There is no doubt I adore Pad Thai. I’ve gone around and around with the recipe. It’s really always good (except for that one time), but I’ve finally simplified the recipe into a house standard. Yes! That tends to be my way sometimes, spin out into the complicated and then bring it back home to reality and the simple goodness.
So, here is my absolute favorite rendition of pad thai sauce…
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¾ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¾ cup lime juice
- Shake to combine.
That’s it! No fuss. I always have a bottle prepared in the pantry. This recipe will basically fill a regular sized soy sauce bottle and will serve 6-8.
I use Annie Chun’s brown rice pad thai noodles because those are the only whole grain ones I’ve discovered so far. Fresh garlic and ginger are a worthy addition. Green onion and chopped peanuts or cashews are a definite requirement. It’s difficult to write an absolute recipe because I’ve started under-soaking the noodles until they are even less than al dente. I just do it until it’s “right”, and I know that’s frustrating when it comes to recipes. This allows them to cook in the sauce and soak up the dreamy goodness even more. The whole process has become way less frenzied for me than it once was.
When cooking for 2:
Before starting… Prepare 2 servings of firm tofu. This means pressing the water out for a short while, marinating in vinegar and soy sauce, and then doing a quick saute. Set aside.
1. Soak 2 servings of noodles in hot steamy water, in a bowl not on the heat, for around 6-8 minutes.
2. Grate 2 inches ginger and a couple garlic cloves.
3. Slice 2-4 green onions.
At the 4-5 minute mark on the noodle soak…
4. Heat a small amount of oil in a large skillet pan on medium. Add ginger and garlic. (Hot oil is awesome if you have it.)
5. Drain noodles and add to pan.
6. Add sauce to almost cover noodles. Stir to combine everything. Add a lid. Make sure the sauce and noodles are on a medium low bubble.
7. Cook for a few minutes, not too high, stirring and adding more sauce if necessary to avoid drying out the noodles.
When you’ve tasted the noodles and they are just tender…
8. Add green onions to pan and toss. Throughout the process it’s best to use 2 large utensils to stretch and toss the noodles.
9. Divide onto two plates or large bowls. Top with tofu and chopped peanuts or cashews.
There is an almost fine line between being too wet and too dry. My ultimate success is when I can eat it with chop sticks. If it’s too wet, the noodles are too slick. If it’s too dry it becomes one big glop of a mess. That being said… in either scenario it’s still perfectly tasty with a fork. 🙂
*It is possible to use too much sauce. It’s strong, especially if you’re new to pad thai. I usually don’t need to add more sauce except maybe a small amount during cooking and perhaps just a drizzle at the table. It’s all about controlling the heat up top during the noodle cook and not getting it too hot and dry. This is my preferred method. The other way to do it is to completely soak the noodles according to package instructions and then treat it as a stir fry.
If it’s available we really like cilantro or basil on top. I also like to heat it up by adding a sprinkle of dried habanero on top.
Ok, now I want more pad thai. I can’t get enough of this stuff!Tags: pad thai, plant based, recipe, sauce, vegan