Pad Thai (spicy fried Thai noodles), serves 4
This is easily my favorite Thai dish, and I'm confident you'll enjoy my take on it. In particular, I highly recommend you find Maesri Pad Thai sauce rather than substituting another brand.
The quality and moisture content of Pad Thai sauce varies wildly, and it can make or break a dish. Also, Maesri does not use fish sauce, making the recipe vegetarian (and easily modifiable to vegan).
Note that I use non-stick spray in place of cooking oil in several steps, to save calories. You can use vegetable oil in those steps if you prefer.
- 1 package firm tofu
- 3/4 lb. dried rice noodles (I use Erawan Brand, Size M, Oriental Style Noodle)
- 3 eggs (Vegan? Omit the eggs!)
- 1.5 bottles (about 13 oz.) Maesri pad thai sauce
- Non-stick spray for frying
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 carrot
- 3 cups bean sprouts
- 4 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp prik pepper flakes
- 3 cups fresh greens beans
- 1 can baby corn
- 1 package spiced tofu
- 1/2 cup raw peanuts (or roasted peanuts to save time)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vegetable oil
- If using raw peanuts, roast in a wok on high heat. Toss them continuously until lightly toasted, 5-10 mins.
- Let peanuts cool, put in a plastic sandwhich bag and smash into small pieces with a rolling pin, mallet, etc.
- Clean carrot, bean sprouts, and scallions under cold water.
- Peel then shred carrot into thin strips (to make about 1 cup).
- Cut scallions into 2" segments. Discard tip and root parts.
- Chop firm tofu into 1" cubes.
- Drain can of baby corn.
- Chop spiced tofu into small 1/4" x 1/2" pieces.
- Bring two pots of water to boil.
- Turn off heat for one pot of boiling water (this will be for noodles shortly).
- In the other pot, add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp vegetable oil, and add the green beans for 10-15 seconds, then remove and drain. The salt and oil help preserve the vibrant green color.
- Add rice noodles to first pot of hot water and let them soak off to the side. As soon as they are done soaking (see tip below), drain.
- Put a wok on high heat and spray with non-stick spray. Fry tofu cubes until golden brown.
- Push tofu to one side of wok, and add eggs to other side. Scramble eggs with a fork.
- Fry the eggs until cooked through.
- Spray wok with more non-stick spray, then toss in noodles. If you don't have a giant wok, you will need to fry the noodles in 2 batches (if too crowded, they won't cook properly).
- Vigorously toss and stir noodles to prevent them from sticking to wok. Fry noodles for 1-2 minutes.
- Add in baby corn, scallions, and spiced tofu. Continue tossing, and fry for 1 minute.
- Pour in Maesri Pad Thai sauce, and sprinkle prik pepper flakes on top. The pepper flakes are ultra hot, so use sparingly!
- Vigorously toss noodles to coat them with sauce. Fry for 30 seconds.
- Add in bean sprouts. Fry for 30 seconds.
- Turn off heat, and plate noodles.
- Garnish with crushed peanuts, lime juice, and shredded carrot (on side, to be mixed in by lucky guest).
TIP: Never boil rice noodles; they will become soft and brittle, and turn to mush! Instead, put them in hot water and after 4-5 minutes check their consistency every 30 seconds. They are ready for frying when you tug at both ends of a noodle and it stretches firmly before snapping. If it doesn't snap at all it's too early, and if it easily pulls apart it's too late.