This recipe can be made with spaghetti squash noodles, fresh rice noodles or dried rice noodles. The directions include options for all three.
1 2-3 pound spaghetti squash or 6-12 ounces of dried rice noodles (more if using fresh rice noodles)
1-4 tablespoons tamarind sauce (to taste)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon rice or white vinegar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
Bean sprouts (optional)
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot, thinly slices
1/4 cup chopped scallions
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts
2-4 green chiles, chopped into bite-sized pieces
1 cup snap peas (optional)
1 zucchini (optional)
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil
Vegetable oil as needed
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 pound chicken breasts or thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces
8 ounces of extra-firm tofu (optional)
Lime wedges as desired to serve
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 jalapeños, finely chopped (optional)
1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half and lightly salt the inside.
2. Allow to sit for 30 minutes, cut side down, so the salt can begin to suck water out of the squash.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees.
4. On a large baking sheet, put the two squash halves cut-side down and bake for 30-45 minutes. If you are using dried rice noodles, follow the soaking directions on the package, which should have them soaking in cold water for 30 minutes. If using fresh rice noodles, take them out of the refrigerator.
5. While the squash is baking, chop all of the vegetables into bite-sized pieces, except for the carrots. Cut the carrots into thin slivers.
6. If using the tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes.
7. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces and in a medium-small bowl, combine with a tablespoon of soy sauce.
8. In a small sauce pan, combine 1-4 tablespoons of tamarind paste, the fish sauce, the red pepper flakes, the peanut butter and vinegar. Put over high heat for 1-2 minutes while mixing vigorously until the peanut butter is combined, then remove from the heat.
9. Once the squash is done, remove it from the oven and allow to sit for 10-20 minutes. After it has cooled down, use a fork to scrape the inside, creating the noodles. Remove the squash noodles to a medium bowl.
10. Put a little vegetable oil in a medium to large pan and put it over high heat until very hot. Cook the tofu in the hot pan until lightly golden or brown, 3-4 minutes. Remove to a large bowl.
11. Add more vegetable oil and cook the chicken until just done, 3-5 minutes. Midway though, add a tablespoon of the sauce and mix to combine. Breasts will take much less time to cook than thighs. Remove to a large bowl.
12. Add more oil as required, allow the pan to heat up again, and stir-fry the vegetables. If your pan is not very large, do this in batches so as not to crowd (and steam) the vegetables. When done, remove to the large bowl.
13. After all the vegetables are cooked and removed to the large bowl, add the sesame seed oil (if using) to the pan, or vegetable oil. Once very hot, add the garlic, scallions and peanuts and stir for 5 seconds. Then add the squash noodles or the rice noodles and stir until browned slightly.
14. Move the noodles to one side of the pan and, in the remaining space, crack open and cook the eggs. As they begin to set, scramble them, then mix in with the noodles.
15. Add the pre-cooked ingredients from the large bowl to the noodles and stir to combine. Add more Pad Thai sauce, to taste.
16. Sprinkle the cilantro on top and, if using, the diced jalapeño. Serve with the lime wedges, which are to be squeezed onto each serving according to your own preference.
17. Serve while hot.