Pad Thai is probably the most famous of all Thai foods. It’s a noodle dish that is most commonly found as a street food and in small eateries. Thai food is also considered to be the cuisine of five flavors. It’s important to understand that Thai food should contain an element of sweet, sour, spicy, salty, and bitter. When I was in Thailand many years ago, I loved how they served Pad Thai there. A couple of the restaurants I got to try would bring out a little tray of fish sauce (salty), sugar (sweet), red pepper flake (spicy), and lime wedges (sour). Although this was probably for the tourists, I liked that I could steer the dish in which flavor directions I prefer. Honestly, I highly recommend this. I also was able to take a few cooking classes on my trip so the recipe that follow is a paleo addition of the pad thai recipe I learn in Bangkok.

Lastly, I have to say, I’ve read many other paleo pad thai recipes and I have to say that I passionately believe the key to getting close to the original is tamarind. There is no substitute for it. That is the unique flavor to this dish and any combination of other ingredients to make a “pad thai sauce”, imho, are not worth it.


  • 2 Tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 1/2 LB of Chicken (breast or boneless thigh, can also use shrimp)
  • 2 Cups Spiralized Zucchini or Squash
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Aminos
  • 3 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Coconut VInegar
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 egg
  • 1 minced shallot
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut oil
  • Handful of toasted cashews
  • 1 Lime quartered
  • red pepper flake, served on the side
  • Cilantro for garnish
  • Optional
  • shredded carrots
  • bean sprouts (not really paleo, but not really bad)
  • green onions
  • shredded jicama
  • preserved turnip
  • Coconut sugar
  • banana flower

In a small mixing bowl, combine Tamarind, vinegar, aminos, and fish sauce. Set aside.

Salt spiralized zucchini noodles.

Heat wok, or large pan/skillet over high heat. Add coconut oil, and if using carrots, green onion or turnip saute with garlic and shallot. Cook until fragrant and then add chicken, zucchini, bean sprouts, and sauce. Keep stirring to prevent sticking and burning. When chicken is about cooked through, add in a beat egg and fold it in with the rest of the dish.

Plate and garnish with with cilantro and cashews. Banana flower if used would be a garnish as well. Serve with lime, red pepper flakes, fish sauce, and sugar or honey. This way you can steer the dish to you desired flavor preferences.