#SaturdaySessions: Young coconut and tamarind phad thai

Green awakening

#SaturdaySessions: Young coconut and tamarind phad thai
Chef Silvena Rowe's gives this classic dish a raw twist

You're probably familiar with a classic pad thai, Thailand's ubiquitous street food favourite that balances sweet, sour, salty, and spicy notes in equal measure. It's a delicious treat, but also one laden with oil and sugar. Thanks to British Chef Silvena Rowe, we can now indulge in a sin-free alternative to our guilty pleasure. The inventive chef has reworked the dish to include plenty of fresh vegetables, fragrant herbs, and even sweet coconut.



Serves 4 

For the peanut, ginger, and soy sauce

100g Raw peanut butter

1  tbsp Fresh lemon juice

2  tbsp Pure maple syrup

1 tbsp Soy sauce

1 tbsp Peeled fresh ginger, minced

Garlic cloves, minced

1 tbsp Chilli, minced

1-2 tbsp Water

For the tamarind dressing

3oz. Tamarind

2 tbsp Pure maple syrup

2 tbsp Soy sauce

2 tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp Peeled fresh ginger, minced

For the pad thai 

1cup (packed) very thinly sliced Napa cabbage

1/2cup chopped fresh coriander

1 tsp fresh lime juice

2 large young coconuts

500g matchstick-size strips peeled carrots

200g matchstick-size strips red bell pepper

150g mung bean sprouts

200g matchstick-size strips cucumber

Small bunch fresh basil

Fresh coriander leaves



1. For the peanut sauce, combine all ingredients except water in blender or processor. Puree until smooth. Thin with water by tablespoonfuls, as desired. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.

2. For the tamarind dressing, combine tamarind and enough hot water to cover in medium bowl. Let stand until pulp softens, breaking apart occasionally with fork, about 1 hour. Using slotted spoon, transfer tamarind pulp to sieve set over bowl. Press pulp through sieve, leaving seeds behind. Measure 6 tablespoons pulp into medium bowl (discard remaining pulp). Whisk in remaining 4 ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Combine cabbage, coriander, and lime juice in a small bowl; toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and let it stand 30 minutes.

4. Using a small heavy knife, pry large pieces of soft coconut meat out of shells. Slice coconut very thinly into 2- to 3-inch-long strips.

5. Combine carrots, red bell pepper, bean sprouts, cucumber, and basil in large bowl. Toss with just enough peanut sauce to coat lightly.

6. Arrange some of the cabbage mixture on each plate. Top with coconut and mixed vegetables. Drizzle tamarind and more peanut sauce over, if desired. 


Loved this dish? Join Chef Silvena Rowe as she takes up residency in Bali at Alila Villas Soori (6 - 7 February) and Alila Ubud (11 - 12 February). You can look forward to a special dinner cooked by her as well as a raw food masterclass to school you in the ways of clean eating. 


For last week's Saturday Sessions, click here. To view more recipes, click here


Text: Denise Kok

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