This Pad Thai Salad Is A Lighter Version Of The Takeout Classic

mbg Associate Editor By Jamie Schneider
mbg Associate Editor
Jamie Schneider is the Associate Editor at mindbodygreen, covering beauty and health. She has a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan, and her work has appeared in Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
This Pad Thai Salad Is A Lighter Version Of The Takeout Classic
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Thai food lovers rejoice: There's a lighter, colorful version of a Thai takeout classic. This dish from executive chef Steven Mangleshot's Wagamama: Feed Your Soul offers that same aromatic flavor with a nutritious edge.

Rather than the traditional rice noodles, Mangleshot uses lettuce and pickled vegetables for a meal that's packed with fiber and protein. Plus, we know that pickled vegetables are a great way to get in your fermented foods and probiotics—both of which are great for gut health.

While this dish focuses on chicken as the main source of protein, smoked or marinated tofu would also work well as a vegan alternative. No matter what eating plan you follow, this salad will be sure to make it to the top of your favorites list.

Pad Thai Salad


  • 2 boneless and skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces (or tofu, for a vegan option)
  • ½ carrot, peeled and grated 
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh beets, grated 
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1½ cups mixed salad leaves 
  • 5 baby plum tomatoes, halved
  • 5½ oz. cooked peeled shrimp (optional for vegan recipe) 
  • 1 cup raw snow peas, finely sliced 
  • 3½ fl. oz. Nuoc Cham Dressing (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons crispy fried onions, to garnish 
  • 2 heaping tablespoons unsalted peanuts, roughly chopped, to garnish 

Chicken (Or Tofu) Marinade Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed 
  • 1 teaspoon superfine sugar

Pickling Liquor Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
  • juice of ½ lime
  • 1 tablespoon superfine sugar 
  • pinch of sea salt 

Nuoc Cham Dressing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon shichimi
  • 2 tablespoons Spicy Vinegar


  1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the chicken, mixing to coat well. Cover and place in the refrigerator to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Place a saucepan over low heat and add all the pickling liquor ingredients with 3 tablespoons of water. Heat and stir until the sugar and salt have dissolved, then adjust the flavoring to taste. Transfer to a large, heatproof bowl or jar and set aside to cool.
  3. Once cool, add the carrot, red onion, and beets and stir to mix well, then set aside for at least 10 minutes, as the longer the pickle is left, the more intense the flavor becomes. When ready to serve, drain the pickling liquid.
  4. Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the marinated chicken and stir-fry until browned all over and continue to cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then set aside. 
  5. Place the salad leaves in a large mixing bowl, add the pickled vegetables, and stir through with the plum tomatoes, chicken, shrimp, and snow peas. 
  6. Drizzle over the Nuoc Cham Dressing, then divide the salad between two serving plates, top with the crispy fried onions and chopped peanuts, and serve.

Recipe excerpted from Wagamama: Feed Your Soul by Steven Mangleshot, 2019. Reprinted with permission from Kyle Books, an imprint of Octopus Books.

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