Hawaiian Hearts of Palm Pad Thai

Gregory Short

Masa’s Restaurant, San Francisco, CA

Gregory Short served this take on pad thai at his Beard House dinner. In his version, he switches out the classic rice noodles for finely sliced hearts of palm.


  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 teaspoon grape-seed oil
  • 1 teaspoon roasted peanut oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons red chile paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds fresh hearts of palm, fibrous exterior removed and cut into thin strips
  • Salt, as needed
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced thinly
  • 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup peanuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 12 prawns
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


To make a vinaigrette, blend together the tamarind paste, vegetable oil, water, grape-seed oil, and peanut oil in a mini food processor until smooth. Add chile paste, sugar, and salt and pulse to combine.

Mix the hearts of palm with a little salt. This will help them start to soften. Toss with the scallions, cilantro, peanuts, and bean sprouts. Add the vinaigrette to taste and toss.

Coat the prawns with the olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper. Grill on high for 2 or 3 minutes per side. (Alternatively, you can place the prawns under the broiler until they are done.) To serve, pile the salad on a plate and top with two or three prawns.


4 to 6 servings