Most Thai restaurants make pad thai with egg and meat, but this dish contains so many other yummy ingredients that the addition of animal products is unnecessary. The ultra-simple recipe takes only a few minutes to make, and you will be amazed by how great it tastes, even if you are not on a vegan or gluten-free diet. You can make the flavor mild or spicy, depending on your whims and/or the preferences of your family. Here’s a delicious recipe I recently discovered. I’ve added it to my repertoire, so I can make it over and over.
1 cup water
1 10-oz. package gluten-free rice noodles
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 12-oz. package extra-firm tofu
4 Tbsp. tamari
2 Tbsp. peanut butter
Juice of 2 limes
3 Tbsp. turbinado sugar (which is always vegan, unlike some white sugars)
Sriracha, to taste
Sliced green onions
Boil the noodles according to package directions. Drain them and set aside. Meanwhile, chop the tofu into small cubes and mince the gloves of garlic. Fry the tofu and garlic together in olive oil at high heat. Sprinkle a liberal amount of tamari on top so it will be absorbed by the tofu/garlic mixture. Keep frying until the tofu is golden brown and slightly crispy. Your mixture will smell divine, and you’re just getting started!
Slice both limes in half and squeeze the juice into a medium-sized bowl. Add the peanut butter, turbinado sugar, 1 cup water, and all the sriracha you can stand. I like my pad thai spicy, but your tastes may differ. A tablespoon of this stuff goes a long way. Stir vigorously until all peanut butter lumps are gone. If you own a whisk, it works like a charm. I used a spare tablespoon.
Pour the mixture directly into the frying pan with the tofu. Add the rice noodles and stir until the liquid is absorbed. This should take no more than 5-10 minutes, depending on your heat setting.
Remove from heat and ladle generously into your favorite plate or bowl. Garnish with shaved carrots, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and/or chopped scallions. If your pad thai is too mild, toss a little more sriracha on top. Dig in! There should be enough for 2-4 people, depending on everyone’s appetites.
You and your family will be utterly delighted by the taste and authenticity of this remarkably simple yet filling dish. You’ll want to make it again and again. Bon appetit!
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