An IBS-friendly twist on the Thai classic, this Low FODMAP Pad Thai with Shrimp offers a filling meal-in-one-bowl that’s packed with flavor!
Thai food holds a special place in my heart. While completing my dietetic internship in Madison, I discovered a little place in my neighborhood called Sa-Bai Thong. It introduced me to the world of flavorful Thai cuisine and quickly became my go-to restaurant while living in Madison.
After finishing my internship and moving away, I quickly started to miss my Thai food fix. So, I decided I needed to learn the art of Thai cooking. Luckily, Sawatdee in the Twin Cities offered a series of Thai cooking classes led by the founder, Supenn Harrison.
One of the things I love most about Thai cuisine is the layering of multiple flavors. As I learned, a delicious Thai dish will have the perfect balance of sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors. This harmony is achieved by adding different staple ingredients like kaffir lime leaves, galangal, fish sauce, tamarind paste and ALLLL the chili peppers.
In addition to curries, spring rolls, and Tom Yum Soup, we learned to make arguably the most popular American Thai dish, Pad Thai. Based on the recipe we learned to make in class, I have made several modifications to make a delicious Low FODMAP Pad Thai with Shrimp. Despite these modifications (namely removing FODMAP-containing onions and garlic), this recipe is still packed with the layers of Thai flavor that I love.
To make 4 servings of this low FODMAP Pad Thai, add these ingredients to your grocery list:
- Rice noodles – 8 ounces
- Garlic-infused oil – 3 tablespoons
- Uncooked shrimp – 1 pound, peeled and deveined
- Red bell pepper – ½ medium (approximately ½ cup)
- Fish sauce – 1 tablespoon + more to taste (up to ¼ cup total)
- Granulated sugar – ¼ cup
- Rice vinegar – 2 tablespoons
- Ground paprika – 1 tablespoon
- Egg – 1 large
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce (or tamari) – 2 teaspoons
- Green onion tops (green parts only) – ¼ cup
- Bean sprouts – 1 cup
Optional Garnishes: 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, chopped fresh cilantro
Low FODMAP notes
Garlic-infused oil is a popular way to add low FODMAP garlic flavor on the low FODMAP diet. My current favorite is Colavita Roasted Garlic Olive Oil (technically a garlic-flavored oil) that Monash University has confirmed to be low FODMAP. Learn more about why garlic-infused oil is okay in my Low FODMAP Garlic and Onion Substitutes post.
Red bell pepper
is a FODMAP-free food. 2022 Update: Monash University retested red bell pepper and found it to contain FODMAPs. A low FODMAP serving of red bell pepper is now considered to be ⅓ cup or 43 grams. Larger servings contain moderate to high amounts of excess fructose. Peppers and chili peppers also contain capsaicin, which can be a non-FODMAP trigger for some people. Avoid if you suspect spicy food is an issue.
Fish sauce is a common condiment used in Southeast Asian cooking. The low FODMAP serving is 1 tablespoon or 44 grams. Larger amounts contain moderate amounts of mannitol and GOS.
Soy sauce, or soya sauce, is low FODMAP in servings of 2 tablespoons or 42 grams. Soy sauce contains small amounts of wheat in levels that should be tolerated by most with IBS. If you require a gluten-free or wheat-free diet, tamari sauce is a suitable alternative.
To help prevent dishes from getting too salty, I often prefer to cook with the reduced-sodium versions. Sodium (or salt) is a mineral and does not impact FODMAP (carbohydrate) levels.
Green onion tops – the green part of green onions – are low in FODMAPs and should be tolerated by most on the low FODMAP diet. Avoid the white bulb, which is high in FODMAPs. Learn more → Low FODMAP Garlic and Onion Substitutes.
Bean sprouts contain minimal FODMAPs. Enjoy according to your appetite.
Notes for optional ingredients
Sesame seeds are low FODMAP in servings up to 1 tablespoon or 11 grams. Larger amounts contain higher amounts of fructans. Black sesame seeds have not specifically been tested. If concerned, consider testing-to-tolerance for a fun variation when symptoms are well managed.
To make this shrimp pad Thai, simply:
Step 1: Soak the rice noodles in hot water for 15 minutes (or cool water for 30 minutes). The noodles will soften but still be firm to touch. They will continue to cook and soften when added to the hot skillet. Drain and set aside
Step 2: Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and shrimp; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add noodles and bell pepper slices. Stir-fry until noodles are translucent, about 4 minutes more.
Step 3: Add fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and paprika. Stir until well mixed. Adjust flavor with additional fish sauce, if preferred.
Step 4: Create a well by pushing the noodle mixture to the sides of the skillet. Add the beaten egg into the well and allow to cook until the egg just starts to set, about 1 minute. Stir the cooked egg into the rest of the noodle mixture.
Step 5: Add soy sauce, green onions, and bean sprouts. Stir to mix.
Serve warm topped with optional sesame seeds and cilantro.
We each have unique nutritional needs. If you’re looking to add more food to this meal, consider adding a serving of:
Low FODMAP Fruit: Oranges and clementines are a couple of FODMAP-free fruits. Check the Monash FODMAP app for more options.
Change up the protein: Substitute the shrimp for cooked tofu, chicken, or pork.
Try tamarind paste: Tamarind paste is an ingredient commonly used in Thai cooking to add a unique sweet-sour flavor. It is low FODMAP in servings of a ½ tablespoon or 11 grams.
Add a little heat: If you tolerate spicy foods, consider adding chili pepper with the red bell pepper or sriracha (up to 1 teaspoon is low FODMAP) with the liquid ingredients.
- Low FODMAP Shrimp Stir Fry with Bell Peppers
- Low FODMAP Korean BBQ Tacos
- Low FODMAP Roasted Red Pepper Pasta
An IBS-friendly twist on the Thai classic, this low FODMAP Pad Thai with Shrimp offers a filling meal-in-one-bowl that’s packed with flavor!
- 8 ounces rice noodles
- 3 tablespoons garlic-infused olive oil
- 1 pound uncooked medium or large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced (approximately ½ cup)
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce + more, if preferred; I use Red Boat
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon ground paprika
- 1 large egg, whisked
- 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (or tamari)
- ¼ cup sliced green onion tops (green parts only)
- 1 cup fresh bean sprouts
Optional Garnishes: 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, chopped fresh cilantro
- Soak the rice noodles in hot water for 15 minutes (or cool water for 30 minutes). The noodles will soften but still be firm to touch. They will continue to cook and soften when added to the hot skillet. Drain and set aside
- Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil and shrimp; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add noodles and bell pepper slices. Stir-fry until noodles are translucent, about 4 minutes more.
- Add fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and paprika. Stir until well mixed. Adjust flavor with additional fish sauce, if preferred.
- Create a well by pushing the noodle mixture to the sides of the skillet. Add the beaten egg into the well and allow to cook until the egg just starts to set, about 1 minute. Stir the cooked egg into the rest of the noodle mixture.
- Add soy sauce, green onions, and bean sprouts. Stir to mix.
- Serve warm topped with optional sesame seeds and cilantro.
Low FODMAP Serving: One serving of this recipe uses low FODMAP amounts of ingredients. For more information on specific ingredients, please refer to the blog post or the Monash FODMAP app.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: Skillet
- Cuisine: Thai-Inspired
Keywords: seafood, pasta, rice noodles,