What’s Cooking: Veggie and Tofu Pad Thai

Over the weekend, I made a completely vegan meal for my Aunt & Uncle and my grandparents. I was nervous and kinda stressed as I picked the menu because I wanted to make sure they left with a good impression of vegan cooking. I finally settled on pad thai. Derek and I used to make it in Seattle, but we used eggs, so the recipe needed some tweaking. But I was pretty sure I could pull it off. I know I won’t be convincing my Grandpa to give up meat any time soon, but he conceded that the meal “wasn’t awful” and the others said it was very good.

I ended up making enough for at least ten people, so I’ve tried to scale it down for a 4 person-serving. Be warned though, I didn’t follow a strict recipe and I didn’t write down my measurements so this is just a guide. Feel free to make adjustments if you try it yourself.

Shopping List

for the peanut sauce-

3 heaping tablespoons of peanut butter

2 tablespoons of soy sauce or Bragg’s liquid aminos

1/2 teaspoon cayenne chili powder (more or less, depending on how spicy you like)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons hot water

1 teaspoon orange zest

for the noodles-

1/2 package of rice noodles

1/2 package of super firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into small cubes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup of broccoli pieces

1 cup of cauliflower pieces

1 cup of carrot pieces

1 cup of bean sprouts

1/2 lime- save other half

1/3 cup chopped green onions (for garnish)

1/3 cup peanut pieces (for garnish)

orange and lime wedges (for garnish)

Step by Step

To make the sauce, mix the peanut butter and soy sauce in a microwavable dish. If it’s tough to stir, pop it in the micro for about 30 seconds. Then stir in the other ingredients. Taste and adjust depending on what you like. Derek wanted it to be citrusy so I used equal parts orange juice and water, but you could leave out the juice all together if you wanted the peanut flavor to be more prominent. I just kept mixing until it tasted right to me.

Once your sauce is all set, cook the tofu over medium-high heat until the cues are browned on all sides. When that’s done, place the rice noodles in a bowl of hot water (make sure they are completely covered) and let them soften while you cook the broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. We just steamed our veggies in a big wok but you could also try roasting them.

When the veggies are done, add the tofu, noodles, bean sprouts and sauce and mix until everything is covered in peanutty deliciousness. Squeeze the juice from half a lime over the noodles. After your serving is on your plate, top with some green onions and crushed peanuts. Add a couple wedges of citrus fruits and a sprinkle more of cayenne powder and you’re all set.

I like to mix a little brown rice in with  my pad thai (and so does Rebecca) but Derek and my aunt thought that was strange. So do what you want. The dish is great on it’s own but a little brown rice never hurt anyone.

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