Pad thai is a favorite of mine. I am sure at some point I’ve told the story about the old YMCA on the University of Illinois campus (right by the quad & Chi Omega house, for those familiar) and the Thai food they served there for lunch. Sometimes around noon I’ll get a text from my sister-in-law (a senior at U of I) that she just had YMCA pad thai. I get so jealous every time…it is so good.
Of course I’ve come up with nothing near as good, but my quest continues.
But then I thought back to previous pad thai attempts and reader comments on rare or hard-to-fine ingredients. Admittedly, I drove miles to find tamarind paste for the last pad thai recipe I tried. So being the practical reader-pleaser that I am, I gave this recipe a whirl. Ends up, it was really good!
Fish sauce and Sriracha can be found in any grocer – just check out the Asian/ethnic foods aisle. Flat rice noodles are also easy to find. A Taste of Thai is a popular brand I’ve found a lot of luck with. All of the other ingredients are simple, cheap, and can be found anywhere. If you’ve never had pad thai or made pad thai, this would be a great beginner recipe.
I do plan to tweak the recipe some (now that I have tamarind paste, I think I should probably use it!) to make it more authentic, but we thoroughly enjoyed this recipe. I even lightened it up a bit more by baking the tofu and omitting all of the oil. I then declared this recipe for for 3 versus 4. Portion control is tough with something like pad thai…you’ll see!
Crispy Tofu Pad Thai adapted from Cooking Light
1 (14 oz) package extra firm tofu, drained
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
6 ounces flat rice noodles, uncooked
1/3 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
2 large eggs + 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
2 green onions, chopped
3 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
3 Tbsp unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
1 cup coleslaw mix or cabbage, shredded
3 lime wedges
Preheat oven to 475 F.
Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Press down firmly to remove water. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes, and layer on a baking sheet or 9 x 13 pan, coated in cooking spray. Spray tofu cubes lightly with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper. Bake tofu for 30-35 minutes, or until lightly golden.
Prepare noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well; set aside.
Combine ketchup, sugar, fish sauce, and Sriracha; set aside.
Spray a fry pan with non-stick spray. Add eggs and egg white; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from pan. Add noodles to fry pan; cook 1-2 minutes. Stir in ketchup mixture; cook 30 seconds. Add egg mixture and tofu; cook 1 minute, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in onions and cilantro. Top each of three servings with 1 tablespoon peanuts. Serve with lime wedges. Yield: 3 servings (about 1 1/3 cup each)
Nutrition Information (per serving): 487 calories; 12.7 g. fat; 143 mg. cholesterol; 885 mg. sodium; 68.7 g. carbohydrate; 5.3 g. fiber; 22.7 g. protein
Result: We really enjoyed this! It certainly wasn’t “traditional” but I appreciated the simplicity and sweeter flavor. Like I mentioned before, if you’re a newcomer to pad thai, I think this would be the perfect first taste. Enjoy!
Weigh-in last night went as expected — +0.4 lbs. 🙁 I deserve it. There was a few too many of these (there’s only 4 left and Mr. P can account for none of them…oops) and over the duration of the weekend I enjoyed a nice bottle of 2003 Banfi Chianti that may or may not have been accounted for calorically. Imagine that!
On a completely unrelated note, Mr. Prevention asked me to be his wife 4 years ago today. Aww 🙂 We had a long, 2 year and 2 month engagement while he finished his expat assignment in Italy, and our 2nd wedding anniversary is coming up in May. It’s hard to believe how quickly time passes by! Love you, babe.
Question: Have you had pad thai? And do you celebrate fun “anniversaries” in time, too?
Gettin’ closer to the weekend!!