Pad Thai without noodles? I know it seems crazy. Pad means “noodle” in Thai after all. But after years of people sliding into my DMs for a pad thai recipe, I’ve realized what stresses out most non-Thai people is finding the right kind of rice noodles (tip: you want dried thin, flat rice noodles, usually labeled “rice sticks”). No need to worry, Pepper is here for you.
If you find yourself in such a situation, or you’re just looking for a lower-carb alternative to stir-fried noodles, using roasted Brussels sprouts produces that same chewy-tender texture with a different but equally delicious method. The secret is to halve the sprouts and roast them first, so they become crispy and browned. Then toss the sprouts with a sweet- tangy “pad thai” glaze at the end and garnish with the usual toppings you would find at a street vendor stall in Bangkok: bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, chile powder, and scallions. You could even toss in some dried shrimp if you like. You’ll never look at Brussels sprouts the same way again.
Reprinted from The Pepper Thai Cookbook. Copyright © 2021 by Vilailuck Teigen with Garrett Snyder. Photographs copyright © 2021 by Jenny Huang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.
½ cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground white pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons finely minced cilantro stems, plus cilantro leaves for garnish
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 pounds Brussels sprouts, stem ends trimmed, halved
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup bean sprouts
3 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup finely chopped salted roasted peanuts
1 teaspoon roasted chile powder, or to taste
+ lime wedges, for serving
An exclusive recipe from Pepper’s upcoming cookbook for Thai grilled chicken skewers with an incredible spicy-sweet dipping sauce!
Not like the caramel you put on ice cream—a savory Vietnamese sauce that reminds me of Japanese teriyaki.
Tender, chewy, perfectly salty noodles with a crispy bottom and lots of plump shrimp.