After our weekend in the Cities and the amazing Thai food in St. Paul, I’ve been craving those high volume flavors of the Pad Thai we had eaten. I thought I had picked up all the ingredients when we were there to make it at home, but alas, I had forgotten tamarind paste and pickled turnips, oh and dried shrimp and ground dried red thai chile peppers. So here is my super-generic version with what I did remember to buy. The flavors aren’t as bright, but it was still tasty and now I know I can make Pad Thai in a pinch.
This only feeds two hungry people, but you can’t make much more than that all at once, because it becomes too cumbersome in the pan. So if you are serving more people and want to double the recipe, prep all the ingredients and have them portioned out by the stove then make it in two batches. This shouldn’t be an issue since once the cooking starts, it literally takes 5 minutes.
Planning Ahead: The sauce can be made in advance and refrigerated. If you have sauce leftover, it will keep for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. You can use it to spice up your next stir-fry or noodle dish.
Soy Marinated Tofu Pad Thai Recipe
A quick vegan tofu Pad Thai recipe you can make when the craving hits!
- Yield: 2 1x
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon chinese five-spice powder
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup fish sauce
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
- 7 ounces rice stick noodles
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup chopped garlic chives
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3 ounces fresh bean sprouts
- 1/3 cup minced roasted, salted peanuts
- lime wedges for serving
- Combine soy sauce and five-spice in a small bowl. Add tofu and marinate at least 30 minutes or up to 3 hours, turning occasionally. Cut into 2-inch long thin strips.
- Combine lime juice, orange juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and cayenne in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring to dissolve the sugar, until sauce has reduced by half. Taste and adjust to your preferences; if you like it spicier, add more cayenne, sweeter, more sugar, etc. But overall you should be able to taste salty, sour, sweet, and spicy in a nice balance.
- Place the rice stick noodles in a large mixing bowl and cover with boiling water until pliable, but not soft enough to eat without cooking more, about 2 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water, and if you are making the noodles in advance toss with a teaspoon or two of vegetable oil, cover and refrigerate.
- Place a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of oil and heat until oil is smoking. Add tofu and cook until golden brown, stirring frequently. Add 2 tablespoons of the sauce, toss to coat then remove tofu to a plate and return pan to high heat.
- Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Once hot, add 2/3 of the garlic chives and the garlic, stir for 30 seconds. Then push to one side and add the eggs, let them set up then scramble until cooked. Add noodles, 1/4 cup of the sauce, 2/3 of the bean sprouts and 2/3 of the peanuts. Toss until all the ingredients are incorporated, adding more sauce if necessary to coat the noodles, but you don’t want it to be saucy, about 1 to 2 minutes total.
- Remove from heat and add remaining garlic chives, bean sprout and peanuts. Toss a couple times to combine and divide between the two plates. Serve with lime wedges.