In this recipe, I will teach you how to make gluten free pad thai from scratch as well as share a homemade recipe for tamarind paste. As an added bonus, I made sure this recipe was gluten AND soy free!
Pad thai has got to be one of the best meals that’s quick, easy and oh so tasty! Many people ask me, is pad thai gluten free? It can be confusing because it’s usually made with rice noodles. However, pad thai recipes often call for soy sauce and most soy sauces contain gluten.
Instead of soy, this recipe calls for coconut aminos which is a gluten- and soy-free alternative to soy sauce. Coconut aminos looks and tastes pretty much identical to soy sauce but is made from the fermented sap of coconut palm.
Why is soy bad for you?
Whether soy is good or bad for you is a bit of a hot topic. Some people claim it offers health benefits, while others warn you to cut it from your diet. Let’s cut through the controversy and look at the facts.
The vast majority of soy produced in North America is genetically modified, and while the debate around the health and safety of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, is just as heated, the truth is science needs a bit more time to be sure. Long-term studies are still ongoing into how GMOs may impact humans, or how much you can have before they may negatively affect your health.
When talking about GMO soy, specifically, we do know that some products have left over herbicide residue and contain less nutritional benefits than those made from organic soybeans.
So what are the dangers of soy?
Soy contains anti-nutrients
Just like most grains and some legumes, soy contains proteins called lectins and phytates. These are called anti-nutrients or plant toxins. They are part of the plant’s natural defense systems. By binding to good vitamins and minerals like zinc, calcium, iron and magnesium, these anti-nutrients make them more difficult to absorb. This gives these plants a fighting chance against predators like insects, but make it more difficult for humans to reap the benefits of these crops.
They also muck about with your body’s response to leptin. This helps you gauge whether you are hungry and need more energy. Mostly, these proteins help trick your brain into thinking it’s still hungry, even when you’ve had enough more than enough calories. The more resistant you are to leptin, the more likely you are to run into trouble with insulin which can lead you down a whole path of problems.
Soy may mess with your thyroid
Soy has these compounds called goitrogens. Goitrogens make it harder for the thyroid to produce the hormones you need to metabolize food. In other words, these goitrogens get in the way of your body turning food into the fuel it needs. They also make it harder for the thyroid to use iodine in the right way, which may cause hypothyroid problems.
It seems more and more people, especially women, have thyroid problems. If you do, you’ve likely heard to stay away from goitrogens found in some vegetable, fruits, starchy-plants, and all things soy-based.
Soy and hormones
Soy products are the leading source of isoflavones, or plant estrogens, in our diet. This means that when you ingest them, your estrogen levels increase and your testosterone levels decrease. Playing around with these hormone levels has a big impact on both men and women.
For men, more estrogen can mean a bigger spare tire around the waist, a lower sex drive, loss of energy and stamina, and potentially man boobs.
Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean more estrogen is okay. It could mess with your menstruation, impact your fertility, and could even increase your chances of getting breast cancer.
Recipe for tamarind paste
For this recipe, we actually bought full on fresh, dried tamarind. Whoa!! They look like little poop nuggets…see?
Anyways, I digress! The amount of tamarind paste this recipe calls for is a touch more than what you’d need if you purchased the store-bought stuff because we’re using actual tamarind. Store bought tamarind paste can be very concentrated and strong – so I wanted to make sure to give you a head’s up on this. If using store-bought tamarind paste, you may want to consider putting a little bit less in.
Making tamarind paste from dried tamarind is super easy. All you have to do is de-shell the tamarind, put them all in about 2 cups of warm water, squish them around with your hands until it starts getting thicker, and then put it through a fine strainer. That’s it!
Let me know what you think about this healthy gluten free pad thai recipe and check out all of my other recipes!
Gluten free soy free pad thai recipe
- 6 Chicken breasts
- 450 g Rice noodles
- 6 Eggs
- 1 tbsp Coconut oil
- 1 bunch Green onions
- 340 g Bean sprouts
- 1 bunch Fresh cilantro
- 2 limes
- 1/2 cup Fresh tamarind paste See directions
- 1/4 cup Fish sauce
- 1/4 cup coconut aminos
- 2 tbsp Lime juice
- 1 tsp yai's thai chili garlic sauce
- 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
- 1/4 cup Crunchy peanut butter
- To make the tamarind paste, de-shell the tamarind and put them all in 2 cups warm water. Squish them around with your hands until it starts getting thicker and then put it through a fine strainer to remove pulp and seeds
- Bake your chicken breasts at 350’F for 30 minutes, set aside
- While your chicken is baking, make the sauce by mixing everything together in a bowl
- Then scramble your 6 eggs in a pan with coconut oil and set aside
- Put your noodles on to boil
- While your noodles are boiling. slice up your chicken breast, green onions and cilantro
- When your noodles are done, toss them back in the pot and mix in the sauce, chicken, scrambled eggs, green onions, cilantro and bean sprouts
- Garnish with fresh cilantro and lime wedges
Tara Klippert is a Registered Health and Nutrition Counselor and holds a diploma in Holistic Nutrition and Health Coaching. Tara helps people clear up cystic acne, balance hormones and blood sugar + improve anxiety and gut health NATURALLY with food.