Go Back
+ servings
pad thai with zucchini noodles on a white plate
Print Recipe
4.50 from 6 votes

Paleo Pad Thai with Zucchini Noodles

This authentic version of Pad Thai also happens to be paleo-friendly, packed with vegetables and hits all the totally satisfying notes of the creamy, tart, slightly sweet original.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: fakeout takeout, pad thai
Servings: 2 servings
Calories: 338kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef
Cost: $9.00


  • Saucepan
  • Wok or skillet


Paleo Pad Thai Sauce:

  • ½ cup Tamarind Paste (see note)
  • 2 tablespoon Water
  • 2 tablespoon Fish Sauce (Red Boat brand is paleo-friendly)
  • 2 teaspoon Coconut Aminos
  • Sweetener of choice, to taste (finely chopped palm sugar is the most authentic; use stevia or honey if you prefer)

Paleo Pad Thai:

  • 1 tablespoon Cooking Oil
  • 8 large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 6 oz Zucchini "Noodles" (zucchini cut into ribbons or spiralized; sub any spiralized vegetable)
  • 2 tablespoon Dried Radish, chopped (optional; may be labeled pickled or preserved radish or pickled or preserved turnip)
  • 3 cloves Garlic, chopped
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 cup Mung Bean Sprouts (optional)
  • 4 stalks Chinese Chives, chopped (reserve the bottom halves of a few stalks for garnish)
  • ¼ cup chopped Roasted, Unsalted Cashews
  • Lime Wedges, for serving
  • Red Pepper Flakes, for serving


To Make Sauce:

  • Combine tamarind paste, water, fish sauce, aminos and sweetener in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and heat until sweetener is dissolved, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust, adding additional sweetener or aminos if needed.

To Make Pad Thai:

  • Place a large wok (or skillet) over medium-high heat. Add oil and then shrimp with a pinch of salt. Saute just until the shrimp is starting to turn pink on the outside (it will continue cooking as you add additional ingredients to the pan), about 2 minutes.
  • Add zucchini "noodles", dried radish, and garlic. Saute until "noodles" are starting to turn tender, 2 minutes (this may take an additional minute or two for more firm vegetable noodles like sweet potato or carrot).
  • Create a well in the center of the pan and crack the egg into the well. Scramble the egg until fully cooked and toss to combine all of the ingredients. Add ⅓ cup of sauce and stir to coat all ingredients. Continue adding additional sauce until the dish is dressed to your liking.
  • Turn off the heat and stir in the bean sprouts, chives, and cashews. Squeeze juice from one of the lime wedges over the top.
  • Transfer to serving plates and garnish plates with more cashews, reserved chive stems, red pepper flakes and lime wedges.


Look for tamarind paste at your local Asian market. Make sure that the ingredients are just tamarind and water. Alternatively you can make your own - it's easier than you might think. Find out how to make it here.
It's always a good idea to make Pad Thai in small batches. It cooks very fast, so if you are cooking for a crowd, prep all of your ingredients ahead. Keep the wok very hot and cook in a couple batches.


Serving: 2g | Calories: 338kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 1772mg | Potassium: 739mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 376IU | Vitamin C: 29mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 4mg