Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thai Noodles

It’s the end of Vegan MoFo and I’ve been a little remiss because I had a busy time since Thanksgiving and haven’t posted a lot recently. But I’m hoping to knock out two final posts tonight. First up, we have Thai style noodles. Some people would call it Pad Thai but I’ll stick to Thai style noodles since it’s not authentic, but it is really good. It’s something that’s easy enough to make for two, but if you’re cooking for four, you’ll need to do it in batches because you’d need a huge pan to pull it off. On the side, I made some Thai style fennel salad (it’s part of my “it’s just wrong” repertoire). I bought fennel because it looked great, but wanted Thai food, so decided to use the fennel for a Thai salad. You could easily sub cabbage or any other crisp vegetable that you can slice really thin.

Thai style noodles

¼ cup of palm sugar
1 tablespoon of tamarind paste
¼ cup of soy sauce
1 teaspoon of chile paste (or more to taste)
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
3 oz. Rice noodles, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes
3 scallions, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal
1-2 cups of bean sprouts, rinsed, trimmed if they’re budding
1 block of firm tofu, cut into ½ inch cubes
¼ cup chopped roasted peanuts
1 handful of Thai basil, washed and coarsely chopped
1 handful of cilantro, washed and coarsely chopped
Lime wedges for garnish

1. Make the sauce. Combine the palm sugar, tamarind paste, soy sauce, chile paste, ginger and about ½ a cup of water in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar and let it boil for a few minutes to reduce slightly. It should be syrupy.
2. Sauté the tofu in a large non-stick skillet or wok in a little bit of oil or spray oil. Cook it until most of the water has evaporated and it’s browned somewhat. Add the scallions and cook for another minute.
3. Add the noodles and the sauce and toss to combine everything. Because the noodles were soaked for 15 minutes, they should only need about 3-4 minutes to cook completely; by which time the sauce will have coated everything. Add the bean sprouts and half of the herbs and toss again.
4. Divide between two plates and add the remaining herbs and roasted peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

Thai fennel salad

¼ cup of rice vinegar
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 inch piece of ginger, grated
1 teaspoon chile paste
1 tablespoon of soy sauce
1 head of fennel, finely sliced on a mandolin

Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl and mix until the sugar is dissolved. Add the fennel and mix. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

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