Picnic Pad Thai Goes Raw

By Sarah Britton, CNP, My New Roots

The super-talented Sarah Britton, author of the blog My New Roots, shares her healthy take on crowd-pleasing pad thai. Guests will appreciate the lighter version of this ethnic mainstay, with kelp noodles replacing the traditional grain pasta. The Raw Pad Thai Sauce is to die for!

Raw Pad Thai

Serves 6–8

1 package kelp noodles (12 oz) (available at natural products stores)
½ head purple cabbage
2 carrots
1 zucchini
1 bunch green onions
1 each red and yellow bell pepper
1 serving marinated mushrooms (see below)
A few handfuls mung bean sprouts
1 bunch cilantro (reserve a little for garnish)
Raw Pad Thai Sauce (see below)
Black sesame seeds (or almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, etc.)
Lime wedges for serving


  1. Remove kelp noodles from package and rinse very well under cold running water. Set aside and let drain.
  2. Prepare all the vegetables. Slice the cabbage as thinly as possible (a mandoline is helpful). Using a vegetable peeler, slice the carrots into ribbons. Julienne the zucchini, or use a mandoline or spiralizer to obtain long, noodle-like strips. Slice the bell peppers and green onions, and chop the cilantro, including the stems. Add the mung bean sprouts if desired. Add marinated mushrooms. Toss all together in a very large bowl.
  3. Just before serving, pour the dressing over and fold to coat. Garnish with sesame seeds (or any nut/seed you like), extra cilantro and lime wedges.

Marinated Mushrooms

1 pound mushrooms of your choice (I used shiitake)
¼ cup tamari
2 tablespoons maple syrup
2 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil


  1. Whisk all liquid ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Roughly chop mushrooms and add them to the marinade. Fold to coat. Let marinate for at least 4 hours, overnight is best. Stir occasionally while marinating.

Raw Pad Thai Sauce

1½ cup cashews, soaked
1 inch ginger root, peeled
1 clove garlic
½ red chili pepper, seeds removed
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1½ tablespoons tamari
Juice of 2 limes
1 tsp ground turmeric
10 coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
2 cups water (or as needed)


  1. Soak cashews for at least 4 hours, overnight is best.
  2. Drain and rinse cashews well. Place in a blender (Vitamix is best if you have one). Add all other ingredients and only 1 cup water. Add the remaining cup of water as needed until desired consistency is reached. The sauce should be thin enough to pour, but thick enough to coat the vegetables and kelp noodles. Season to taste. Store leftovers in the fridge.

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