Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Vegetarian Pad Thai

Happy March to you all! 

This is THE month. It's jammed packed with awesomeness! First, I have my nephew's birthday party on the same day as my boyfriend's birthday. Which means I'll be baking up a storm this weekend! Then it's St. Patrick's Day...I'm thinking green beer & more baking. And finally it's SXSW here in Austin & there are lots and lots and LOTS to do!! Tons of free shows, food, and drinks to be taken advantage of during that time. Of course the downside is that our tiny little city gets so incredibly crowded that it's just impossible to get from point "a" to point "b" in a reasonable amount of time. Last year it was so crowded that we even had some trouble locking up our bikes near the venue of whatever show we were seeing. But nevertheless, I'm excited to have some fun!! 

Now, let's get to this delicious looking bowl of noodles...   

I was glancing at some food magazines of mine and saw a recipe for shrimp pad thai that looked delicious. I decided to do a vegan take on that. This is not your typical pad thai in that I used a mix of garlic & chives since I did not have chinese chives on hand and I used lime juice mixed with water as a replacer for tamarind water (that I also did not have on hand). Now when it came to replacing the fish sauce I did some researching. While learning how to cook vegetarian and vegan meals, I always try to find the best alternative while keeping in mind the ingredients already in my kitchen. I read that Golden Mountain Seasoning Sauce is a good fish sauce substitute for vegans. GREAT! Got it, lets use it! Wellll... that's what I thought I read. Right when I started getting this post ready I decided to do one last minute check on my resources and I was not that surprised to see that I was wrong. This happens... often. I read it wrong. It's a good substitute for vegetarians! So, this is my vegetarian take on pad thai & I'm quite happy with it!! Definitely trying this dish again.

The original recipe called for sliced radishes. If I had some I would have added that to the dish. Sounds like it would be a nice addition.

Vegetarian Pad Thai
Inspired by recipe from bon appetit, January 2012

7 oz. pad thai rice noodles
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 block of extra firm tofu
2 cups bean sprouts
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp lime juice mixed with
2 tbsp plus 1 tsp water
1 1/2 tbsp golden mountain seasoning sauce
1 1/2 tbsp simple syrup
4 chopped garlic cloves
2 tbsp chopped chives
1/2 tsp ground dried thai chiles
1/3 cup crushed roasted peanuts

Place noodles in a large bowl and pour enough hot water to cover. Let the noodles soak for about 7-10 minutes or until tender, but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add tofu and let it fry on each side for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Once it reaches a nice golden color add the noodles and cook for one minute. Stir in the sprouts. Add the lime/water mixture, the golden mountain seasoning sauce, & the simple syrup. Stir-fry until the noodles are well coated, about one minute. Stir in the garlic & chives. Add the chiles & peanuts and toss well.


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