Ketchup Free Pad Thai

28 Mar

This is a staple in our house. I am so bothered by the ketchup infused sauces that come along with almost every restaurant pad thai dish. Who thought of adding ketchup? ketchup on noodles….i’m gagging. But seriously, I really hate ketchup. So I suppose my distaste for it in pad thai is par for the course. (I know what a freak – who hates ketchup?).

I digress. This meal was created so that we could enjoy pad thai without the tomato-sugar sauce.

Serves 6 (or 4 very hungry people)


1 package of rice noodles (whichever width you fancy)

1/4 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (in a hurry i cheat and use those fancy plastic squeeze bottles shaped like a lime)

3 tbsp fish sauce

1 tsp sugar (I never use this b/c I really don’t like anything sweet near my dinner, but it serves to cut the fishiness of the fish sauce)

2 tbsp oyster sauce

1 1/2 tbsp siracha (chili sauce) (I always double this b/c we like it spicy)

1 extra firm block of tofu cut into 1 cm cubes AND/OR 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into cubes AND/OR medium sized shelled, deveined raw shrimp

2 reasonably large cloves of garlic finely chopped

3 large eggs

2 cups bean sprouts (I love them and usually throw caution to the wind and use the whole bag)

6 green onions chopped

chopped peanuts and a handful of diced cilantro for garnish

lime wedges for squeezing overtop

(I realized when typing out this recipe, despite having made it up, I don’t follow it at all. ummmmm. I am trying to make the measurements for what would work best for a reasonably normal pad thai – I alter certain things to my tastes. As you should if it suits you).

Boil water for the noodles and then cook according to the package (always choose the lowest cooking time b/c you will be stir frying them). Drain the noodles, run under cool water until room temperature and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the chicken stock, lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, oyster sauce and siracha, whisk and set aside.

In a large wok or stir fry pan heat on medium heat. Add a splash of oil (cooking oil of your choice – my go to is grape seed oil – most choose canola or vegetable. Add the tofu/chicken/shrimp (we always use just tofu) and cook until no longer pink (if it’s just tofu just cook until warm). Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute. Break all 3 eggs into the pan and scramble until all the egg is cooked.

Add the noodles to the pan and combine. Pour the sauce over the noodles and allow to warm through.

Add the bean sprouts and green onions. Combine and serve topped with chopped peanuts, shopped cilantro and lime wedges for squeezing.

(notice my photo has no crushed peanuts on top? Ya, I always forget to buy them……)

No need to order out for ketchup noodles!!!!

(p.s. I had a little assistance on the photos today, things are looking up.)

5 Responses to “Ketchup Free Pad Thai”

  1. Josie M L'Heureux March 29, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    I can’t wait to make this! I’m totally with you – hate the ketchup pad thai. I love that I don’t have to harass you for your recipes anymore. Love the blog Katie!

  2. Andrea Maggisano April 10, 2011 at 5:57 pm #

    Josh is going to make this for dinner on Tuesday! Yay!

  3. eldritch August 22, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Where are you getting pad thai with ketchup?? Never even heard of that. But then I live in Thai Town in los angeles. I can assure you that real pad thai has no ketchup.

    • akitchenincabbagetown August 22, 2011 at 7:55 pm #

      I know, it’s ridiculous! Almost every thai place here adds it. Google pad thai recipes…most of them call for it….it’s disgusting! I clearly need to get myself to L.A. ASAP!


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