Zucchini & Chicken Pad Thai

Zucchini & Chicken Pad Thai-2

Zucchini & Chicken Pad Thai

Pad Thai used to be one of my benchmark dishes to judge a Thai restaurant is. When done right, it’s a wonderful dish busting with fresh flavours and textural contrast.

Of course since having diabetes and going Low Carb, it’s been years since I last had Pad Thai.

Then the other day I was picking zucchini in the garden and wondering what I could do with it… And so my Zucchini & Chicken version of Pad Thai was born!

I’ve kept the ketchup because it adds such depth of flavour along with the sweetness and it’s only a few tablespoons. Plus I’ve been using a sugar-reduced ketchup which is surprisingly tasty. However, if you want to steer clear of the sugar then use tomato puree or tomato paste.

There are roasted peanuts in the picture, I’ve left them out of the recipe to keep it to 6 ingredients (the oil doesn’t count). However you’re welcome to live dangerously and serve with peanuts scattered on top.

enough for: 2
takes: 30 minutes

2 medium zucchini
3 tablespoons lime juice + an extra lime to serve
2 tablespoons tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons fish or soy sauce
2 tablespoons oil
4 chicken thigh fillets, sliced
1 bunch coriander (cilantro), leaves picked

1. Spiralize zucchini or slice into ribbons using a mandoline or vegetable peeler. Toss with a pinch of fine salt and allow to stand for a few minutes.

2. Combine lime juice, ketchup, fish / soy sauce and oil in a small bowl. Taste and adjust seasoning with more lime / fish sauce / ketchup as needed. You’re looking for a balance between sour, salty and sweet.

3. Heat a little oil in a very hot wok or large frying pan. Add chicken and stir fry until just cooked through. Place cooked chicken in a small bowl.

4. Pat zucchini dry with paper towel. Return wok / frying pan to the heat. Add a little more oil then quickly add zucchini and sauce. Stir well and allow everything to warm for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and stir in the cooked chicken.

5. To serve, divide chicken and zucchini noodle mixture between two bowls. Top with coriander / cilantro leaves and extra lime.

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WINE MATCH: Thai food is best with a crisp cold beer. If you’re like me an insist on having wine with everything, a dry white wine like Riesling or Pinot Gris is best.

Variations & Substitutions

hot! – toss in 1-2 small chopped red chillies with the chicken I use super hot Thai ‘birds eye’ chillies but any fresh chilli like serrano will work.

vegetarian – replace chicken with scrambled eggs or firm tofu, extra peanuts or chickpeas.

nut-free – add a handful bean sprouts for crunch.

different nuts – also great with cashews or macadamias.

more substantial – low carb – increase the chicken, add in some scrambled egg or serve with lots of roast peanuts or cashews.

carb-lovers – replace zucchini noodles with rice noodles, other noodles or spaghetti cooked according to the packet. Or serve with steamed jasmine rice.

paleo / sugar-free / very low carb – replace tomato ketchup with tomato puree. And use the fish sauce option instead of the soy.

more veg – add any veg you enjoy in a stir fry. Snow peas, bean sprouts, green beans, capsicum (bell peppers) are all great.

no coriander / cilantro – replace with basil leaves or mint. Or use a handful of roasted peanuts to garnish instead.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

zucchini – will keep for 2 weeks or longer in a plastic bag in the fridge. To keep it even longer, cook sliced zucchini in a little butter until just soft then store in an airtight container in the fridge.

lime – will keep in a plastic bag in the fridge for months.

tomato ketchup / fish or soy sauce / oil – keep them in the pantry.

chicken thigh fillets – freeze them.

coriander – best to use for another meal. Can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted.

Prepare Ahead

The zucchini can be spiralized up to 3 days ahead. Don’t add the salt and keep in an airtight container in the fridge. Everything else is best hot from the wok.

Zucchini & Chicken Pad Thai

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