Pad Thai noodles are among the most popular take out items out there. They have always been a favorite in our house as well. Ever since I went down the vegan and gluten-free path, I have been trying to figure out how to replicate the flavors of Pad Thai with only plant-based ingredients and make it more healthful at the same time. The key ingredient that brings this dish to life is tamarind which has a sort of sour apple flavor. It is can be found in the asian section of most supermarkets and is not difficult to acquire. To brighten up the dish and make it something that is actually nourishing, I added vegetables, tofu, and replaced the standard white rice noodles with brown rice noodles. The revamped recipe is not only quick to prepare but also high in dietary fiber and protein, considerably lower in fat, and quite tasty.
|Pad Thai (vegan and gluten-free)
|For all ingredients, please use those that are organic or grown without pesticides.
|brown rice pad thai noodles, or white rice Pad Thai noodles
|(Annie Chun brown rice Pad Thai noodles can be found in natural food stores and some supermarkets as well as online)
|unsalted peanuts or cashews
|cloves garlic, minced
|scallions, thinly sliced
|tamarind paste, lime juice if you cannot find
|palm sugar, brown sugar if you cannot find
|tamari low sodium soy sauce
|extra firm tofu
|snow peas, thinly sliced
|red pepper, thinly sliced
|red chili flakes
|1 1/2 cups
|fresh cilantro leaves
|fresh lime wedges
|sriracha or sambal
|Remove the tofu from the packaging. Drain the water as much as possible. Put the tofu on a dinner size plate and cover with another plate of the same size. Put a pot or a few cans of tomatoes on top of the plate to provide enough weight to press the tofu. Leave at room temperature or refrigerate for 30-40 minutes. Drain the excess liquid from time to time.
|Dry the pressed tofu with a paper towel. Slice in into 1/4 x 1 inch pieces. Set aside.
|Prepare the garlic, scallions, snow peas, peppers, and cilantro. Set aside.
|Measure the tamarind, sugar, worcestershire, and tamari into a small bowl and set aside.
|Bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil.
|Put the noodles into a large bowl and cover with the boiling water for about 5 minutes.
|While the noodles are hydrating, begin to cook the remaining ingredients of the dish. This should take no longer than 5-7 minutes.
|Heat a wok or a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the coconut oil and the peanuts and cook until the peanuts begin to brown.
|Add the garlic and scallions and stir quickly to prevent burning. Immediately add the tofu and cook for about 1 minute.
|Add the liquid ingredients to the tofu and cook for about 1 minute.
|Add the snow peas, red peppers, and 1 cup of the bean sprouts and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
|Drain the noodles and add them to the vegetable mixture.
|Toss together over the heat and serve with the remaining bean sprouts, fresh cilantro leaves, lime wedges and your favorite hot sauce such as sriracha or a sambal.