food to glow

feel good food that's good for you

pad thai crepe // food to glowYou are not going mad. Yes, you have seen this before. I posted this recipe in September of last year. But it is so delicious that I am reprising it for a competition sponsored by Destinology, a luxury travel firm here in the UK. The idea of the challenge is to create a twist on a national recipe – to reimagine it. And as I already do that on a fairly regular basis I thought this one would fit the bill nicely.

My recipe twist is a healthy deconstruction of the popular Thai street food dish, Pad Thai. In the West you will find it on any Thai restaurant menu, but I understand that it is really just a food cart meal in Thailand itself. Thai foodies are a bit bemused at Thai restaurants in Western countries being judged by their iterations of Pad Thai. I guess when pretty much everything one eats in Thailand is knock-out amazing the noodle dish Pad Thai must seem a bit pedestrian.

Not to me though.

An authentic Pad Thai is tangle of rice noodles, tofu, sprouts, shallots and aromatics. And quite a lot of oil and sodium. I LOVE Pad Thai but when making it for us at home I take out ingredients that contribute to it being less than healthy. So, out goes the heavy-handed fish sauce, the salted radishes and anchovies, and a lot of the cooking oil. In the West we typically include strips of cooked egg and sometimes a spicy peanut sauce (satay). Although these aren’t strictly authentic they are commonplace enough – because they are so delicious!

vegetables for healthy pad thai // food to glow

vegetables for healthy pad thai // food to glow

My healthier and more vegetable-filled version uses lower GL brown rice noodles (and a lot less of them too), radish sprouts (instead of salted and sugared preserved radish), a heavy hand with the shredded raw vegetables as kind of noodle-alikes, and I mix it in a sour and slightly sweetened tamarind sauce. Plus some chilli and peanuts, of course. All of this is laid over a flat omelette shot through with caramelised shallots. The emphasis here is on the vegetables rather than the noodles, and to be honest we don’t miss the noodles one bit. All of the taste that you want is here, and none of the trouser-stretching simple carbohydrates.

Enough chit chat. Here’s that recipe. Again.

pad thai crepe omelettes // food to glow

Pad Thai Open-Faced Omelette

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

If you don’t have the brown rice noodles, use buckwheat soba noodles, regular rice noodles, vermicelli or no noodles at all: the tangy, sauce-soaked vegetables may be all the topping you need. And vegans, I haven’t forgotten you: swap the omelet for a socca (chickpea pancake) or dosa. For both recipes keep the pancakes plain and unflavoured.

Handful of raw almonds OR finely chopped roasted almonds or peanuts

Pad Thai Sauce

1 tbsp tamarind paste*

1 tbsp tamari sauce, soy sauce or coconut aminos

1 tbsp lime juice

1 ½ tsp maple syrup or date syrup or jaggery

A few grinds of fresh black pepper

1 tbsp water


1 carrot

1 small courgette/zucchini/summer squash

3 inch piece of mooli/white radish

Handful of radishes (If you don’t want to use a mooli, just use more radish)

100g plain or smoked tofu (optional – I didn’t in these images), pressed of liquid

75g brown rice noodles OR white rice noodles, vermicelli or even spaghetti

1 tbsp (divided) coconut oil or rapeseed oil

4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced (or 1/2 small onion)

4 eggs

pinch of salt and sugar

Handful of baby spinach or other small, soft leaves (I used chard)

4 spring onions/scallions, sliced on the diagonal

Good handful each of coriander and mint

1 red chilli (optional), sliced

Radish sprouts or bean sprouts

* increase the lime juice and maple syrup if you don’t have tamarind paste


1. If using whole almonds, roast in a 180C/350F oven for 8 minutes. Cool then tumble into small pieces in a food processor or similar (or chop very finely). Set aside.

2. Whisk together the Pad Thai sauce ingredients; set aside.DSC_0021

3. Take the carrot, courgette and mooli and either use a spiraliser to make noodles, use a julienne peeler, mandoline, or slice very thinly. Slice the radish into thin discs. Dice the tofu, if using. Set aside.

4. Cook the rice noodles in plenty of boiling water until just done. Mine were ready in eight minutes. Cool slightly in a sieve then pop the noodles back in the pan and douse with most of the Pad Thai sauce. If using just vegetables, toss the sauce through these.

eggs image by food to glow5. Now, for the omelet that thinks it is a crepe. Heat a small sauté pan, adding half of the oil. Chuck in half of the sliced shallots and sauté until golden, stirring frequently. Whisk the eggs, adding the seasoning; pour into the pan, swirling to cover. Let this cook on a low-medium heat until just cooked through – pop on a lid if you like to speed up the cooking. You may like to flash this under a hot grill if your eggs are a bit large or your pan is quite small (ie, the egg coverage is thick). Upend the crepe into a serving plate. Carry on and make the next crepe.

PicMonkey Collage

6. Once the crepes are done, grab half of the saucey noodles and lay them over the crepes, then lay over the vegetables, herbs, spring onion, chillies, chopped almonds and radish sprouts. Pour over any remaining sauce and serve immediately.pad thai crepes by food to glowpad thai crepes by food to glow

Party Time: You can make this as a party dish by preparing multiple crepes (make ahead if you like and gently reheat in a microwave or steamer until barely warm), overlapping them on a long platter and covering with an appropriately increased amount of toppings. These are good garnished with stir-fried firm tofu pieces. To make this more authentic, add some dried shrimps too.




33 thoughts on “Pad Thai Open-Faced Omelette – A Healthy Reimagining Of A Favourite National Dish

  1. kathyh says:

    Great idea, sounds really delicious 🙂

  2. What a fab idea, I’ll be trying that one out!

  3. Fabsdeal says:

    Nice and informative post!

  4. Jackie armstrong says:

    Do love a omelette but this looks lush and love the idea of all the healthy stuff, looks very mouth watering. Was nice to see you the other day

  5. nochefhere says:

    Looks very tasty and it’s a great way to spice up breakfast (or any meal for the matter). Thanks for sharing!

  6. Deena Kakaya says:

    Pad Thai is one of my absolute fave dishes and is the only reason I agreed to go to wagamama with the girls recently, ( I don’t normally go for chain restaurants with uncomfortable seats). Never had it like this, looks utterly scrummy x

    1. I think it’s pretty original (saying this to the girl with *everything* original!). I haven’t been to wagamama in years. Had the worst meal ever at one outside of Glasgow. We suspect chefs had had a falling out and quit that day. Truly! It was chaos and terrible food. I’m glad you toughed out the benches for your boy. Gotta have those noodles!

      1. Deena Kakaya says:

        Ha, oh you are so sweet. You know that I am a big fan of all your gorgeous and clever recipes. Did you complain about your experience that day? Please say yes 😉 x

  7. Sofia Häger says:

    I wish you could just cook for me every day! Everything looks delicious!

  8. Simply superb. Looks so colourful and gorgeous. (Y)

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Aruna 🙂

  9. jenniegadsby says:

    I love the idea of an omelette that thinks its a crepe- a great idea for a meal base

    1. It has so many possibilities, doesn’t it?

  10. shedamel says:

    Yum, this looks absolutely fantastic. Am going to try it with GF tweaks (i.e. the rice noodle suggestion).

    Mel at mothersheeporganics

    1. Let me know how you like it.I hope you do! It’s a fun dish to make and eat. Not first date food, if you know what I mean!

  11. Definitely worth a second post. Love it.

    1. Thanks, Tracey!

  12. lizzygoodthings says:

    Fabulous! And best wishes with the comp!

  13. What a wonderful combination!

  14. Yummy, I loved this first time round, but a reminder is always welcome! Good luck in the competition 🙂

    1. Thanks Seonaid. You looked lovely as usual last night. And I survived the evening, happily. We had a good, chatty table. Hope you enjoyed the Burns Night ball. 🙂 Fantastic speakers/racounteurs.

  15. This is a really beautiful dish. I’m glad you brought it back, because this needs to be in my repertoire and I had forgotten about it!

    1. Thanks so much, Katie! It’s long lightness is more for warmer weather perhaps, but we love it.

  16. Sơn says:

    yumy 🙂

  17. ladyredspecs says:

    My local thai cafe serves their Pad Thai encased in a thin web of omlette and it’s delicious!

    1. Ooh, I feel clever that am doing something similar!

  18. Danika Maia says:

    Ok this is like everything I love about food all in one dish! Fresh, salty, spicy, and colorful! Wonderful.

    1. Thank you Danika. It’s got a lot going on, taste-wise and texture-wise. Not for those who like to play it safe 😉

  19. Pad Thai is my absolute favorite dish! This is a very interesting take on it, cannot wait to try it!


  20. I would love to try this, looks so yummy and healthy too! Thanks for re-sharirng!

  21. What an inspiring idea ! Thank-you.

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