Posted by: CCT | March 29, 2010

One More Try At Pad Thai [75]

[#75] Is the fifth time a charm? Really?  You be the judge.  No kidding – we’ve made this 5-times in all sorts of different ways and finally came to the conclusion that this is the best we could do with the recipe at hand.  The thing is – it’s not complicated… just a bit involved.  And there are subtle ways to screw this up when you’re not using oil.  We will therefore be hunting for a better healthy Pad Thai recipe, and will let you know when we find one.  In the meantime – tell us what you think.

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Original recipe courtesy of The McDougall Quick and Easy Cookbook.

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Ingredients include the following, all of which store well for long periods:

  • 14-16 oz bag of uncooked rice noodles (aka Pad Thai or stir-fry rice noodles).

  • 6-tbsp San-J organic tamari wheat-free soy sauce
  • 3-tbsp organic brown rice vinegar,   2-tbsp organic ketchup
  • 4-tbsp organic lime juice,   2-tbsp sugar
  • 4 chopped green onions,   1-2 cloves of minced fresh garlic
  • 1-package (6.5 oz) of extra-firm silken tofu  (or 3 scrambled eggs)

  • 4 shredded carrots,   1/2-cup chopped cilantro,   4-6 tbsp chopped peanuts

All of the basic ingredients for the sauce mix, which all store well for long periods.

Shows the size of a 16-oz. bag of rice noodles and 12.3-oz of tofu, both of which store well (and without refrigeration) for extended periods.

The torn up Pad Thai recipe... and some new artwork I've been working on lately. I took to drawing pictures while pondering what we could do to make this recipe taste like the Pad Thai you get in a restaurant. Why God, Why?! 🙂

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1. Place the noodles in a bowl and cover with hot water.  Soak for 10-minutes.  Drain.

2. Combine the soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, ketchup and sugar in a bowl.  Mix well and set aside.  This is the sauce.

3. Put about 1/2 cup of water in a large frying pan.  Add the green onions and garlic.  Cook on medium high, stirring frequently, for about 3-5 minutes.  If you need more water to prevent the onions and garlic from sticking to the pan, add as needed.

4. Add the tofu (or scrambled egg bits) and noodles.  Cook and stir for several more (2-5) minutes.  Add water if necessary in order to prevent the noodles from globbing together.  They should slide around on one another easily.

5. Add the sauce mixture.  Cook and stir for another 3-5 minutes until heated through.

6. Transfer to a serving platter.  Sprinkle with carrot, cilantro and peanuts if desired.  Serve immediately.

Thoughts and Recommendations:

1. Keeping the noodles from sticking to one another is really important.  Good Pad Thai has a very specific texture and feel.  If you lose that you’ll lose the believability of the dish entirely.  Why?  Because this recipe already diverges from the expected restaurant-style equivalent.  So attention to texture and feel becomes really important.

Steam frying the green onions and garlic before adding noodles. We used a bigger pot when adding the noodles. This pan was too small to hold all of it. A little "note to self."

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