Recipe: Florida Shrimp Pad Thai

In today’s chef’s kitchen, there’s pad thai like you’ve never had before. It feels lighter – thanks to the flavors of Florida.

“You know, I’ve never had the same day twice.”

That’s what Chef James K. told us during a recent demonstration at the Orange County Convention Center. Chef K. is the Executive Chef of Sodexo OCCC. (Sodexo is the international hotel company serving the convention center.)

“You have to love what you do,” he laughs, but with the utmost sincerity.

The chef invites us to learn how to make his twisted version of Pad Thai. The “twist” comes from touches of Florida, like orange blossom honey.

During his demonstration, Chef took us to a completely different side of the convention center. This is where he literally picks his greens by hand from an indoor garden called Center-To-Table.

“They [grow and last] between a month and six weeks,” he explains. “The freshness of this one is amazing.”

No garden? No problem. Just find your favorite and crispiest lettuce. Let’s cook!

Florida Shrimp Pad Thai with Hydroponic Greens – by Chef K. (Sodexo LIVE: Orange Co. Convention Center Executive Chef)


21-25 large shrimp (shelled)
2 tbsp. Red curry paste
2 tbsp. fresh ginger
2 tbsp. fresh lemongrass
2 tbsp. chopped green onions
1 packet of elephant rice noodles
2 tbsp. canola oil
4 oz. carrots, julienne
4 oz. bean sprouts
4 oz. Rocket
1 oz. White vinegar
1/2 tsp. Cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 oz. pickled radish
1.5oz. canola oil
1 tbsp. orange blossom honey
1 oz. red pepper, julienne
8 oz. hydroponic lettuce
optional: coriander, mint basil, orange slices,
and peanuts for garnish


Clean the prawns. Mix the prawns, red curry paste,
ginger, lemongrass and green onions in a large bag and
marinate for 1 hour.

Once the prawns are marinated, blanch them in a large saucepan
with 1 tbsp. canola oil (3-4 min total). Put aside.
*Do not drain the shrimp*

Soak the noodles and drain. Add the rest of the rapeseed oil
in a hot wok.

Fry the noodles for 1 min.

Add the carrots, bean sprouts and arugula to the pan
and heat for 1 min.

Add the white vinegar, cayenne pepper, paprika,
marinated radishes, canola oil, honey and bell pepper
to a boil and stir. Add to hot wok and stir
with noodles and vegetables.

On a separate plate, arrange the hydroponic lettuce.
Place the mixture of noodles and vegetables in the lettuce
cups. Top with shrimp and drizzle with remaining

Garnish with garnish and enjoy.

Freshly Grown Hydroponic Greens from Center-To-Table Gardens in Orange County
Congress Palace. Recipe provided by Sodexo Live! Executive Chef James “Chef K” Katurakes.

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