Peanut Pad Thai with Kelp Noodles

A few weeks ago, I went on a raw food kick. I wanted to experiment with eating completely raw food for a week. Unfortunately, it only took about 10 hours before I was prying open a can of black beans to add extra calories. I’m sure a raw food diet has its merits, but given the number of calories I need to sustain my endurance runs and high metabolism, there just aren’t enough bananas on the planet to make it sustainable for me.

Nevertheless, my short-lived raw food experiment introduced me to a few new foods that I had never cooked with before. One of them was kelp noodles. These clear, tasteless noodles are made from raw kelp (seaweed, but they don’t taste fishy). Kelp noodles are a great ingredient to experiment with, especially if you’re looking to lose weight since they have virtually no calories. But this recipe works just as well with more common rice noodles or whole wheat pasta.

Regardless of which type of noodle you use, this sauce is incredible. It’s creamy, spicy, tangy, and delicious. Best of all, the entire dinner takes under 15 minutes to prepare: simply cook the noodles, blend the sauce, and serve.


Makes 2-3 servings


  • ½ cup light coconut milk
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 2 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 green onion
  • 1 package noodles (kelp, rice, whole wheat)
  • 1 cup shredded carrot
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 2 tablespoons basil, thinly-sliced

kelp noodle pad thai

Step One

Begin cooking the noodles according to package instructions. If using kelp noodles, simply soak them in warm water for several minutes.

Meanwhile, add everything from the first list (coconut milk – green onion) into a blender to make the sauce. Once everything is well-combined, give the sauce a taste and adjust any ingredients as needed.

Step Two

Drain the noodles and return them to the pan. Then, pour in 90% of the sauce and toss to coat. In two separate bowls, mix the carrots and cabbage with the remaining sauce. Plate all the ingredients, sprinkle with lime juice and garnish with sliced basil.

Step Three (Optional)

Cook some tofu and coat with agave garlic sauce as described in my article: How to Cook Tofu.

kelp pad thai


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  1. Hey;) just wanted to let ya know that a raw food lifestyle can certainly be maintained even if you have high caloric needs!!
    My sister in law is a personal trainer and motivational speaker and ride her bike across Canada on a completely raw vegan diet. She then came home and was the first woman to complete three back to back iron man competitions!! All still totally raw;)) she is pretty amazing to say the least. Her name is Wanetta beal. She had a blog called riding raw while she was riding across Canada if you’re interested in checking her out;)
    Love your recipes btw;) I have a histamine intolerance and can’t eat many many foods but finding that your recipes are nutritionally packed and easy enough for me to alter! Thanks! Jeannie

    • Hey Jeannie, Yeah… I had a feeling I was looking for trouble by saying I couldn’t get enough calories. I know it’s possible. The problem is, you have to eat a LOT of fruit or a lot of fat, and I just wasn’t that motivated – I’m happy enough on my plant-based, one ingredient diet. 🙂

      I looked up your sister-in-law and watched a Shaw TV video on her, she has a fantastic story. Very inspiring!

  2. Love reading about the various diets and kicks you go through:)

    Not sure if I could eat raw for one meal. lol Kelp sounds interesting. I’m sure you can’t say much about hte taste but hey with such calories, I might have to take a bite or two of some to see how it tastes.

    Your cooking presentation and photography skills are outstanding.

    • Thanks, Vishnu! Well, the kelp noodles are interesting. They’re clear and completely tasteless, with a nice “snap” to them, almost like ‘solid’ water, lol.

      We’re gonna have to hang out soon!

  3. Kelp noodles are amazing! I discovered them a while back and have been obsessed ever since. This is a wicked looking recipe to try them with. They are also a great way to top off pretty much any salad and get a nice crunch to them!

    • Ooh, I hadn’t thought of that. That was my first time experimenting with kelp noodles so I’m sure there’s much more that can be done with them!

  4. I made this tonight for my family and we loved it so much, there wasn’t any leftovers! Thanks for the amazing recipe, I’m trying to add more raw/ vegetarian/ vegan meals into our rotation. The best thing is, is that you can prep ahead and throw it together on a busy weekday.

  5. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

    I just got introduced to Kelp Noodles when I stumbled across it at Whole Foods. I’ve had them prepared as a salad and they were yummy and crunchy. This is the second time preparing them but this time it was cooked and I followed your recipe. I LOVE pad thai! I soaked the kelp noodles in warm water for half an hour and made the sauce. (I didn’t have any ginger on hand but it still tasted yummy) I wasn’t sure if you were supposed to turn the pan on but I put it on low heat and allowed the kelp noodles to simmer in the sauce. It lost its springy texture and became soft and flat. Unfortunately, when I took a bite, it ended up tasting awful so I don’t know where I went wrong? The kelp noodles were extremely bitter, sour and hard to eat. I was thinking maybe I wasn’t supposed to use any heat but on the packaging there is a recipe for stir fry kelp noodles so I’m going to assume my preparation was safe. Any ideas on why mine turned out horrible? Thank you! I would love to retry it again.

    • Hi Linda, sorry about your experiences with kelp noodles! Honestly, despite the fact that I posted this recipe, I am not a huge fan of kelp noodles. You probably didn’t do anything wrong, that may just be how kelp noodles are supposed to taste. I was a bit taken back by their texture and lack of flavor as well. Although, mine were simply tasteless not necessarily sour, but they are were hard to eat for me as well. You could try again? Maybe a different brand? And if the outcome is the same, rice noodles might work even better in this recipe.

  6. Hi, Andrew, I was just searching for another peanut sauce you made & did find (#17. Veggies with an Asian Peanut Sauce from 21 Healthy One Ingredient Diet Snack Ideas), but first I came across this recipe! I’m so glad I did, as I somehow missed this recipe before, & I look forward to enjoying this sauce soon – it sounds phenomenal!

    • Oh yes! This is one of the first recipes I posted and it’s really good (especially the sauce, I find kelp noodles a bit strange…) 😀

  7. I recently came across your website and I love it! I’ve been a vegetarian for years but am trying to go more of the vegan route and I feel very inspired by your recipes. This was the first one I tried and the sauce was amazing!! (Only substitution was that I used juice from a grapefruit since I didn’t have limes). Also, I served the sauce over shiritaki noodles, which is another awesome super low calorie noodle option…you could always try that instead of the kelp noodles.

  8. Hey! Stumbled across this looking for a tasty pad Thai peanut sauce for my kelp noodles.

    To make your noodles…edible, just rinse them in a bowl, then add warm/hot water and some lemon juice and massage the noodles a bit. The lemon helps break them down a touch and softens them – amazing!

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