Pad Thai Redux

February 21, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

Author Notes:

We may have found ourselves devouring a very indulgent version of this dish at Andy Ricker’s (of famed Pok Pok) Phat Thai the other day. Andy’s pad thai is very traditional and contains a lot of oil and probably some sugar. So because we couldn’t get it out of our minds we decided that we would make our own version – lots of vegetables, minimal oil and no sugar. We have to say this dish might be less traditional but it is still high on the delicious scale. And if you’re not too concerned with being vegan this works stupendously well with fish sauce and a scrambled egg or two.

Weird & Ravenous

Serves: 4


  • 4 ounces rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or canola)
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 bell peppers (whatever color you like), seeded, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful snow peas, ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 handfuls watercress, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 lime, halved
  • 1 handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
  • 1 handful peanuts, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 green jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Fish sauce for serving (optional)
In This Recipe


  1. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with nearly-boiling water. Let them sit until just softened, about 10 minutes. Drain them, cut them up a bit with scissors if they’re very long and set them aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it’s just fragrant, only about 30 seconds. Add the peppers and cook, stirring a bit, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bok choy and the snow peas and cook until they begin to soften a bit too, just another minute or 2. Season the vegetables with a large pinch of salt and then stir in the reserved noodles and then fold in the watercress.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil and another pinch of salt while you’re at it. Squeeze all the juice from the lime over the pad thai and stir to combine. Serve immediately with the herbs, scallions, peanuts and jalapeño. If you’re not totally vegan, serve with a splash of fish sauce too.

More Great Recipes:
Thai|Bok Choy|Grains|Green Onion/Scallion|Lime|Pea|Sesame Oil|Vegetable|One-Pot Wonders|Fall|Spring|Summer

Reviews (28) Questions (0)

28 Reviews

Renee B. October 10, 2018
I hosted book club last night and made this as one of two entrees. It was a huge success. Vegetarians, gluten-free, vegans and omnivores all loved it and had seconds. It was so pretty too. I used red and orange bell peppers which contrasted beautifully with the greens. Great dish. Thanks so much for sharing.
olivia August 23, 2018
This may be perhaps the ultimate weeknight dinner. Cheap, quick, delicious, healthy, and easy clean up. Praise be, Weird & Ravenous.
Lisa Y. July 9, 2018
This is fantastic, quick, and adaptable. I used mustard greens instead of watercress, cashews for peanuts, and basil instead of mint. I love pad thai but have to forgo it due to various sensitivities. Noe I can have it--thank you!!!
Catrin April 24, 2015
Surprisingly flavorful for such a fast and simple dish, with lots of room for veg substitutes. Added diagonally cut asparagus with peppers. Recommend that you do not add garlic until a bit later (with peppers). It does not need the longer cooking time and you only risk burning and acrid garlic over that higher heat. Flash cooked, rolled and slivered Asian-style scrambled egg makes perfect protein addition.
victoria S. October 27, 2014
This would be wonderful with shrimp or chicken cubes
Ken W. September 8, 2013
emcsull: Duh?
emcsull September 8, 2013
edifying, thanks
emcsull August 14, 2013
what kind of peanuts, just ordinary common peanuts ?
Author Comment
Weird &. September 9, 2013
Hey there! Yes, ordinary peanuts! We prefer salty, roasted ones.
susan G. July 30, 2013
...and it was delicious. I added browned tofu cubes to make a meal of it.
ChezUs July 30, 2013
Isn't it? Must make again, soon.
Margie K. July 29, 2013
Doesn't sound or look like ANY Pad Thai I have ever enjoyed anywhere , It does look delicious, though, and I shall try it !! :)
ChezUs July 30, 2013
I thought the same but LOVED this recipe.
Author Comment
Weird &. September 9, 2013
Glad you enjoyed!
Gerald5001 May 2, 2013
You didn't say what kind of rice noodles. There are a lot of different kinds of rice noodles
Author Comment
Weird &. May 6, 2013
This works with all different types. As you can see in the video, we used thin (but not-too-thin) rice noodles that look almost like fettucini.
Vegan F. May 1, 2013
This shouldn't be labeled as vegan since it calls for fish sauce!
Author Comment
Weird &. May 6, 2013
Very true, but as we noted in the introduction and in the recipe itself, the non-vegan addition of fish sauce is optional. Hope you enjoy!
susan G. July 29, 2013
I have a vegan 'fish' sauce that I found at a large Asian market. I've never had the real thing, but this is very tasty and distinctive.
Stacy A. March 21, 2013
This looks like an excellent make-at-home version of pad thai. I can't wait to try it this weekend!
Gerald5001 March 19, 2013
The only thing I don't like about it is the onions (you call them scallions but they are still onions)
Lemongrass&Lime March 17, 2013
Mmmm. Looks delicious. Noting for summer.
DEFFY February 26, 2013
ChezUs February 25, 2013
Making this tonight - cannot wait!!
ChezUs February 25, 2013
Just finished dinner. OMG! Great redux. Changed around a few things .... like adding more oil, a sprinkle of sugar and more spicy goodness - great recipe! Love the watercress. We will be eating this quick and easy dinner a lot!
icuqt3.14 February 24, 2013
Just finishing this's delish! Love the healthy influx of green veggies! I used lots of lime and fish sauce...keep it up!
JanetRoss February 24, 2013
I can't stand vegan food so I added pieces of soy, garlic, ginger-marinated chicken, shrimp and some leftover roasted pork. Delicious!
Paula G. February 24, 2013
Will make a perfect accompaniment to venison bulgogi.