Friday, April 20, 2007

Brooklyn Pad Thai

From Vegan With A Vengeance


1 lb rice noodles (we think slightly less)
peanut oil
1 lb tofu, drained and pressed, cut small
1 medium red onion, cut in half and sliced thinly
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 T finely minced lemongrass (we didn't have this)
2 C bean sprouts
8 scallion, sliced into 1-inch lengths
2 small dried red chiles, crumbled
1/2 chopped roasted peanuts
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
lime wedges for their beauty. oh yea, and flavor.

for the sauce:

6 T tamari
6 T sugar (we used brown)
2 T tomato paste
2 T hot sauce/asian hot chile sauce
1/4 C rice wine vinegar (we used rice vinegar with a splash of rice wine--to hedge our bets)
3 T tamarind concentrate (we made this from tamarind paste. just mush it up in a little bit of water, making sure to remove the seeds and skins) or lime juice

prepare noodles according to package. then mix together all ingredients for the sauce. i guess you could heat the sauce slightly, to get rid of the tomato paste chunks, i just took my time pressing them out with the back of my spoon, so colin did most of the work.

preheat that good ol' large skillet or wok, med-high to high heat. add peanut oil and fry the tofu until crispy. remove from pan and set aside. The book says this will take 5 minutes. Admittedly, i'm a bad tofu-presser, but i usually fry tofu for more like 15, even 20 minutes. so maybe start one side and then go do the sauce, then they'll be ready to flip? something like that? also, a splash of soy sauce at the very end of the frying will a) give the tofu a nice brown color and b) create a satisfying sizzle.

Now for the fun part. Clean the pan, etc, etc, preheat, add oil, and add half the red onion. The recipe is put together in two parts--so we'll use half of everything, then repeat. stir fry for 30 seconds. add half the garlic and half the lemongrass, stir-fry for another 30 seconds (really, these numbers are in the book!). Add half the sauce, and when it starts to bubble (almost immediately), add half the cooked noodles. cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly (tongs work well here), then add half the tofu, bean sprouts, scallions, chiles, and peanuts. stir for another 30 seconds, then transfer to plates, add cilantro and lime wedge. Then repeat with the remaining ingredients.

It says to serve 4, but seems more like 5 or 6, depending on what side dishes you're rocking.

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