I’d been in the mood for a good Pad Thai ever since I’d seen Heidi’s post a couple of weeks ago.
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity for me to try the super cool sweet potato noodles that I’d found back when I went to the little Asian Market near my parents’ place, you know, the one where I always end up spending too much money.
I’m not sure just how nutritional those noodles are, really… but they are just unbelievably cool! They’re very similar to the more popular cellophane noodles (in fact, I suspect they might be the exact same thing, I’ve seen them both referred to as Jap Chae. I will have to research that!) and chewing on them feels like you’re eating gelatin! I absolutely love that chewy texture!
I meant to use Heidi’s recipe as is, but soon realised I would have to make a
few many adaptations. For one, there was no time, or lime, to marinate the tofu. I would have to do without. And two, the shrimps were frozen solid… oops!
Now, I wouldn’t exactly call my adaptation an absolute success. While it tasted very very good, I didn’t care much for the egg. Let’s just say that it wasn’t visually pleasing at all. Next time, I will definitely leave it out.
Also, the dish turned out wayyyy too dry. Next time, I will double the amount of sauce.
The tofu cubes, however, did not disappoint. I really wish I would’ve had time (and lime) to marinate them. It must make them insanely good. Next time, I will marinate my tofu.
One thing I did learn while making this pad thai is that it is possible to pan fried tofu and make it to be as good as the deep fried stuff. You just have to be patient. Very patient. Just as with a piece of meat, you have to leave it alone and let it form a crust. Don’t play with it. Throw it in the pan, leave it be until it willingly comes off the pan. If you have to force it, it means the crust is not done forming and you will just break the cube. When the first side is crusted, flip the cubes and let a second side crust. Then, and only then, will you be able to start sauté it to get to all the other sides.
Spicy Peanut and Tofu Pad Thai
Adapted from Food Doodles Recipe
- 175g sweet potato noodles (or any noodles you like)
- About 1 tbsp olive oil
- 225g firm tofu
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 cup carrots, sliced on the diagonal
- 3 green onions, finely chopped (save some to garnish)
- 125g broccoli florets
- 1 egg, beaten (I’ll leave that one out next time)
Sauce (I’ll double the amount next time)
- 15g fresh ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp all natural peanut butter
- 1 tsp sambal oelek
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1½ tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp mirin
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (to taste)
- ½ cup water
- 2 tbsp peanuts, crushed
- Green onions, to garnish
- Start by wrapping tofu in paper towels and put some weight on it, such as a large can; leave that be while you attend to other things.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions (if you are lucky enough to have instructions on your package) then rinse in cold water and set them aside to drain. While the noodles are cooking, prep your other ingredients.
- Drizzle a little bit of olive oil in large skillet and heat over high heat. When it’s really hot throw in the tofu cubes and turn the heat down to medium-high. Cook your tofu from 5-10 minutes, until nice, crispy and golden on all sides.
- While the tofu is happening, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small mixing bowl. Whisk until well incorporated. Set aside
- When tofu is done, remove from pan and drizzle a bit more olive oil. Throw in the garlic, carrots and broccoli. Cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes, then add the beaten egg and green onions. Stir and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes, until egg is completely cooked.
- Stir in sauce and continue cooking for about 1 minute, until the mixture thickens. Throw in your cooked noodles and mix until well combined.
- Transfer to serving plates and garnish with toasted peanuts and green onions.