Thursday, June 16

Vegetarian Pad Thai

I think it is really interesting how different people having different cooking styles - if that is the way to describe it.  For example, my mom is all about the stir-fries, with a side of meat, and some sort of starch like rice or potatoes.  There are tons of vegetables and everything is seared to perfection.  My grandmother, on the other hand, does not have a microwave and lived in France for 25 years.  She makes quiches and all sorts of other things that - instead of getting reheated in the microwave - inevitably end up in a stew that she just "threw together."

vegetarian pad thai

I think that part of learning how to feed yourself means mastering a few really simple things and learning how to manipulate those dishes to suite your needs.  As for me, I've spent the better part of the last year imitating my mother and my grandmother's cooking by learning how to make the things they usually feed me.  Only since coming home have I started to branch out, such as with this version of pad thai.

we love peppers...

A couple notes though: I think the ratios of pasta to vegetables to sauce/dressing, as presented here, is a little off.  I would suggest a lot more vegetables and more sauce/dressing, or less pasta.  All in all, it is a really great starter recipe for pad thai.  From here it is easy to branch out and get creative.  Also, I used a wok here, but a decently sized frying pan would also do the trick.


Vegetarian Pad Thai
from The Complete Asian Cookbook

13 oz flat rice-stick noodles
2 tbs peanut oil or canola oil
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 onion, cut into thin wedges
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 small red pepper, thinly sliced
3.5 oz fried tofu, cut into thin strips
6 spring onions (green onions), thinly sliced
1/8 cup chopped dried coriander leaves
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tbs lime juice
1 tbs soft brown sugar
2 tsp sambal oelek
1 cup bean sprouts
3 tbs chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

Cook the noodles (the packaging should say how).  Drain and set aside
Heat a wok (or a large frying pan) over high heat and add enough peanut or canola oil to coat the pan.  When it starts to smoke, add the eggs and swirl to form a thin omelet.  When it sets, roll it up and thinly slice it.
Heat the rest of the oil in the wok, add the onion (not the spring/green onions), garlic, and pepper and cook over high heat until the onion is soft (about 3 minutes).  Add the noodles and toss everything well to mix.  Then add the omelet, tofu, spring/green onion, and the coriander.
Combine the soy sauce, lime juice, sugar, and sambal oelek.  Toss to coat the noodles and then add the bean sprouts and crushed peanuts.

Here is Wayne Newton's "Danke Schoen," which a lot of people probably recognize from Ferris Bueller's Day Off:

The Complete Asian Cookbook. Sydney, N.S.W.: Murdoch, 2002. Print.

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