The first time I ever tasted Pad Thai was when I attended the Center for Kosher Culinary Arts, last year. It was pasta day, I think, and we were experimenting with different types – including rice noodles. We made our own chili paste from scratch and it was so hot, I cried just from blending it. I took one bite of the Pad Thai and my mouth was on fire! Even though my tongue could barely take it, there was just something about the stuff and I kept going back for more (and refilling my glass of water!). Even with cilantro (one of my least favorite ingredients) the stuff was just. that. good. It wasn’t long before I was making pad Thai at home for my whole family to enjoy.
Now when I started to ease up on my carb-load, I knew I had to come up with a lower carb pad Thai recipe to enjoy. Enter quoina – the super grain. Or super seed, I should say! Quinoa, after all, is not a grain or legume – it’s called a Pseudo-cereal and is botanically related to spinach and beets. So although some refer to it as an ancient grain, you can rest assured that this protein-rich superfood is a great low-carb alternative to pasta and rice.
They may teach you to make pad Thai in culinary school. But they don’t tell you the obvious things, like not to write your recipes on scrap pieces of paper. When I was developing this quinoa pad Thai dish, I hit the nail right on the head – it was perfect! I wrote the recipe out on the edge of my calendar, and what do you think happened? I promptly forgot about that golden combination of ingredients, and weeks later, when I went to look up something in the calendar, I decided to rip out all the old months that had already passed. And there my recipe went – crumpled up amid egg shells and dirty plates – right in the garbage.
I realized the error of my ways the next day and I ran outside to see if the garbage truck had taken out the garbage yet. Oh yes, I was right about ready to put on some gloves and sort through the trash! No such luck, my garbage had already been picked up and my prized recipe was doomed for the garbage dump. So, I did what any pad-Thai-obsessed-girl-on-a-diet would do…I made it again. That’ll teach me never to write my recipes on the edge of my calendar! (Did I mention this is not the first time this has happened?)
Quinoa Pad Thai
1 cup quinoa
1/2 red pepper, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, julienned (I use this julienne peeler)
3 tsp peanut oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground chicken or turkey (dark meat preferred)
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp sambal oelek (garlic chili sauce) or sriracha
1 cup bean sprouts
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro
1/3 cup peanuts
lime wedges, for garnish
sriracha, for garnish
Place the quinoa in a small pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, honey, lime juice and sambal oelek. Set aside.
Heat 1 tsp of peanut oil in a wok and stir fry the carrots and peppers just until slightly softened, 1 minute. Remove from the pan. Whisk eggs, add a bit more peanut oil to the wok and scramble. Remove from the pan. Add a bit more peanut oil and add garlic. Saute just until softened and add ground turkey. Cook until turkey is no longer pink and add the soy sauce mixture. Return the carrots, peppers and eggs to the wok and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and bean sprouts and stir to incorporate. Sprinkle scallions, cilantro and peanuts over the top and garnish with lime wedges and a drizzle of sriracha.
summer rolls with spicy dipping sauce
spicy roasted edamame
21 thoughts on “Quinoa Pad Thai”
My life is filled with calendar scraps, napkins, sudoku backs and such, filled with notes for recipes. Bad habits hard to break. I’ve lost many! Quinoa pad thai sounds like a wonderful idea.
yum! this looks amazing! can’t wait to try it!
I tried this recipe with shrimp and organic buckwheat noodles. It turned out So delicious that my boy-friend said it was the best dish I ever cooked for him. Thank you very much for the recipe!
So glad you (and your boyfriend) loved it!
I can’t wait to try it. I’m an avid spicy lover and this is a great dish to have really spicy!
And lol, on the recipe in the garbage, so something that would happen to me too
i adore Pad Thai but have never made a sauce for it at home that I have been thrilled with, so I am going to try yours next time. I hear you about scribbling recipes on things! My bad habit is writing recipes on the back of junk mail envelopes. After losing quite a few I finally got a recipe notebook which is a bit safer. (Although just as panic inducing when I misplaced it for a few days and thought I had lost three months of recipes!)
This dish is amazing! Please post more like this. My husband and I loved it.
This looks great. Do you think this would be a good meat main for a shabbas day course if I served it cold/room temperature? I’m looking for summer mains that don’t require having a crock pot on. Thanks!
That’s not a bad idea at all!
Making this next week. It looks perfect for summer and I love the fact that there aren’t noodles.
Thanks Jessica, I love how light it is too!
I love pad thai but have never made it, definitely trying this soon!
I love ur grilled chicken shawarma plate it’s amazing my fave !
This is delicious! I made it with cubed tofu instead of chicken and cut the sriracha to 1 tsp; it was great :)
I love the idea of using tofu, thanks so much for sharing!
This is my family’s new favorite meal. I cannot make it often enough! I also made it for two new moms the week they came each home from the hospital and they both requested the recipe. Once you have the ingredients it’s quick and easy to make. Thank you for helping this pad thai addict stick to a healthier way of eating!
Thanks Amanda, I’m SO happy you have enjoyed this recipe as much as I do! I’m so flattered that you made this for new moms too!!
This sounds amazing, but I found it while searching for ‘kosher sambel oelek’. Your write up refers to your Kosher Culinary Arts class and your picture shows you with your book ‘MILLENNIAL KOSHER’, but the recipe – instead of giving instructions for making your own kosher version of sambel oelek sauce – just says to use ‘1 tbsp sambal oelek (garlic chili sauce) or sriracha’. I doubt your readers are aware that sambel oelek is made with shrimp paste, which is NOT KOSHER!!
Thank for you your message Lisa. However, Kosher sambal oelek is readily available with kosher certification from Huy Fong Foods, the company that put sriracha on the map.