No noodles were harmed in the making of this dish. But definitely some spaghetti squash was maimed.
I’ve heard there are as many different recipes for pad thai as there are cooks that make it. But in my opinion, tamarind paste is the secret to any good pad thai. Some people use ketchup in place of the tamarind paste, but honestly it does not have the same flavour. Tamarind is a very distinct tangy flavour that is totally different that tomato ketchup. I find tamarind paste at my local asian grocery store.
This recipe is actually quite quick to come together once you have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go. I like to keep this vegetarian-ish by using tofu as the protein (note: it is not true vegetarian because of the fish sauce), but feel free to add any protein you like, just stir fry it in the wok before you cook any of the other ingredients, set aside, then cook the remaining ingredients as in the recipe below, and then add it back in at the end.
Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai
Pad Thai Ingredients
- 1 spaghetti squash
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 large eggs , beaten
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 jalapeno or chilli pepper , deseeded and minced
- 8 oz fried tofu (if Whole30 – skip this or sub another protein*)
- 4 scallions , thinly sliced
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- 1 cup snow peas
- 2 tbsp cashews , chopped
- 1 bunch thai basil
- 1 lime , wedges
- red pepper flakes
Pad Thai Sauce
- 3 tbsp tamarind paste
- 2 tbsp brown sugar (sub for coconut aminos if Whole30, sub for monkfruit sweetener for Keto)
- 2 tsp fish sauce (sub for light soy sauce if you want this to be vegetarian)
- 2 tbsp water
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes (adjust to taste)
Prepare the Spaghetti Squash – Microwave, IP or Oven Instructions
- Microwave Instructions: To cook the spaghetti squash in a microwave- pierce the squash several times with a fork. Place a paper towel under it and place in microwave. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Rotate one half turn (so it is not sitting on the same side of the squash), microwave another 5 mins. Turn a half turn one more time. Microwave for 5 more minutes. Total of 15 mins cooking time. Cut in half horizontally (to keep the strands longer) and use a spoon to scrape out and toss the seeds. Using a fork, scrape out the spaghetti squash strands and set aside.
- Instant Pot Instructions: To cook the spaghetti squash in the IP, cut the squash into 2 or 3 rounds (horizontal cuts not vertical to keep the strands longer). Scrape out the seeds. Place the cut squash into your IP on a rack. Add 1 cup of water and cook on manual pressure for 7 minutes. Quick release the pressure, open and allow the squash to be cool enough to handle. Scrape out the strands of squash with a fork. Set aside.
- Oven Instructions: To cook the spaghetti squash in the oven, preheat oven to 400 F. Cut the squash in half horizontally (to keep the strands longer). Scrape out the seeds. Sprinkle the cut side with olive oil, salt & pepper. Bake on a baking sheet with the cut side up for 45-50 minutes until the insides are easily scraped with a fork. Allow the squash to be cool enough to handle then scrape out the strands of squash with a fork. Set aside.
Prep Ingredients and Prepare the Sauce
- While the squash is cooking, chop all the other ingredients and prepare the sauce.
- To make the sauce, mix all the sauce ingredients together and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Whisk to combine everything. It should make about 1/4 – 1/3 cup of sauce. Set aside.
Assemble the Pad Thai
- When you have all the ingredients prepped and ready to go, heat a large pan or wok on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil. Keep an empty dish ready on the side as you will be cooking things in batches.
- Add the eggs to the pan. Scramble the eggs then set aside.
- Put the wok back on the heat, add 1 tbsp oil. Add the onions to the pan. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Stir fry till they start to soften (about 2-3 mins). Add the garlic & chilli and fry for 10 seconds till the garlic is fragrant and then add the tofu. Stir fry 2 more mins, then set aside with the egg.
- Heat another tbsp of oil in the wok and add the spaghetti squash. Spread out in a thin layer. Stir fry for a few minutes till the squash starts to turn golden brown. About 5 mins.
- Pour the sauce over the squash and stir to coat the squash. Add the tofu mixture, eggs, scallions, snow peas and bean sprouts and stir to combine.
- Taste and add more salt and chilli flakes, if needed.
- Sprinkle with cilantro, chopped cashews, chilli flakes and a squeeze of lime juice before serving.