The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

I tested lots of pumpkin and sweet potato recipes last month. There was pumpkin risotto, sweet potato fries, and pumpkin brownies, just to name a few. The boys finally put their feet down and demanded an end to it. The other night at dinner they delicately told me enough was enough. “Gross, not another orange dinner thingie!” Kids can be so subtle.

Well, I can certainly read between the lines, I got the message loud and clear. Looking back it must have been the pumpkin turkey meatballs that put things over the top. For the record, I thought they had potential. I might even post about it next year at Thanksgiving time. But after a month of gourds and potatoes even I needed a break from it. I took a vote to see what the family might want to try for a change of pace. It was unanimous – they all wanted shrimp.

I was happy to hear it because I had some shrimp in the freezer and rice noodles in the pantry. I confess this recipe came straight off the package of rice noodles (with minor adjustments). Surprisingly, it wasn’t half bad, except Brian and I had to break out the hot sauce since it was lacking in the spice department. In spite of this, it seemed to hit the right note for the kids and, more importantly, it wasn’t orange.

Un-spicy Shrimp Pad Thai (very kid-friendly!)


1 package rice noodles

1/3-cup vinegar

1/3-cup sugar

1/3-cup fish sauce

2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 Tbsp fresh limejuice

1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp vegetable oil or peanut oil, divided

2 eggs, beaten

1 bunch scallion, chopped into small rounds, reserve some for garnish

1 lb small or medium sized shrimp, peeled and de-veined



1/2 cup crushed salted peanuts

1/2 cup cucumbers, seeded and cut into matchsticks

Reserved scallions

Lime wedges

Handful of cilantro, rough chopped




Soak rice noodles according to package directions and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix the vinegar, sugar, fish sauce, Worcestershire, limejuice, and soy sauce until the sugar is dissolved. Set sauce aside.

In a large skillet heat one tablespoon of oil on high heat. Add the eggs and swirl them a bit around the pan. Let the eggs cook but make sure they don’t brown. Remove the eggs from skillet, cut into small pieces and set aside.

Wipe out the skillet and add the remaining oil and heat over medium-high heat. Add scallions and cook for about two minutes until softened, then add the shrimp. Cook an additional 2-3 minutes just until shrimp are pink. Remove from skillet and set aside.


Add the noodles and sauce to the skill and coat the noodles well. Then add the shrimp, scallions and eggs back to the skillet and toss to combine.

Place in bowls and top with nuts, cucumbers, scallions, lime and cilantro. Serve with chopsticks!

IMG_6969 IMG_6968

And the VERDICT is:

Matthew (age 6): “I like the lime on it!”

Liam (age 4): “How do we squeeze this lemine in?

Dylan (age 4): “Oh, nice bowl”


10 thoughts on “The Straw That Broke the Camel’s Back

  1. Great dish (even with the hints of orange in the shrimp)! And beautiful bowl and lovely lime wedges 🙂

    Put it on the list for me (the kid version – not spicy)

  2. Dylan’s going to be the artist in the family, he considers the looks for the food first! I have never used fish sauce, is it terribly salty? I use worcestshire or low sodium soy sauce or sometimes both, especially in a stir fry….Looking at your shrimp made us hungry!

    Love and kisses,

    Judy and Bill

    • I thought it was sweet that he noticed the bowl too…
      Fish sauce is anchovies, salt, & sugar, and pretty high in sodium, but you can just use a little to your stir fry and see what you think.

  3. I love Pad Thai, though I’ve never attempted to make my own. I didn’t realize it was so relatively easy to make and with such easy to find ingredients. This one I have to try. Thanks for sharing.

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