“Pad Thai” is the ultimate Thai dish that you'd see on the menu in every Thai restaurant around the world. It is known for its well-balanced sweet and sour flavour which created from simple vegan friendly ingredients. The traditional recipe requires the use of fish sauce and sometimes honey; however, my recipe is 100% vegan and guaranteed to impress just as much, if not more. First, I would begin with the sauce. You'd need 3 tablespoons when cooking for 2 servings, if you only cook for yourself- you can reduce the sauce to 1 1/2 or 2 tablespoons of the sauce. In my book, you can make your own Vegan Pad Thai sauce prior to the actual cooking. You can make it in a large amount, and keep the sauce in a jar, refrigerated, where the sauce could last over a month. Trust me, it would make your life a lot easier.
Pad thai sauce:
You will need:
1 cup water
2 tablespoon tamarind paste
4 tablespoon palm sugar
2 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1. Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan.
2. Transfer the pan to the burner, low heat.
3. Simmer the mixture until thickens* (about 20 minutes or so), stir often
*The duration for cooking the sauce may vary, due to differences in the heat and the ingredients.
The way to know for sure is to dip the back of the spoon into the sauce and scrape the middle off with your finger. If the sauce separates in the middle and stays on the back of the spoon- it is done.
Be careful not to make the sauce too thick, as it will continue to thicken as it cools.
Now, On to the actual pad thai:
2 cups of hot water
100 g rice noodles, Pad Thai Rice noodles to be specific, if you can't find that, use any fettuccine-width rice noodles you can find
1 tablespoon of peanut oil
1 tablespoon ground Chinese reserved radish (sweet), if you don't have that- can always substitute with chopped garlic/ chopped shallot
50 grams of fresh bean sprouts
50 grams of green beans, thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons of crushed roasted peanuts, for garnish and seasoning)
1/2- 1 teaspoon of chili powder/ chili flakes, for seasoning
3 tablespoons of our homemade Vegan Pad Thai sauce
50 grams of fried tofu bits/ your choice of protein, cooked, of course
1. Soak the dry, uncooked noodles in hot water for about 5 minutes
(Now, you might want to check every two minutes to make sure that the noodles haven't become too soft. They should feel soft, but not cooked all the way through: soft enough to bend but not too soft that they break if you lift them up from the water)
2. Put a wok/ pan on a burner, medium heat, and add peanut oil.
3. Add garlic/ shallots/ sweet radish and stir fry until fragrant
4. Stir in the sauce and simmer for 10 seconds before adding the noodles
5. Mix the noodles into the sauce, make sure it is coated, some parts may not be fully coated, but that's alright because they will all be coated in the end. Keep in mind that the longer you leave the noodles in the pan, the more you are likely to get a noodle paste.
6. Push the noodles to one side of the wok before adding the vegetables and stir fry them for about 10 seconds on high heat before lifting all the noodles and place on top of the vegetables. This is how we use the existing heat to help cooking the vegetables which helps save time and allows all the ingredients to come together.
7. Add fried tofu or your protein of choice and stir fry everything together. Serve hot with a side of chilli flakes and crushed roasted peanuts.
If you still are uncertain about how to create this dish- go to my Instagram account @mymeatlessmeals to check out a quick video I had posted on how to create Vegan Pad Thai Dish. The video has been shortened for Instagram, but you can see how everything works more clearly. Have a happy, meat-free belly, friends!
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- Mook x