It’s Kitchen Collections time! You can see the other posts in this series here.
My most extensive kitchen collection is my collection of what I refer to as my ‘little bowls’. This is probably the kitchen collection that I have been treasuring for the longest amount of time and it’s also perhaps my most impractical collection. My name is Taryn and I have a lot of little bowls. Of course no one actually needs this many, however having a smaller (more sane) amount of little bowls is very handy for food prep if you make a lot of stir fries or use the wok a lot. I’ll prove this to you I swear, by showing you how to make a lighter pad thai using very low calorie konjac noodles.
I lined up some of my little bowls to show you some of my faves and then once I was done, on a whim, I took this pic of the cupboard where I keep them all. In hindsight though, this pic actually gives better idea of how many I have! Key got another piece of MDF made up for this cupboard, so that I could fit another shelf in to maximise the storage space for my little bowls (what a patient and clever man he is)
My fave ‘little bowls’ would probably be these little lidded bowls that look like tiny little tagines. I have two of them and I love them to bits!
This pad thai is still not a super clean or super healthy meal, but it is lighter than a traditional pad thai because of the konjac noodles which are super low calorie. These noodles are fairly easy to come across (at least in Aus) They are normally found in either the pasta or health food aisle at the big supermarkets and sometimes you have to check the ingredients for konjac as they are branded as Slim Noodles, or Slendier in this case. They do have a different texture to normal noodles and they don’t soak up flavours as well, but in my mind they are still a good option because they are filling but still very low in kilojoules.
This pad thai is still damn tasty, but it is going to taste lighter and not as rich as a traditional one. It will also be much harder to get that lovely smoky, almost burnt wok flavour into it, so you will be disappointed if you are expecting Pad Thai like aunty makes it at the hawker centre :)
I like my pad thai with tofu, prawns and chicken and if I’m making it for Key, I’ll chuck in an extra egg as that is one of his fave parts of it. Use what you’ve got though, you could easily add in some shredded cabbage, carrots and spring onions.
One 250g pack will yield enough for 2 servings of noodles.
I love me some fried tofu squares. Sometimes you can get these at the supermarket, but otherwise your Asian grocer should have them. I feel like I’ve been living at my local Asian grocer lately!
I used this coconut sugar, but you could sub palm sugar or normal sugar. I bought this for the health benefits of coconut sugar (Mr google will tell you more if you are interested) however in hindsight, the ingredients on this are just listed as coconut and sugar, so I’m not sure if this is a lost-in-translation-thing and it isn’t the actual healthy version of coconut sugar. Nevertheless, it’s delicious and has great caramel-like flavours.
If you can seek out Asian chives (aka Chinese chives or koo chives) for this, cut them into batons about 3-4 cm long and you will get a more authentic tasting pad thai. Asian chives are much more garlicky than normal chives and they are delicious! I became obsessed with them when we were living in Singapore. If you can’t find them at your Asian grocer (there are those words again) then substitute a smaller amount of the greener parts of spring onions.
You won’t need many prawns for this, so I just used some frozen peeled prawns which I defrosted beforehand. By all means use some fresh ones which you’ve peeled yourself.
LITTLE BOWLS OMG! Ok, so technically you throw some of these items into the wok at the same time so they don’t need to be separated out, however when you are stir frying or using the wok, you do generally need to have everything prepped and ready to go beforehand. This is where some individual bowls really do come in handy.
I like to set aside a small portion of the peanuts, bean sprouts and chives to use as a garnish on top of each serve.
Prepare the konjac noodles as per the packet instructions. The ones that I used just needed a minute in some boiling water before draining and chucking into the wok.
The cooking process will be quite quick for this dish and you will need to keep it moving to distribute the sauce and ensure nothing sticks. A wok is not mandatory, a large frying pan will do the job too.
To serve, portion into bowls and top with the fried shallots and the bean sprouts, peanuts and chives that you set aside.
Because this is a lighter version of Pad thai, I think this is absolutely perfect for lunch, although I’d totes eat it for dinner too. Nommy :)
Lighter Pad Thai with Konjac Noodles
Ingredients – Serves 2
- 1 tbs of roasted and crushed peanuts
- ½ cup of Asian chives which have been chopped into batons
- ⅓ cup of bean sprouts
- 3 tbs of fish sauce
- 3 tbs of freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tsp of grated coconut sugar, alternatively use palm sugar or raw sugar
- 1 tbs of neutral oil like rice bran oil
- 1 skinless chicken thigh, cut into bite sized strips
- ¼ tsp of ground white pepper
- 50g of raw and peeled prawns, approximately ½ a cup
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1 x 250g pack of konjac noodles
- ½ cup of fried tofu cubes which have been cut in half
- 1 tbs of fried shallots
- Set aside a pinch of the crushed peanuts and chives plus a small amount of the bean sprouts to use as a garnish later. Then prepare the rest of the ingredients by completing any chopping and portioning required and setting them aside in bowls within easy reach of the wok.
- To make the sauce, whisk together the fish sauce, lime juice and sugar until most of the sugar has dissolved and then set aside near the wok.
- Heat the oil in a wok over medium high heat. Once smoking, add the chicken first and cook it till mostly done, adding the pepper as it cooks.
- Next, add in the prawns and egg and stir together well, breaking up the egg as it cooks.
- Meanwhile, prepare the noodles as per the packet instructions. The brand that I used simply needed to be covered in boiling water for a minute and then drained.
- Once the noodles are cooked, add them to the pan with the sauce, the rest of the bean sprouts, chives and tofu. Toss quickly, coating all of the ingredients in the sauce and mixing together well. Ensure that the sauce has boiled and all of the elements are cooked and hot. This should only take a couple of minutes of tossing to achieve. Toss through the peanuts just before removing from the heat.
- To serve, portion into bowls and top with the fried shallots and the bean sprouts, peanuts and chives that have been set aside.
- Best eaten as soon as made.