I would just like to begin this post by telling everyone that I am a huge fan of Thai food. Whenever given the option of shovelling Thai food into my face, I choose it over literally anything else. I appreciate the few good options for Thai I’ve had had the chance in Canada. I am also really looking forward to assisting (aka respectfully standing back while my bFF who spent time as an actual chef in Thailand talks, and maybe show people how to cook their side rice) with a vegetarian Thai cooking class later this year.
I give you all of this context so that you can understand how conflicted I feel posting a recipe that is basically a bastardized PAD THAI. Which accounts for the title. It’s just that, every time I post a picture that I am eating this, SOMEONE just hassssss to ask for the recipe & it makes me feel all INAUTHENTIC. I guess if we’re getting technical, even VEGANIZING a Pad Thai may minimize its authenticity in some folks’ opinions. But to replace peanuts with cashews, bean sprouts with broccoli, and cilantro with basil? Go ahead and call me a shitty person. I deserve it. But I’m going to own it, and carry on sharing my favourite noodle dish to make in large quantities, and eat until I am pretty sure I am going to turn into one gigantic congealed rice noodle. When this inevitably happens to me, I picture myself kind of looking like an X-Files Flukeman but a little spicier. (Disclaimer: maybe don’t watch that episode while you’re eating).
Anyways, this tangy and sweet sauce is bae, and TBH I would probably eat it on anything. If you want to change the rest of the dish back to the basic staples of Pad Thai, fine by me. YOU DO YOU. However, I am going to share it exactly how I like it, and I hope that you like it too!
3/4 cups Tamari (use gluten-free if you don’t love gluten like I do, and you’re set!)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white rice vinegar
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup Sriracha
3 tbsp tamarind paste
juice of two fresh limes
The Other Stuff
One pound thick rice noodles (the ones that look like ribbons)
Oil for frying
1 pound of tofu, pressed.
1 medium head of broccoli (2-3 cups chopped)
3 cloves minced garlic
1 stalk minced lemongrass
1 medium sweet onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 cup roasted cashews, crushed
1/2 cup fresh Thai basil, finely chopped
1 lime (for serving)
1. Alright, cool. First, I think it’s probably best that you cook your rice noodles according to package instructions, and set them aside so that they don’t congeal into the aforementioned fluke monster later. (BONUS TIP: WHILE COOKING MY RICE NOODLES ON THE STOVETOP, I LIKE TO STEAM MY BROCCOLI OVERTOP IN MY LITTLE STEAMER TRAY AND ALSO SET THAT ASIDE. TWO BIRDS STONED AT ONCE!)
2. K, cool. Now we take care of that tofu. I pressed mine, then chopped it into cubes. Then, in my well seasoned cast iron pan (preheated, medium heat), I tossed in a couple TBSP of oil, and cooked it a couple minutes on each side. Set this aside.
3. This is kind of a MEANWHILE step. Seriously just dump all of your sauce ingredients into a bowl, whisk, and ALSO set aside for use in a couple minutes.
4. Now, in a large frying pan or wok. First, in another couple tbsp of oil, you’re going to start cooking that onion until translucent. Next, the minced garlic and lemongrass for another 30 seconds. Toss in your prepared tofu, and broccoli. Next, the sauce. When it starts to bubble, toss in your noodles as well (make sure they’re not all stuck together)! Stir until well coated.
5. Add 3/4 cups of your crushed cashews, and chopped green onions, and cook for another minute.
6. Serve, and garnish with remaining cashews, fresh basil, and lime wedges! FUCK YA FUCK YA FUCK YA
So, while not really an actual authentic dish or anything, I hope that you give this a go and see why it is one of my fucking favourites. I just finished the last of mine today, and am already craving more. If you decide to make this and improvise with different ingredients, let me know what they are! I would love to hear how you fucked with your “Pad Thai” even more than mine. WE CAN LAUGH OVER IT TOGETHER LIKE BUDS.