Coconut Pad Thai with Almond Chile Sauce

This chile pepper gets its name from its origin. In Spanish, serrano is an adjective meaning “from the mountains” which is where it originated-in the mountains of Hildalgo, Mexico. The serrano is normally about twice as hot as Jalapeno (about 10,000 to 15,000 Scoville units). It is the second most popular chile pepper in Mexico. This chile is used mostly for salsas but can also be used in soups, sauces, chili or stews. Try these as a hotter substitute for Jalapeno.

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Coconut Pad Thai:

2 Tbsp. tamarind juice
1-1/2 Tbsp. maple syrup
2-3/4 Tbsp. organic soy sauce
/2 Tbsp. minced garlic
1-1/4 tsp. minced serrano chile, plus 1 thinly sliced serrano
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/2 cups julienned zucchini
1 cup thinly shredded red cabbage
1-1/2 cups julienned carrots
1/2 cup finely sliced red onion
1 cup julienned Granny Smith apple
1-1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
3 cups julienned young-coconut meat
2 Tbsp. cilantro leaves
freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup cashews, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. white sesame oil
sea salt

Almond-Chile sauce:

1/2 cup raw almond butter
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 Tbsp. organic soy sauce
1 Thai dragon chile
1/4 cup water


Make Coconut Pad Thai:

In a mini food processor, combine the tamarind with the maple syrup, 1-1/2 Tbsp. of the soy sauce, the garlic, the minced serrano chile, olive oil and salt. Process until smooth.

In a large bowl, combine the zucchini, cabbage, carrots, red onion, apple, red bell pepper, coconut meat, sliced serrano chile and cilantro leaves. Add the tamarind puree and toss to coat. Season the pad thai to taste with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, toss the cashews with 1 tsp. of the white sesame oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare the almond-chile sauce:

In a blender, combine the almond butter with the ginger, lemon juice, maple syrup, garlic, soy sauce and puree until smooth. Add some water if the sauce seems too thick.

To serve:

Arrange some of the pad Thai mixture in the center of each plate. Spoon some of the chile sauce and the remaining soy sauce and white sesame oil around the pad Thai. Sprinkle with the chopped cashews and serve.

Recipe by Charlie Trotter.