Summer Shrimp Pad Thai

As our gardens present us with the season's most wonderful produce, we make every effort to feature lush salads, sandwiches full of crunchy greens and juicy tomatoes, and all manner of quick meals built upon a seasonal produce foundation. So it's no wonder our favorite Shrimp Pad Thai gets its summer makeover this time of the year.

Packed with everything from golden corn to tender zucchini to crisp carrots star in this seasonal spin on a favorite dish from Thailand. Now, you can tweak the offerings in this dish, but try to maintain a similar texture, bright colors, and flavors. Zucchini tends to be pretty moist, so opt for something like chunks of onions or chopped cherry tomatoes in you decide against including it. Edamame or fresh peas can take over for the corn in a pinch, though I don't think either of them will be as sweet. You get the idea.

When it comes to serving this meal, no sides are required. I like to pour tall glasses of iced tea and finish the meal with generous slices of juicy melon. After all, it is summer and before you know it, we'll be missing that fantastic summer produce - so enjoy it while it's here!

Summer Shrimp Pad Thai

  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup fish sauce
  • ¼ cup tamarind concentrate (substitute lemon juice if you don't have this)
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 fresh lime
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more/less to taste)
  • 10 ounces thin rice noodles
  • 3 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced thin
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 3 green onions, sliced thin

Make the sauce. Whisk the first six ingredients (brown sugar through crushed red pepper flakes) together in a medium bowl (or shake together in a mason jar) until completely combined. Set aside.

Soften the noodles by placing them in a large glass bowl and covering them with enough boiling water to cover them. Allow them to soak in the hot water while you prepare the rest of the dish. Then drain briefly and toss them with one tablespoon oil briefly to prevent the noodles from sticking.

Cook the shrimp. Heat one tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan or wok over high heat. Add the shrimp and sauté for 3-5 minutes, tossing occasionally, until it is pink and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the shrimp to a clean plate.

Cook the veggies. Add the remaining one tablespoon oil to the sauté pan, along with the carrots, garlic, zucchini, and corn. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add everything else to the sauté pan with the veggies — the cooked noodles, shrimp, sauce, and green onions. Give the mixture a good toss until everything is evenly coated in the sauce. Remove the pan from the heat.

Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 25 minutes