Hank and I love our pad thai. I feel like I should put that in caps or something.
We have been making Mark Bittman‘s recipe for a few years now. The thing that is great about this recipe is the cabbage that is used as a noodle substitute/booster. You use a whole head of napa cabbage and very little rice noodles. The cabbage sorta cooks down and blends in with the starch of the noodles, and in a way you can’t really tell that it is cabbage anymore.
Recently though, we tried the ‘Vegetarian Planet’ version of the recipe. I really enjoyed the sauce in this recipe, but the problem with this one is that you just use a bunch of noodles. This is fine for your initial intake of the yumminess, but you can forget about reheating these babies. I mean, who wants a big blob of rice noodle starchiness? When we make a meal we want leftovers, it is that simple. What would we eat for lunch the next day if we didn’t have leftovers?
So, this time around we combined the two recipes and then changed a few things. Here is what we did:
8oz. rice noodles
1/4 cup lime juice or to taste (approximately 1.5 limes) +wedges for garnish 3 Tbsp fish sauce
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp sambal
2 large cloves of garlic
3 large shallots (or whatever type of onion family product you might want)
2 Tbsp grated ginger
3 eggs (scrambled) (we would have added more, because this is one of our favorite parts, but we didn’t have any)
2 cups bean sprouts
1/4 head of green cabbage
chopped peanuts and cilantro for garnish
Boil enough water to cover noodles. Pour over noodles and cover. When soft, drain, add peanut or vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Set aside.
Wrap block of tofu in paper towels and place under several plates or heavy pan to help press out the water.
Mix lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar and sambal. Set aside.
Chop shallots and garlic. Cook in peanut oil until soft. Add ginger and scrambled eggs. When eggs are set, add cabbage and bean sprouts.
No one ever tells you to do this, but I will let you in on a little secret. The cabbage lets off a lot of water (no surprise there, right?), and if you don’t get rid of some of it then you will be waiting forever until the water cooks off, but if you want to have pad thai soup you can do that too. So, we tip the pan on it’s side and take a spoon and get some of the water out. No harm, no foul.
Chop tofu into cubes and add to mixture. Cook until tofu is warm (everyone always says until brown. It takes a loooong time to get it browned, and at this point you are going to be drooling over how amazing this smells, so just wait until it is warm. Add the cooked noodles and sauce. Mix well and let simmer for a few minutes.
Garnish with peanuts, cilantro and lime wedges. Serves 4-6 (depending on how big the pit in your stomach is).