific combination. In this prawn pad Thai we've used only a small amount of oil and plenty of vegetables as well as a good serving of king prawns, to keep it as healthy as possible. This recipe serves two, with each portion coming in at under 550 calories.
- 125g dried medium flat rice noodles
- 2 tsp light soft brown sugar
- 4 tsp tamarind paste (see tip)
- 4-6 tsp fish sauce
- Pinch of crushed dried chillies
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
- 150g pack peeled raw king prawn tails
- 2-3 spring onions, trimmed and sliced
- 60g bean sprouts
- 60g mangetout, cut into strips
- 30g roasted salted peanuts, crushed
- 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
- 1-2 limes, 2 cheeks cut off
- Soak the noodles in hot water for 15 mins, until just soft. Drain, rinse and set aside. Mix the sugar, paste, fish sauce, chillies and 2 teaspoons of water in a small bowl.
- Heat half the oil in a wok, add the egg, and let it scramble. Tip it out onto a plate. Add the rest of the oil and the shallot and prawns to the wok and cook for 1-2 mins.
- Add the noodles. Pour in the dressing and simmer for a few seconds until it’s absorbed, then add the spring onion, bean sprouts and mangetout. Warm through. Add the egg. Sprinkle in half the nuts and coriander.
- Serve on 2 warm plates. Garnish with the rest of the nuts, coriander and lime cheeks.
Top tips for making butternut and cheese penne
Tamarind paste is made from the sour fruits of the tamarind tree. It adds a sour taste to dishes, which you need to balance with sweetness to get that complex savoury flavour. If you don’t have tamarind paste, you can use 2 tsp Thai curry paste instead.
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Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.
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