Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vegetable Pad Thai

Pad Thai is one of my favorites in thai food. Who knew that Pad Thai or Phat Thai was one of Thailand's national dishes and is considered as a street food??? This dish is prepared using rice noodles, eggs/meat/tofu, tamarind paste, fish sauce (traditional recipe), red chilli pepper, and lime juice to name a few ingredients. Being a vegetarian, whenever I go to a thai restaurant, my standard dialogue to the waiter - "only vegetables, no egg, no fish sauce" and as usual I get a nod but behind my mind, I keep thinking, who am I kidding!! Most restaurants use fish sauce, very rare that they substitute. So, I started making Pad Thai at home. This is purely vegetarian which makes it all the more comforting. atleast for me :)

The Pad Thai sauce is a fairly easy recipe and it can be stored in the refrigerator or freezer, if you have any left.


For Pad Thai Sauce:

1 tbsp tamarind paste
1/4 cup hot water
3 1/2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 tsp red chill paste (adjust spice to your taste, you can use sriracha as well)
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp vinegar
3/4 tbsp oil

For the noodles:

8 oz dry flat rice noodles
8 oz firm tofu, washed & cut into cubes
1/2 onion, cut lengthwise
1 small broccoli, cut into florets
2 carrots, cut into thin strips
1/2 cup baby corn
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup crushed peanuts
1-2 tbsp soy sauce
5 tbsp of pad thai sauce
1 tsp garlic, minced
4-5 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt


For Pad Thai Sauce: 

In a pan, heat oil and red chilli paste and fry for a minute. Add tamarind paste, hot water, soy sauce, brown sugar and allow it to boil for 3-4 minutes. Add vinegar and mix well with the paste. Slowly the sauce starts to thicken. Turn stove off and set aside.

For the noodles:

Most rice noodles have their instructions on how to cook them. I buy the Trader Joe's rice noodles which requires it to be cooked for 6-8 mins. Use a little oil when boiling, so they don't stick to each other. Drain it.

In a wok, heat 1 tbsp oil and add the cubed tofu (make sure you pat it dry) and fry till it turns golden brown. Place it on a tissue to drain the excess oil.

To the same wok, add 1-2 tbsp oil, minced garlic and onions. Saute well.

Now, add the broccoli, carrots, baby corn, 2tbsp of the pad thai sauce to coat the vegetables and mix well. Cook the vegetables until they are 3/4th done.

Add the rice noodles, 3 tbsp pad thai sauce, soy sauce, salt and toss well. Add some oil, if you feel the rice noodles drying out. This will blend it well with the sauce. I like to add little bean sprouts with the noodles, so you can add some, if you wish.

Before serving, garnish the pad thai with spring onions and place some bean sprouts and crushed peanuts along with the noodles. Enjoy!!

Makes 4 servings