Substitutes for Rice Noodles in Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of those Thai dishes that is so easy to make, yet so hard to perfect. Most pad thai recipes are pretty similar, with the main ingredient being rice noodles. It’s normally a simple stir-fry with eggs, tamarind sauce, onion, chili, peanuts, and lime.

For those looking to cut down on carbs, there are a few substitutes for rice noodles in pad Thai that are just as yummy.

Fried Noodles

If you want to avoid the carbs in regular rice noodles, then fried noodles are the way to go! They are a great alternative to serve with any stir-fry or curry. Simply fry the noodles in a little oil until they start to become crunchy and brown, then mix into your curry for a nutty flavour. You could also try mixing them into a low-carb salad or making a low-carb borscht out of them!

Eggless Salad

Salads are known for being low in carbs, but most are packed with vegetables and grains. To make a low-carb pad Thai salad, simply mix into your pad thai the same amount of rice flour as you would rice noodles. This will help to bind the salad and make it less soggy.

You could also try serving your pad thai with an egg-free salad. Simply mix into your salad the same amount of corn starch or arrowroot powder that you would add to make the rice noodles sticky. This will help to keep the salad crunchy and fresh.

Bean thread noodles

Bean thread noodles are extremely similar in texture and taste to traditional rice noodles. They are made from mung beans and are good for you due to their high protein and fiber content. You can find bean thread noodles in Asian supermarkets and most major grocery stores.

Low carb bean sprouts

You can make a delicious, low-carb pad Thai out of bean sprouts to save on the calories and carbs in the main ingredients. Simply mix into your stir-fry the same amount of bean sprouts as you would rice noodles.

Low carb Singapore rice noodles

These low-carb noodles are made from jasmine rice and are gluten-free. Simply mix into your stir-fry the same amount of Singapore rice noodles as you would serve with the rice. They will add a great texture and flavor to your dish.

Courgette Noodles

Courgette (zucchini) noodles are a great substitute for those on a low-carb diet. They can be used in place of spaghetti and can be found in most major grocery stores.

Squash Noodles

The combination of zucchini, corn, and spices make these squash noodles a great substitute for spaghetti. Simply mix into your stir-fry the same amount of squash noodles as you would rice noodles.

While we’re on the topic of noodles, you can also try swapping out the rice noodles for egg-free ziti noodles. They are also available in most major grocery stores.

Baked Tofu

Baked tofu is a great substitution for fish sauce in many Thai dishes. Simply mix into your stir-fry the same amount of tofu as you would use for the fish sauce.

Fried tofu

Fried tofu is great to add texture and protein to any stir-fry. Just mix into your stir-fry the same amount of fried tofu as you would use for the protein.


There are a number of substitutions you can try if you want to cut down on the carbs in your pad Thai without sacrificing the flavor. From bean thread noodles to baked tofu, there’s something here for everyone. Keep in mind that these substitutes are bound to change the flavor of your dish, so you may want to play around with the recipe before serving it to your friends and family.