Lately, I have been at a loss of what to make as a side dish when cooking our dinners. Since we’ve been eating more vegetarian meals lately, it’s become even harder to determine what’s a “side” and what a “main” is – after all they’re just vegetables! So I particularly love finding recipes like this one where everything is combined into one hearty dish. Also, pad thai is one of Jon’s favourite dishes and one that I’ve always wanted to perfect at home.
When I first read through the recipe I was sceptical of the 30 minute time frame that the blogger had allotted. It seemed like way too much to get done in such a short time. But I was pleasantly surprised to find that the dish came together in approximately 30 minutes – which makes this a fantastic weeknight dish. The final dish was a perfect blend of the fundamental Thai taste senses – sweet, salty and sour – and mixed in with some crushed peanuts was very reminiscent of our favourite take-out place.
Homemade Pad Thai
Servings: 4 – 6
Note: Replace the fish sauce below with soy sauce to make this a vegetarian meal. I have also heard of “vegetarian fish sauce” that is available in some Vietnamese grocery stores, but I have yet to have found this myself.
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3 green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, minced
8 oz extra firm tofu, diced
1.5 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups bean sprouts
2 tablespoon tamarind (from a soft block. You can find this at an Asian grocery store)
1 cup boiling water
1 tablespoon sweet chili sauce
2.5 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons fish sauce (hold your nose!) -
8 oz pad thai rice noodles
3 tablespoons roughly chopped roasted peanuts
big squeeze Sriracha sauce (or 1/4-1/2 tsp red chili flakes)
limes for serving
In a glass measuring cup, combine the boiling water and tamarind. Mash with the back of a spoon for a few minutes so the tamarind softens. Pour over a fine mesh strainer or sifter into a small bowl and discard the remaining tamarind chunks. To the tamarind flavoured water now add the fish sauce, sugar, salt and sweet chili sauce. Stir well to dissolve the sugar and then set aside.
Cook the rice noodles in a big pot of boiling water for five minutes until cooked through. Drain and rinse with cold water.
Rub a large wok or cast iron skillet with vegetable oil and scramble the eggs over medium heat. Remove scrambled eggs to a bowl and then add the remaining vegetable oil and crank the heat to medium high. Add the shallot and sauté for four minutes, or until soft, followed by the garlic. Add the tofu and cook for three to four minutes, flipping occasionally to ensure even browning. After cooking, place tofu in the bowl with the egg.
Pour the tamarind sauce into the skillet and bring to a boil. Add cooked rice noodles, bean sprouts and green onions followed by the tofu. Toss everything together well and finish with a big squeeze of sriracha, more green onions, crushed peanuts and a squeeze of lime.
Time: 30 minutes
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run, originally from Gourmet