My husband cooks the way he does pretty much everything in life: with enthusiasm, attention to detail, and a drive for awesomeness. Watching him put a dish together, like this pad Thai, is really fun because I get to witness this interesting dance between his perfectionistic chopping of the garnish and his spontaneity with measurements and ingredients.
He’s the kind of guy who will walk through the grocery store with a crazed look in his eyes as he formulates his next creation in his head and gets inspired by the produce in front of him. It’s rather unfortunate that he’s also the guy who works very full days at the office and slides into home base when dinner is served. But weekends are a different story; this is a quick dish for him to throw together on a Friday or Saturday night.
This recipe is adapted from Rebar: Modern Food Cookbook. If you have ever been to Victoria, B.C. you have either eaten at or heard of the vegetarian restaurant, Rebar, which gives us this cookbook. (Add it to your list of places to eat. And if you’re still hungry, check out 5 other delicious things to eat in Victoria).
Here’s what you need:
1- 454 g package of rice noodles
1- 454 g block of extra-firm tofu
2-3 large carrots, cut into 2-inch sticks
2 tbsp coconut oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
juice of 1 lime
cilantro and green onion, chopped for garnish (use however much you want – we like a lot)
1 heaping tsp ground cumin
for the sauce:
just under 1/2 cup of soy sauce (we use Braggs soy aminos – you might be able to use coconut aminos…haven’t tried that yet!)
just under 1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
just over 1/4 cup ketchup
1 tbsp sambal oelek (optional – we leave it out of the cooking, but keep it at the table for those who want some heat)
other vegetables that go well – use a combo and mix it up every time for a different meal:
snow peas, bean sprouts, red pepper, baby corn
Here’s what you do:
1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn the heat off, add the noodles and cover for about 5 minutes.
2. While Step 1 is going on, cube the block of tofu and throw in a wok with coconut oil. Sprinkle with cumin and fry on med-high until crispy and golden. Set aside.
3. Drain noodles in a colander. Set aside.
4. Add some more coconut oil to the wok if needed. Add garlic. When the garlic starts browning, add carrots. Cook on med-high until carrots soften.
5. While Step 4 is going on, make the sauce by whisking together soy sauce, water, ketchup, honey and sambal oelek in a small bowl.
6. Once the carrots are cooked, add noodles and 3/4 of the sauce and stir until well mixed. Add tofu.
7. Whisk the remainder of the sauce again. That way, if there is any honey left at the bottom of the bowl it gets incorporated into the sauce. (This is an example of a ‘Nadir nugget’ – my name for the pearls of wisdom he likes to offer…haha!)
8. Add remainder of the sauce and lime juice. Stir until everything is coated.
9. Add garnish and serve.
We normally enjoy pad Thai on its own as a main dish, but have also served it beside a Thai-flavoured chicken. You can also make this non-vegetarian by adding cubed chicken breast, shrimp or ground beef.