Pad Thai Noodle Salad

Pad Thai Noodle Salad

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
329 Calories
14g Fat
42g Carbs
13g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 329
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 47mg 16%
Sodium 1780mg 77%
Total Carbohydrate 42g 15%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 19g
Protein 13g
Vitamin C 66mg 332%
Calcium 94mg 7%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 513mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you like pad Thai noodles and are looking for a fresh salad, this delicious Pad Thai noodle salad will fit the bill. Featuring bold Thai flavors and an abundance of textures, this recipe is also light in calories and fat, plus naturally gluten free. Rice noodles, shrimp, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, and fresh herbs are tossed together in a tamarind dressing that has a kick of spice from a bit of chili sauce. The resulting dish can be served as a main course or side dish; it also makes a beautiful salad to bring to a summer potluck, picnic, or cookout. 

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces rice noodles

  • 20 to 25 medium uncooked shrimp (peeled, deveined, tails left on if desired)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)

  • 1 thumb-size piece galangal or ginger (minced)

  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced thinly)

  • 1 rib celery (sliced thinly)

  • 3 spring onions (sliced thinly)

  • 2 to 3 cups bean sprouts

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro (lightly chopped)

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (gently torn)

  • 1/3 cup dry roasted unsalted peanuts (roughly chopped)

For the Dressing:

Steps to Make It

Cook the Noodles

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Pad Thai Noodle Salad ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Lightly boil the rice noodles until cooked to al dente.

    Lightly boil the rice noodles

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Drain and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Set aside to drain while you prepare the other ingredients.

    drained rice noodles

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Make the Dressing

  1. Pour the boiling water into a cup.

    Pour the boiling water into a cup

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Add the tamarind paste, stirring until dissolved.

    Add the tamarind paste to the water

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add the sugar, fish sauce, and chili sauce, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Taste-test—it should first taste sweet, then sour, spicy, and salty. Add more sugar to make it sweeter, or more chili for a spicier salad. (Note that the sugar content must be quite high to balance out the strong sourness of the tamarind.)

    Add the sugar, fish sauce, and chili sauce to the mixture in the glass

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prepare the Shrimp

  1. Pour 1/4 of the dressing over the shrimp. Stir and set aside to briefly marinate.

    shrimp in a marinade

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Place a wok or frying pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle in the oil, then add the garlic and ginger.

    add the garlic and ginger in the skillet

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Stir-fry to release the fragrance, 1 to 2 minutes.

    fry garlic and ginger in the frying pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add the shrimp together with the marinade. Stir-fry for 3 minutes, or until shrimp have turned pink and plump.

    Add the shrimp together with the marinade to the frying pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Remove from the heat.

    shrimp cooking in a frying pan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Assemble the Salad

  1. In a large salad bowl, place the red pepper, celery, spring onion, bean sprouts, cilantro, and basil, reserving a little of the coriander and basil for garnishing later.

    In a large salad bowl, place the red pepper, celery, spring onion, bean sprouts, cilantro, and basil

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Add the stir-fried shrimp and any liquid from the pan.

    Add the stir-fried shrimp and any liquid from the pan to the salad in the bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add the drained noodles.

    Add the drained noodles to the salad

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Pour over the remaining dressing.

    Pour over the remaining dressing over the noodle in the salad

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Toss everything well together. (At first, you'll have dressing left in the bottom of the bowl, but gradually the noodles will absorb it.)

    toss the noodle salad ingredients together

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Do a final taste-test, adding a little more fish sauce if more flavor is desired, or more chili sauce if it isn't spicy enough.

    add more chili sauce to the noodle salad in the bowl

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  7. Portion out into bowls or plates, adding a final topping of coriander and basil, plus the chopped peanuts. More chili sauce can also be served on the side.

    Pad Thai Noodle Salad

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

Buying Tamarind Paste

Tamarind paste can be difficult to find. Look for it at your local Asian grocery store or East Indian food store, or order it online. If you can't find it, lime juice can be used in its place. In this recipe, use the juice of 2 limes and reduce the hot water by half.

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