This is the Easiest Pad Thai Peanut Sauce that takes about 5 minutes using pantry staples you already have.
When I traveled to Thailand in 2015 I had the joy and honor to soak up the Thai culture including the most delicious fresh foods, including pad thai. Disclaimer, this is totally not a full on pad thai, but when I’m in a time crunch and I want to throw a healthy meal together that “tastes like pad thai”, or at least reminds me of those meals in Thailand, this is the sauce and dish I make.
I hope that you guys enjoy making this when you’re craving pad thai but want to whip it up with ease at home using most of your pantry staples and some fresh bits.
What Is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is easily one of the most popular dishes ordered at local Thai restaurants and is a great introduction to Thai food in general. In fact, it is the national dish in Thailand which makes sense as it’s so delicious!
Pad thai is a simple stir-fry dish that usually contains rice noodles, eggs, tofu, another source of protein such as shrimp, chicken, etc. and flavored with fish sauce, tamarind paste, garlic, red chili pepper, palm sugar, cilantro or Thai basil, and a lime wedge. People describe the flavors of this dish as bold, rich, vibrant, sweet and sour, and a little funky from the fish sauce.
There are a variety of ways you can make this dish with your choice of protein, sprinkling crushed peanuts on top, adding a handful of bean sprouts on top, and more. It’s up to you and what you like or think will fit well with the flavors.
This sauce can be made and used for meal-prep if you need to whip up a quick lunch or dinner, if you’re just craving pad thai but you’re in a hurry, or if you’re hosting a couple of friends at your home. Either way, it won’t take you much time which is the important part.
Want To Step It Up?
Again, this is a bare-bones sauce that hits the spot when you’re craving pad thai, but to get the real thing, try adding these ingredients to your grocery shopping list and how to use them in this recipe to make a full on pad thai:
- Garnishes: fresh bean sprouts, dried shrimp, red chili oil, lime wedges, roasted peanuts
- Add to the sauce: fish sauce (I’m personally not a fan of the flavor of fish sauce, but it does give pad Thai its umami flavor that can’t be beaten — oh, and a little goes a long way), coconut sugar (about 1 teaspoon to this sauce for the whole sweet, spicy, and savory thing), and tamarind
- Recommended vegetables to use: garlic chives, pickled radishes
- Proteins recommended: anything from organic tofu, fresh shrimp, scrambled eggs in with the noodles, to chicken, whatever you enjoy and fits your lifestyle
Many people use limes to give a little bit of zest to their food without even knowing how incredibly healthy they are for you. They are rich in antioxidants, which are compounds that protect your body from any harm caused by free radicals or chemicals, which have been shown to help boost your immune system.
The combination of vitamin C and antioxidants give your immune system the power it needs to fight infections such as the cold or the flu. Additionally, since limes contain high amounts of antioxidants, it has been linked to helping your body fight off cancer cells.
These antioxidant properties of lime promote healthy cell function and prevent the growth of colon, breast, and pancreatic cancer cells.
Red bell peppers (or whatever vegetable you choose to use for this recipe) all contain good amounts of fiber which helps our digestive system move along properly, helps us stay full for a longer period of time, and releases a steady flow of energy into our bodies.
The bell peppers pictured in this recipe contain good amounts of carotenoids and vitamin C which combined together provide anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Per 1 cup of broccoli, it contains 5g of fiber, easily making it one of the Top 5 Vegetables For Digestion. This veggie helps your digestion by protecting your gut microbiome because it contains fiber compounds that bind very well to bile acids in our digestive systems. Overall, this veggie is a powerhouse because of its anti-inflammatory properties that protect against oxidative stress, provides cardiovascular and digestive support, and protection from certain cancers.
Carrots are another popular and versatile veggie to add into your pad thai. I recommend carrot shreds because they are easier to eat with this dish. A cup of carrots contains 4g of fiber and is rich in carotenoids and vitamin A, which have been linked to improving and protecting our vision and overall eye health.
This dish offers variety in the way you choose to make it, which means you can use whatever combination of vegetables and protein you would like. Some of the most common choices of protein you’ll find when dining at a Thai restaurant would be chicken or shrimp.
If you’re wanting to keep this a vegetarian dish, then only adding tofu is a great way to add protein in.
You can always switch the sources of protein and vegetables you choose depending on your mood or what you have stocked in the fridge.