Thursday, March 8, 2012

Pad Thai

I was on my favorite site, VegWeb, and I came across a Pad Thai recipe that I thought looked amazing.  I've been wanting to try making Pad Thai for the longest time, but never had the right ingredients.  When I saw this recipe, I was really excited!  It was such a simple version that any average Joe would have the ingredients around the house...except for the rice noodles.  I don't think that's an average ingredient...or maybe it is?  I'm Italian, so I always have pasta, but not Asian noodles,  especially, because they are a bit more expensive.  Well, I had the rice noodles this time!  I bought them a short while back to save for a special recipe.  I made the Pad Thai tonight, and, oh, was it good!!!  It definitely passed the hubby and kid test!

I made my version of the Pad Thai recipe that I found, which I will share with you.  If you would like to see the original, click here.  I had to cut this recipe in half, except for the tofu, because 1 pound of any pasta or noodles is too much for my family to eat.  We would have tons of leftovers.

The key to making this, if you are using a wok, which I did, is you want to make sure you have every ingredient ready to go to throw in the wok when it's time to cook it.  I've made the mistake, many times, of not having an ingredient ready and either burning what was in the wok or splattering oil.  Not fun!

Pad Thai (the Jamie version)

You can get the printable version HERE.

1/2 pound uncooked rice noodles, soaked in hot water for 1/2 hour and drained

14 oz extra firm tofu, pressed, and cubed (I use Woodstock Farms)

1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup canola oil

1/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup white vinegar

1/4 cup plus 1/8 cup sugar (I use Florida Crystals organic sugar)

1 Tablespoon ketchup (yes ketchup!)

1 teaspoon paprika

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

16 ounces of frozen Asian vegetable mix OR approximately 2 cups of your favorite stir-fry vegetables (carrots, broccoli, string beans, green pepper, etc.)

Heat up 1/4 cup of canola oil in your wok on medium low.  Be sure the tofu is ready before you heat your wok up because it heats up fast!  When oil is heated, throw in the cubed tofu and saute until golden.  This makes the tofu chewy.  

Once tofu is done to your liking, drain from the oil and set aside.  I placed it on a large dish lined with some napkins to drain out any extra oil.

Once tofu is removed from your wok, with the extra oil left from the sautéing, saute your veggies until heated, if they were frozen, or tender yet still with a crunch, if they are fresh...I don't like them too soft...when they are done, remove from the wok, and set aside.

While veggies are sautéing, in a small mixing bowl, mix together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, ketchup, and paprika, and set aside.  

After the veggies have cooked, and have been removed from your wok, heat 1/8 cup of canola oil in the wok on medium low and saute the soaked and drained rice noodles, coating them well.  Once they are coated in the oil, add the soy sauce mixture and the garlic into the wok with the rice noodles.  Keep the sauce at a simmer, and continue to mix the noodles and the sauce frequently. 

You'll begin to notice the noodles soften a bit more as they absorb the sauce.

Once noodles are cooked and the liquid is almost completely absorbed into the noodles, add back in the  tofu and the veggies, and heat through.

Once heated through, eat up, and enjoy!   

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