I might get slaughtered for a few of my methods here, but I like the way this pad Thai turns out. 😂 Make sure you use tamarind paste – don’t try to substitute it with tomato sauce or anything similar, that just makes me mad lol. You should be able to find it in your local supermarket’s Asian food aisle. Also, be generous with the peanuts and sugar, they really bolster the flavour.
Approximate cost to buy everything: $20
Will serve: 4 people
Time taken: 20 minutes from setup to table
The protein, iron and calcium I’m not getting from meat? Yes, all three.
180g thick rice noodles (half a packet)
2 tbsp cooking oil (use peanut oil if you can find it)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped spring onion
1 x 350g block extra-firm tofu, cubed
2 tbsp tamarind paste
4 tbsp vegan fish sauce (see recipe “Fishless Fish Sauce”, recipe coming next)
3 tbsp brown sugar or palm sugar (I like using brown sugar as it’s easier to dissolve)
1/2 a lime
2 tbsp chopped peanuts
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup fresh coriander, chopped
Any other vegetables you might like to include – chopped broccoli, mushroom etc
Extra chopped peanuts, bean sprouts, spring onion, coriander and chopped lime.
Soak rice noodles in a large bowl filled with hot water (most recipes call for lukewarm water but this never ever works for me. 👍) Meanwhile, heat a small amount of the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add peanuts and toast for 3-5 minutes, then remove from wok and set aside. Add the rest of the oil to the wok and turn heat to high.
Add garlic, spring onion and tofu and fry until tofu turns golden. Add tamarind, fish sauce and sugar, and stir until warm and sugar is well-dispersed.
By this point, your noodles should be tender – drain them well, then stir them through the wok to coat with sauce. Add lime juice, chopped peanuts, bean sprouts and coriander and continue to toss over high heat for an extra couple of minutes.
Serve immediately, straight from the wok, garnished with extra lime wedges, bean sprouts, spring onion, coriander and peanuts.