Vegan Pad Thai

This is a nice, simple make-at-home dish that will satisfy your Thai take-out fix without the need for too many specialty ingredients. Did I mention it’s vegan? But it doesn’t have to be. See tips below for some easy ways to beef it up (ha!).

The star of the show in this Food & Wine recipe (in my humble opinion) are the noodles. They are nice and chewy and the perfect vehicle for the yummy Sriracha sauce, which has a nice spice, alongside the salty umami of soy sauce and sour-sweet of the tamarind paste. You get great, fresh flavor and crunch from the carrots (make sure you don’t overcook!), scallions and bean sprouts. And the peanuts are the perfect, nutty finish. I went back for seconds on this one!

TW’s Tips

  • To non-vegan-fy this recipe, add stir-fried pieces of chicken, shrimp or beef or a chopped up fried egg
  • Other easy additions: tofu, stir-fried cabbage,
  • I wanted a bit more sauce than the recipe made — I recommend doubling the recipe
  • Garnish with lime wedges and squeeze over right before serving
  • Adjust the heat at the table with more Sriracha or sambal/chile paste

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dried pad Thai rice noodles (banh pho)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste (available from Indian, Asian and Latin markets)
  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha or chile-garlic sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups julienned carrots (from about 3/4 pound carrots)
  • 4 scallions, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts

Directions

Put the noodles in a large bowl and cover with very hot water. Let soak until just pliable, about 15 minutes (or according to package directions). Drain the noodles in a colander, shaking off any excess water.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the brown sugar, tamarind paste and Sriracha.

In a large nonstick wok or skillet, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the garlic, shallots and carrots and cook over high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the noodles and scallions and stir-fry until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Add the sauce and stir-fry until the noodles are evenly coated and the sauce has thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pad Thai to a platter. Garnish with the peanuts and bean sprouts and serve.

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