Sunday, June 20, 2010

Pad Thai

Well, really, this post should be titled Pad Thai? I myself have never been to Thailand, and though I have eaten Pad Thai in various restaurants it has always been so different every time that I can't even begin to guess what the essence of Pad Thai really is…sort of a Thai-type spicy stir-fry? Probably that's as close as I'm going to get. [Note that the word "authentic" never appears on this blog except in quotation marks.] Anyway, this was fantastic, and was based on the Pad Thai recipe from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook, though since I didn't have many of the ingredients, and substituted others (like molasses, which I can't stand, and, naturally, eggs), it's mostly my own. Here's what I did:

First, I made an omelet for breakfast this morning, but had some of the (Vegan Brunch) omelet mix left over.

Second, you should know that the whole recipe makes a ton of food. The original recipe says it serves 4-6 and I made the whole thing hoping for some leftovers for lunch tomorrow…I'll be eating this all week, no doubt, though actually I'm cool with that, because it was awesome.

Pad Thai
adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook
Serves 6

1 block extra-firm tofu, drained and chopped into 1/2 inch dice
1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 lb rice noodles, medium width

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp sambal olek
1/2 tsp cracked pepper

3 tbsp vegetable oil
8 large garlic cloves, minced
2-3 whole dried red chiles, crushed
2/3 cup omelet recipe from Vegan Brunch (you can just leave this out or use crumbled tofu if you don't have it on hand)
approximately 5 cups chopped vegetables of choice
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 bunches green onions, chopped
1 lime
4 tbsp roasted peanuts, crushed

Start by heating the 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a wok or other pan and frying the tofu. Set aside.

Now in another pan, heat a large pot of water and, when boiling, add the rice noodles, and cook briefly, according to package directions. They should be cooked but not mushy. Rinse in a colander under cold water and set aside.

Meanwhile, stir together the sauce ingredients (soy sauce to cracked pepper), and set aside, and chop whatever vegetables you will be using.

Now, in a large wok, heat 3 tbsp vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and crushed chiles and sauté until golden, stirring constantly. Add omelet mix and scramble until dry and set.

Add noodles, and keep stirring them around to combine with the egg-garlic mix.

Cook until the noodles and "eggs" are well-incorporated.

Turn up the heat and add the sauce, tofu, and vegetables. Stir constantly to heat everything through and prevent sticking. When the vegetables are tender, add the scallions and cilantro and cook until the whole dish is hot and steamy. Divide pad Thai among serving plates, drizzle with fresh lime juice, sprinkle with chopped peanuts, and serve with extra sambal olek on the side.


  1. This Pad Thai looks like it fits the bill to me! Like you, I can't say I know what "authentic" pad thai is...I only know what I've eaten in restaurants around here...

    I usually add a bit of tamarind paste into the an extra zing. And I never bother to recreate the scrambled egg part...but after seeing yours, I'm definitely going to try that next looks truly delicious.

  2. Indeed, Rose, tamarind would have been great in this. Next time!

  3. Mmmmm- love your idea of using the leftover omelet mix.

  4. this looks delicious!! I think I'm going to try it tonight!

  5. I must be doing something wrong when I make that Vegan Brunch omelet--mine looks much thicker (and less delicious) than yours!

  6. Hi, Stacy:
    You're not doing anything wrong. I add water to my omelet recipe, always, enough to make it blend in my Magic Bullet. Usually I make half a recipe of the omelet and probably end up adding a quarter cup of water. The batter comes out like pancake batter--you can move it around on the pan a bit without a spatula but it isn't all over the place.