*Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commision if you click through and make a purchase.
Regular Pad Thai is often around 900 calories! I don’t know about you, but that’s just too much for one meal.
My Pad Thai is equally filling, but only 190 calories per serving (less than most restaurant salads, and way more satisfying). If you’re craving delicious satisfying thai food, but don’t want to lose momentum on your diet, you need to try this.
The key to keeping the calories low is the kelp noodles. I usually see them in the refrigerated section at Asian grocers, and occasionally at health food stores. Kelp noodles are zero calories and have a satisfying crunchy texture, almost like mung beans. I use kelp noodles in all kinds of Asian noodle dishes, and salads. When the noodles are cooked, they soften but always retain a bit of crunch. I highly recommend trying my Supremely Crunchy Kelp Noodle Salad, if you enjoy healthy low-calorie meals.
Low-Calorie Pad Thai
Pad Thai Sauce
- 2 Tablespoons tamarind puree
- 1 Teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 Cup fish sauce
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 Teaspoons of chili powder
- 1/2 cup water
- 10 ounces of your favorite protein combo. For this recipe I used 3 ounces of tofu and 7 ounces of chicken (I like to mix and match chicken, shrimp, tofu, and pork)
- 2 Finely diced shallots or 1/4 onion
- 1-2 Cloves of garlic
- 1 Large carrot cut into match sticks
- 2 Eggs
- 10 Ounces kelp noodles or zoodles if these 0 calorie noodles aren't available
- 2 Tablespoons unsweetened peanut butter
- 1 Large head of broccoli
- 5 Ounces of bean sprouts
- 1 Bunch of cilantro
- 1 ounce garlic chives optional
- Limes quartered to use for seasoning
In a mason jar prepare the Pad Thai sauce. Shake together the tamarind puree, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, chili powder, and water. Warning - do not mix this in a blender, often the tamarind paste will have hard seeds in it, and if you use a blender these pieces will be too small to filter out without clogging a mesh strainer. In a few steps, we'll use the lid of the mason jar or a spoon to pour in the sauce without letting the seeds into the dish.
Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add your protein, and cook until nicely browned and nearly cooked through. Add the shallots and garlic, and finish cooking the protein. Transfer the protein to a clean dish and return the pan to the heat.
De-glaze the pan with the Pad Thai sauce (use the lid of the mason jar to strain out the seeds - only pour the liquid into the pan) and immediately add the carrots. Scramble in the two eggs. Once the eggs have set, add in the kelp noodles and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter. Add water if it is too difficult to mix in the peanut butter.
Once the noodles have softened, add in the broccoli and bean sprouts. Quickly mix the protein back in, and cover until the broccoli turns bright green.
Serve garnished with fresh cilantro, garlic chives, and limes.
For calculating calories I assumed the protein was 7 ounces of chicken and 3 ounces of tofu.
This dish is Gluten-free and Dairy-Free!