This Sweet Potato Pad Thai is a fun twist on traditional pad thai. Here, spiralized sweet potato takes the place of rice noodles, making for a slightly sweeter and more colorful dish. Read on, or jump straight to the recipe HERE.
I’m pretty sure Thai food is my spirit animal. I could eat Thai food almost any moment of any day and be a happy camper.
Now, I should probably preface this by saying I’ve never actually been to Thailand, and I realize that Thai food varies a tremendous amount from region to region. I might not be qualified to say I love all Thai food.
But what I do know is this: set me down with a bowl of curry, or noodles, or soup, and I will happily lose myself in those flavors.
Admittedly, this recipe is not very close to real Thai food. (I’m sure I’m offending some people by even calling it Pad Thai.) But it is inspired by that classic noodle dish, with it’s tangy sauce and peanutty crunch, and when I’m wanting a quick, homemade version, this is what I make.
And oh, does it hit the spot.
Making noodles out of sweet potatoes is easy peasy with the help of a spiralizer. If you don’t already have one, this is the one I use. I’ve had it for a couple years now, and I’ve been really happy with it.
In the summer I use it to make cold noodle salads like this Asian inspired cucumber salad, but in the colder months it mostly winds up sitting on a shelf in the basement collecting dust.
That’s where this recipe comes into play. It’s warm and savory, yet super light and healthy. There are very few dishes that are this light, but still satisfying enough that I crave them in the cold winter months.
This sweet potato pad thai hits that magical sweet spot. You’re basically eating a few cups of veggies and calling it dinner, but somehow it’s still warm, filling, and feels indulgent.
- 1 TBSP tamarind paste (this is the one I used)
- 2 TBSP water
- 2 tsp soy sauce (or gluten-free tamari)
- 2 TBSP palm sugar, coconut sugar, or brown sugar
- ¼-1/2 tsp. Ground thai chilis, or cayenne pepper, or red chili flakes, to taste (or you can use fresh thai chiles, aka birds-eye chiles, for some real kick)
- 2-3 TBSP coconut or peanut oil, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten (if you want to make this dish vegan, you can swap the egg for tofu)
- 2 large or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and spiralized (about 2 lbs, or 8 cups once spiralized)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 TBSP water
- 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 3 green onions, chopped (green and white parts), plus more for garnish
- ¼-1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish
- 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts, chopped, plus more for garnish
- lime wedges, for serving -- optional
- Stir together all the ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
- Heat 1 TBSP oil over high heat in a large nonstick skillet or wok. (I typically use a 12 inch pan). Add the egg (or tofu) and scramble quickly. Remove and set aside.
- Return the pan to high heat, and add the remaining 1-2 TBSP oil. Add the spiralized sweet potatoes, and saute for 2-3 minutes, tossing with tongs. Add the garlic, give it a stir, and then add the 2 TBSP water. Cover immediately to trap the steam, and let cook for another 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and check the noodles for doneness (you want them to be tender enough to eat, but not so soft that they're threatening to turn into mashed potatoes). If they're still a bit crunchy, cook for another 1-2 minutes with the lid off.
- Add the sauce mixture to the pan along with the cooked egg, bell pepper, bean sprouts, chopped cilantro, green onions, and peanuts. Toss gently to combine.
- Serve immediately with additional cilantro, green onions, and peanuts for garnish. (You can also add additional chili flakes, or sliced chilis, if you want some extra heat.) Optionally, serve with extra lime wedges for squeezing over.
To make it gluten-free, be sure to use a gluten-free tamari in place of the soy sauce.
The spiralizer I personally use is THIS ONE. I'm not sponsored by this brand, I just like 'em.
This post contains affiliate links. That means if you follow a link to amazon.com and make a purchase, I get a small percentage at no extra cost to you. I’m not sponsored by any of the products or brands I link to, they are just items I personally use or would recommend.