Monday, February 1, 2010

Tofu Pad Thai, if slightly adulterated


Pad Thai is something I’ve been dreaming about for a week now, but with the budget being tight I really couldn’t even fathom sneaking some at a local restaurant without a serious tsk-tsk-ing from my ascetic husband, who doesn’t seem to ever need restaurant food. What ended up being great about this was how fast it was: I had whipped it up in the time it would have taken me to figure out where the closest Thai restaurant was anyway. 

The only problem with Pad Thai, as is the case with many ethnic foods, is the exotic ingredients that can be tough to find, and then even tougher to use up…after you’ve used 1 tsp of the dried banana leaves, what’s going to happen to the rest of the jar? So I did a little research and tried to make a version that is a little more user-friendly; at the very least the ingredients are all available at your local grocery store, and with a little internet research could be incorporated into other recipes easily. You can find plenty of authentic recipes on line, but the main changes I made are subbing a few things out for tamarind, and using udon noodles in the place of rice noodles (I couldn’t find the variety that is recommended, and everything I read said that they’re challenging to work with and easily ruined).

2 bundles udon noodles (a 10-oz. package has 3 bundles) (use rice noodles for the gluten-free version)

4 Tbs peanut oil (ok, ok, or canola)

2 bunches green onion, white and green parts sliced

2 cloves garlic

1 14-oz container firm tofu (or you could use chicken), cut into cubes

6 Tbl dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts, ground

2 eggs, lightly beaten

lime slices and chopped peanuts for garnish


1 Tbs Thai fish sauce (use soy sauce or miso instead for the vegetarian version)

2 Tbs ketchup

1 Tbs plum sauce (I saw other recipes that used chili sauce here)

1 Tbs water

3 tsp brown sugar


Set your noodles a-boiling in salted water. While they’re cooking whisk together the sauce and prep the green onions and garlic.


This would also be a good time to grind those peanuts…


…and to cube that tofu.


Heat the oil in your wok/deep fry pan until it smokes, add the green onions and garlic and fry for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.


Add the tofu and fry for 3-4 minutes more.


Pour in the eggs and stir constantly so that no large curds form, until the mixture seems dry, about 3 minutes. Hopefully by now you’ve drained the noodles, because it’s time (this really happens quickly)!


Add the noodles and the sauce and stir it all up until combined and hot. Serve the pad thai with more chopped peanuts and slices of lime.



  1. OK, I know I'm commenting in the wrong spot because I'm really commenting on what I term "Sarah's Peanut Butter Cookies." I have been craving them since I first read your blog. For clarification, I am not in the "reproducing state" I simply had a hankering for those best ever I made some today and though not as good as yours, I am satisfied! Thank you!!

  2. More to say...I was in Sunflower Market today which is where I bought the WW Pastry Flour to make the cookies...first time ever buying WW Pastry Flour...didn't know it existed or served a purpose on this earth. You are expanding my horizons. :) While I was there I also bought quinoa. I have eaten it but never cooked it so I'll be trying those peppers (the red ones are about $.80 each at Sunflower!). And I bought coconut milk because I am craving your lentil recipe...and stuff for thai noodles/pad just make me want to eat!!!! BUT NOT the sushi or salmon snack. Not a chance. I have been taken out to a very good sushi place in Denver and I could not swallow most of the items...sorry. I want to like it, I really do. It seems so hip, I just can't get my throat to open up and accept it. Oh well, as they say, that just leaves more for those of you who like the stuff! Thanks for all the other great recipes!! :)