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Pad Thai Calories: how healthy is Pad Thai?

Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle from Thailand that is known far and wide across the world. The dish itself probably needs no further introduction. However, do you know how many calories would a serving of Pad Thai noodles have? We are talking about those authentic ones with really rich taste. Previously we touched on the topic of Pad Kee Mao calories. Now, find out more about Pad Thai calories in this article.

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Calories breakdown

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A serving of Pad Thai with its full ingredients and seasoning can have as high as 600 to 700 calories! That is higher than a serving of Big Mac! This might make you wonder what makes Pad Thai such a high-calorie dish? The answer lies within Pad Thai’s ingredients and seasoning which give it such a rich taste.

Pad Thai typically uses a special type of noodles called Chan noodle which has high calories count of 350 calories per 100g. This is a lot higher than other types of noodles. However, at the same time, it has a very unique chewy texture that makes it the top choice for this dish. Other ingredients calorie count breakdown is below:

  • Protein: 128 calories
  • Vegetable: 164 calories
  • Seasoning/sauces: 300 calories
  • Cooking oil: 240 calories

Noodles and other ingredients total up to ~1360 calories for 2 people’s servings. So it will be around 600-700 calories per 1 person serving.

As you can see, apart from the noodles themselves, Pad Thai is cooked with a lot of oil (for the stir-frying process). Also, its seasoning and sauce also contain high calories count due to palm sugar.

Are you a fan of strong taste and fragrant dishes? check out our comparison between Pad Thai vs. Pad Kee Mao!

If you are not a fan of oil or calories then consider other soup noodles from Thailand such as Boat noodles or Tom Yum noodles!

Can you reduce calories in Pad Thai?

The answer is Yes. But you will need to give up some components that make Pad Thai unique. Shrimp variation of Pad Thai is the most common one throughout Thailand. However, you may sometimes find other variations like Pad Thai with grilled pork, chicken, or giant river prawn. Some of these variations may have higher calorie count than normal Shrimp Pad Thai.

Changing noodles from Chan noodles to vermicelli can change the calorie count from 350 calories to 160 calories per 100g of serving. Recently, we have also seen noodle-less pad thai which adds ingredients like finely sliced green/sour mango instead of noodles. Green/unripe mango should have less than 60 calories per 100g! Pad Thai is typically served with a slice of lime for its sour taste – so green mangoes would be a good choice here.

Peanuts contribute to about 10% of Pad Thai’s total calorie count. Cutting peanuts removes some interesting taste and texture from the dish, but Pad Thai is still enjoyable without (also helpful to those who are allergic to peanuts). 

Another obvious way to reduce calories in your Pad Thai is to cut on oil and sugar. Keep in mind though, that this will impact the taste of the food directly.

In this scenario, if we swap out noodles for raw mango and cut out peanuts, a serving of Pad Thai may have as low as 300 to 400 calories without giving up on any other ingredients and seasoning!

Should you try Pad Thai given its calorie count?

Pad Thai is a world-famous dish but you will need to watch out for how much you eat it as there is a wide range of ingredients that make up for that rich and complex taste, and they do have calorie count.

If you are health conscious then consider other Thai stir-fried noodles or soup versions.

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