Pad Thai

April 18, 2021

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Pad Thai

The science of eating well: exotic, healthy, quick and delicious recipes.

This version of the classic Thai dish can be made with shrimp, chicken, firm tofu or meat substitute. The varieties of the dish that you get take-out or in a restaurant—or find on the web—usually work out to about 2,500 kilojoules (600 cal) or more per serving. A lot of that is in the form of sugar, usually brown sugar, and noodles.

This recipe uses a stevia mixture sugar substitute and low-cal Pad Thai noodles. The latter may take a bit of finding but they’re available either in regular supermarkets or specialty Asian supermarkets. The variety I use are 350kJ (84 cal) per 100 gms (3.5 oz).

Once put in a large serving bowl mix thoroughly, otherwise you won’t get the full benefit from the more subtle flavor of this dish. Also since I use the stevia mixture instead of brown sugar the final color of the dish will be lighter than those served commercially, but the taste is, according to those that I have cooked this recipe for, actually enhanced.


  • 225 gms (8 oz) pad Thai noodles (low-cal variety)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 225 gms (8 oz) uncooked chicken, or extra-firm tofu, or meat substitute cut into small pieces or shrimp
  • 2 egg whites, one whole egg
  • 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced. Green bell pepper will also work but doesn’t look so authentic.
  • 3 small green or brown onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds. Science says almonds are the great "super food".
  • 8 ounces Pad Thai noodles

For the Pad Thai sauce:

  • 3 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 tbsp stevia sugar substitute
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp hot chilli powder


  1. Cook noodles according to package instructions, just until tender.  Rinse.
  2. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Set aside.
  3. Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan or wok over medium-high heat (I use a non-stick wok).
  4. Add the shrimp/chicken/tofu or meat substitute, garlic and bell pepper. The shrimp will cook quickly, about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until pink. If using chicken, cook until just cooked through, about 3-4 minutes, flipping several times.
  5. Push everything to the side of the pan. Add ½ tbsp of oil and add the beaten eggs. Scramble the eggs, breaking them into small pieces with a spatula as they cook.
  6. Add noodles, sauce, bean sprouts and almond slivers to the pan (reserving some slivers for topping at the end). Toss everything well to combine.
  7. Top with onions, remaining almond slivers, cilantro/parsley and lime wedges. Serve immediately!

Yield: 6 servings

Energy: 504 KJ (168 calories) per serving

Dr Bob Murray

Bob Murray, MBA, PhD (Clinical Psychology), is an internationally recognised expert in strategy, leadership, influencing, human motivation and behavioural change.

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