For the past week I've had a hankering for Pad Thai... and also WAY too many vegetables in my fridge... Along with a gorgeous slab of uncured, unsliced bacon.
I wanted to find a great way to prepare the bacon that has been taunting my husband and me, and so... Bacon Pad Thai!
For those of you who are counting calories or avoiding bacon because it is high in saturated fat, some clarification:
- Saturated fat is not your enemy, there are other fats you should be more concerned about
- Uncured bacon (without nitrates or nitrites) is a completely different food than your regular grocery store bacon
- Your body NEEDS fat more than it needs starches
- High cholesterol is NOT caused by high fat foods... if you're worried about this, drop me a note and I'll be happy to send you my cholesterol ratios sheet so you can assess your REAL risk.
OK... so now that we're getting you to reconcile with bacon, let's get to the recipe:
(***indicates substitution ideas for Ketogenic and/or Paleo variations)
- 8 oz rice noodles *** for a Keto/Paleo version do 2 medium zucchinis, spiralized
- 1 slab of uncured, unsliced bacon (about 1 lb) cut in 1/2" cubes *** Alternatively, use 1 lb of chicken breast for a traditional Pad Thai. If you skip the bacon, you'll need 2-3 TBSP of butter or coconut oil.
- 4 scallions, finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, cut into 1-1/2"strips
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into matchstick slices
- 2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" slices on a bias so they're pretty
- 4 eggs -- preferably from happy, free-grazing chickens
- 1 large portobello mushroom cap, cut into bite-sized chunks
- 1 cup bean sprouts *** or your favorite green sprouts for Paleo
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar *** or apple cider vinegar for Paleo
- 2-3 Tbsp fish sauce
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes OR ground black pepper for a milder taste
- 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup (Pad Thai is always on the sweet side, and this is Vermont Pad Thai after all) *** Omit for Keto. You could try 2-3 drops stevia.
- Sea salt to taste (will depend on the saltiness of your pork -- roughly around 1-3 tsp)
- 2-3 Tbsp organic peanuts, chopped *** Omit for Paleo
- 1 lime cut into wedges
If using rice noodles, set a large pot of water to boil. Add noodles to boiling water and cook for 6 minutes. Stir a couple times to ensure noodles don't stick. Drain and return noodles to the pot. Cover with cold water to stop cooking process and also keep noodles from sticking until they're ready to be added to the Pad Thai.
Place a wok or LARGE pan on medium high heat, as your pan is warming add your bacon to the pan. (If you're doing chicken Pad Thai, melt your butter/oil over medium heat and add your chicken.) Allow the meat to gently cook, tossing for 2-3 minutes.
Add the scallions, peppers, celery and carrots, and sauté covered for 4-5 minutes until the veggies are turning translucent and your meat is looking cooked.
Crack all 4 eggs into a bowl (so you can remove any bits of eggshell that you may lose) and add to the pan/wok. Toss well to break up the eggs and distribute through the vegetables. Cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Toss again and scrape the bottom of the pan until the eggs are completely cooked.
Add the noodles, mushrooms, bean sprouts, vinegar, fish sauce, salt, pepper and maple syrup (if using). Toss well to combine and get everything coated in the little bit of liquid you have --you'll notice it's not a lot of liquid for the volume of food in the pan, so toss well. Turn heat to medium-low and cover for about 1-2 minutes so the noodles warm up again, and the mushrooms and sprouts cook slightly.
Turn off the heat and serve immediately. Top with a handful of crushed peanuts. Serve with a lime wedge to sprinkle on top.