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Food 52’s Healthiest: Pad Thai Redux

Pad Thai Redux
Photo: James Ransom for

Every Tuesday, we scan Food52′s delectable menu of recipes for the healthiest picks they’ve got—bringing you seasonal, scrumptious fare that’s really good for you.

Food52This healthy take on the most classic take-out dish is colorful, delicious, and chock full of nutrients.  Although it still features traditional rice noodles, vegetables take center stage—like baby bok choy, watercress, snow peas, and bell peppers—packing the dish with vitamins and antioxidants.

Pad Thai Redux
Serves 4

4 ounces rice noodles
2 tablespoons neutral oil (like grapeseed or canola)
1 large garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced
2 bell peppers (whatever color you like), seeded, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 baby bok choy, thinly sliced
1 handful snow peas, ends trimmed, thinly sliced lengthwise
Coarse salt
2 handfuls watercress, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 lime, halved
1 handful mint leaves, roughly chopped
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced (white and light green parts only)
1 handful peanuts, roughly chopped
1/2 green jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
Fish sauce for serving (optional)

1. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl and cover with nearly-boiling water. Let them sit until just softened, about 10 minutes. Drain them, cut them up a bit with scissors if they’re very long and set them aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Add the garlic and cook until it’s just fragrant, only about 30 seconds. Add the peppers and cook, stirring a bit, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bok choy and the snow peas and cook until they begin to soften a bit too, just another minute or 2. Season the vegetables with a large pinch of salt and then stir in the reserved noodles and then fold in the watercress.

3. Turn off the heat and stir in the toasted sesame oil and another pinch of salt while you’re at it. Squeeze all the juice from the lime over the pad thai and stir to combine. Serve immediately with the herbs, scallions, peanuts and jalapeño. If you’re not totally vegan, serve with a splash of fish sauce too.

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