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Pad Thai is my go-to comfort food. After spending roughly half my life savings on Thai takeaway, I decided to start cooking it myself. Below you'll find my recipe for a simple, quick Pad Thai with tofu that will satisfy and delight you.
200g sen lek noodles (flat rice noodles)
150g bean sprouts
3 teaspoons castor sugar or honey
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp mixed with 1/2 cup water 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 gloves garlic (or one heaped teaspoon if crushed) 1 shallot (spring onion)
1 medium brown onion
1 tablespoon chives
2 tablespoons crushed peanuts
1 tablespoon flour
lime wedges and coriander to serve
What to do:
Soak the rice noodles in hot water until soft (I actually like to put them in a shallow frying pan of water and let it simmer on the stove, which is water-saving and super effective).
Coat the tofu in a little flour (I used rice flour) and fry in a little oil until crispy and golden brown. Set aside on some paper towel.
Prepare the sauce by mixing together tamarind mixture, sugar, cayenne pepper and soy sauce in a small saucepan. Cook over a low heat and reduce until syrupy
Heat a little oil in a wok or frying pan and simmer garlic and onion until soft. Add a dash of water to the pan to a void burning the garlic
Add the bean shoots. I do this step now because I like the shoots to be soft like the noodles. If you like them crunchy, then put in half the sprouts now and add the other half just as you are serving so that they are crisp.
Add the tofu and half of the peanuts and stir- fry for a minute (just to heat it through)
Add the noodles and sauce. Try to mix everything together by using tongs or chopsticks to stir and toss t he ingredients.
Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate or platter. Sprinkle with the rest of the peanuts and some chopped chives or coriander as a garnish.
Serve hot with lemon or lime wedges.
Serves 2 (or 1. I'm not judging your life choices)
Notes on the recipe:
Now, this is a 100% plant-based version of Pad Thai, which traditionally uses Nam pla น้ำปลา or fish sauce to add saltiness and flavour. Some Asian supermarkets stock plant-based versions of fish and oyster sauces, so be brave and experiment a little when it comes to getting the flavour balance that you like.
Here are some more great tips for a fantastic pad thai:
- Add a handful of coriander to your finished dish for extra flavour
- Use fresh, locally-grown produce where possible (I grow my own shallots, so they're always fresh!)
- Don't be afraid to add your own variations- it's your dish to enjoy!