Monday, May 23, 2011

Low Carb Pad Thai!

This dinner rocked!  And I received one of the greatest compliments for it as well.  Link said we should eat it every night!  When you see the calorie and carb counts in the recipe you might want to as well!  Before I got pregnant, I barely touched spicy foods.  Then for some reason while I was pregnant I got brave enough to try some new things, and then I started craving them.  Thai food became a new passion!   Obsession really.

A while back I worked on perfecting a homemade pad thai.  There is my old post explaining the recipe, however it's an incredibly unhealthy one!  Recently since we switched to a low carb diet, I haven't been able to enjoy this yummy favorite.  Rice noodles aren't exactly low carb!  Not even in the same ballpark.  I've been able to make my Thai stir fry low carb, but until I discovered shirataki noodles, I never thought I'd be able to have pad thai again!  You have no idea how happy I am that I was wrong!!

So in case you've never heard of this "miracle" noodle as some refer to it (and I believe it's even marketed under this name), here's a link to a website with some information on the noodles:  As the website will tell you, they are 20 calories, yes ONLY 20, a serving, 3 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fiber, gluten, dairy, and sugar-free!  And for anyone doing a low carb diet and counting *net* carbs like I am, only 1 net carb per serving!!  Frankly, it doesn't get much better than that!

Well the shirataki noodles took care of one ingredient in working towards a low carb recipe, however there were a few others I needed to "fix" as well.  The corn starch slurry that mixes in with the chicken in the original recipe was a concern.  Corn starch is 7 grams of carbs a tablespoon, and while dividing that into the number of servings in the recipe obviously lowers that number, I figured I'd just go without.  When I sliced up the chicken breast, I just poured the soy sauce over the chicken and let it sit for a few minutes before stir-frying.  No cornstarch was needed and I totally didn't miss it!  Another hurdle down.

The next consideration was the brown sugar or cane sugar that goes into the pad thai sauce.  I didn't think too long about this one.  I wanted to include a little sweetness but not too much so I used one packet of Splenda in place of the brown sugar.  Easy!  The last ingredient I had to "fix" I didn't even realize was a problem until I got to it.  Tamarind paste is another ingredient to pad Thai sauce.  It's 11 grams of carbs per tablespoon!  After seeing that, I threw it out.  This low carb thing is working so well, I'm never going to use what was left in the package.  So back to the sauce.  Thai cuisine is made up of four flavors:  sweet, spicy, salty, and sour.  In a pad Thai sauce, the brown sugar (now Splenda) is the sweet, chili sauce is the spicy, fish sauce is the salty, and tamarind paste is the sour.  I started thinking about what else I could use that's sour as a substitute and checked the fridge.  Lime juice!  I used one tablespoon.  Worked perfect!  One other note, look for a chili sauce that has no carbs.  I use Tuong Ot Toi Vietnam Chili Garlic Sauce.  There are lots of sweet chili sauces at the store, however it takes a little looking to find one that's not.  Remember that "sweet" on the label generally means there's sugar in it and more carbs!  Just make sure to check the labels!

Low Carb Pad Thai
  • 1 1/2 - 2 boneless skinless chicken breast 
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 package (8 oz) shirataki noodles, fettuccine style
  • 1 can bean sprouts
  • 1-2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
Pad Thai Sauce:
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 packet Splenda
  • 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce

Directions:  Slice up the chicken breasts into thin pieces.  Pour soy sauce over chicken and set aside for a few minutes.  Prepare sauce by combining all ingredients in a glass or bowl and mix to combine.  Set sauce aside.  Prepare shirataki noodles by draining package, and placing noodles in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave for 1-2 minutes.  Pat dry with paper towel if necessary.  Set aside.

Heat oil in a wok or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and saute until almost done.  Move chicken to one side of the pan and add egg to the skillet.  Scramble eggs and cook until done.  Stir into chicken.  Add noodles to pan and pour sauce over them.  Stir fry for approximately 2 minutes.  Add in bean sprouts and green onion and continue stir frying until noodles and sprouts reach desired doneness, about a few minutes.

Best topped with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro (not included in nutrition information below!)

This recipe made 3 servings.  I think I will double it next time so we have leftovers!  Here's the nutrition information based on MyFitnessPal's Recipe tracker:

Low calorie, low fat, low carb, and incredibly delicious!  This is going to be a new staple around here!  I can't wait to try some more recipes using the different kinds of shirataki noodles.  After enjoying my new pad Thai, I can truly see why they're called the "miracle" noodle!  Sorry there's no picture of the actual pad Thai here, it didn't last long enough to take one.  But really it looked, smelled, and tasted just like real restaurant take-out pad Thai, if not better because I know how much better it was for me!!

(updated 5/29/11)  I made this for lunch again today, and this time I paused to take a picture.  It really does taste as awesome as it looks, and frankly I am enjoying it more than the regular pad Thai I used to make. That always came out too sweet and the flavor in this one is just perfect!  I was out of green onions but really wanted to make this anyway, so I just omitted them.  And I had cilantro this time so I garnished with a few chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro as well!


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