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Old 04-14-2009, 05:20 PM   #1  
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Default Pad Thai -- how to lower calories/points

I love Pad Thai. And I can't get it here in my little town. So I thought, well, how hard can it be to make -- it's basically just noodles and vegetables and meat, right? So I went to and found a couple Pad Thai recipes and about had a heart attack when I looked at the nutritional information on them -- 16 points!!?? And I don't know enough about substituting ingredients to figure out how to lower the point value. Can any of you gals who are really good cooks help? Recipe from posted below. It's supposed to serve 3 and their nutritional information says it has 740 calories, 27.8 grams fat, and 5.5 grams fiber.

1 (8 ounce) package dried flat rice noodles
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons Asian chile pepper sauce, divided
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
8 ounces medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1 inch cubes
2 eggs, beaten
3 cups bean sprouts
6 green onions, chopped into 1 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted dry-roasted peanuts

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges
2 cups bean sprouts

Fill a large bowl with hot tap water and place the noodles in it to soak for 20 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir together the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons of the chile sauce and chicken stock. Set aside.
Heat a wok or large skillet over high heat and add vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, stir in garlic and cook for about 10 seconds. Add shrimp and chicken; cook, stirring constantly until shrimp is opaque and chicken is cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
Move everything in the wok out to the sides and pour the eggs in the center. Cook and stir the eggs until firm. Add the noodles to the wok and pour in the sauce. Cook, stirring constantly, until the noodles are tender. Add a bit more water if needed to finish cooking the noodles. Stir in 3 cups of bean sprouts and green onions. Remove from the heat and garnish with chopped peanuts. Taste for seasoning, adjusting the spice or lime juice if needed.
Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and remaining bean sprouts and lime wedges on the side.
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:28 PM   #2  
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Gosh that sounds good

My first thought is that 8 oz of noodles for 3 servings is too much. You could start by reducing that to a max of 6 oz since 2 oz is generally considered a serving. You might even go to half of that and increase the bean sprouts to make up for the volume. I would even add julienne zucchini, carrots, red peppers, and any other veggie on hand. I'd also reduce the oil to two tablespoons, maybe even 1 tablespoon if prepared in a very good nonstick skillet. Use egg substitute instead of whole eggs, or even egg whites.

Now I'm hungry
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:36 PM   #3  
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I make Pad Thai a lot. I don't measure, I just throw in bits and pieces, but my recipe isn't too different from this one, so I'll just tell how mine's different.

I don't use sugar, I use a pinch of splenda. I chop the peanuts really fine in the food processor, and only use about 1 tbs. Sometimes I skip them all together. I use one egg and three or four additional egg whites - or just egg whites. I use more shrimp. I use less noodles, but double the bean sprouts (sometimes I have more bean sprouts than noodles). I use a non-stick pan and a lot less oil (sometimes just cooking spray).
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Old 04-14-2009, 05:40 PM   #4  
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You could really lower the calories if you used the Shirataki noodles in this.. might change the bite slightly. And yes, the oil.. you can really get rid of almost all of it. I saute my veggies in chicken or vegetable stock and use PAM spray just on the bottom on the pan whien starting.. adding stock as needed
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:18 PM   #5  
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Thanks for the great suggestions, seems like they should be easy to implement! I'm definitely going shopping tomorrow.
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Old 04-14-2009, 09:57 PM   #6  
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At the restaurant, I frequently get tofu instead of chicken and shrimp. If you like tofu, I would make it with extra-firm which is 16 cal / oz, compared to the chicken at 57 cal / oz and shrimp at 30 cal / oz.

That one substitution (1 lb tofu for 1 lb chicken & shrimp combo) would save the recipe 880 cal, or 293 cal / serving.
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