Monday, March 24, 2008

Terrestrail Vegan Takes on Pad Thai Challenge

Apparently all I do over spring break is cook. But what better time to experiment with recipes than when your only real responsibility for the week is keeping plans with friends? In a week it'll be back to PB&J for lunch and Boca Burgers for dinner.

So here goes.

Yesterday Jess and I took our monthly trip to Winco to celebrate Easter. (Not really, it just happened to be open on Easter and there was nothing better to do than fill an empty pantry.) So there I am perusing the Asian Food aisle, and what do I stumble upon? Glass noodles. My all time favorite bean noodle to be used in Pad Thai...and so it begins:

I made up the recipe..which is pretty amazing, because while I am a great cook...I am only great at following recipes.

Kerry's Wonderfully Amazing Pad Thai Woon Sen
(Woon Sen simply means with bean noodles...
you can order Pad Thai Woon Sen at any Thai restaurant if you are interested.)

Serves: 2 REALLY hungry people

1 Package Woon Sen/Bean Noodles/Glass Noodles

1/4 cup Bragg's Amino Acids (Soy Sauce is a less healthy alternative)
1/4 cup Freash Lime Juice
1 T Rice Vinegar
2 T Orange Juice
4-6 T Peanut Butter
1/8 cup Brown Sugar
3 T Agave Nectar (If not available just add more Brown Sugar)
1/8 cup Crushed Peanuts (unsalted)

Use any vegetables you enjoy. I used:
3 Kale Leaves chopped
1/2 Mushrooms
1 cup red cabbage
1 carrot peeled

Protein Choice:
Use any protein you enjoy. I used:
1/2 pound Extra Firm Tofu (Frozen/Thawed/Cubed)

First you will need to prepare the glass noodles. Do this by submerging two of the noodle blocks (they look like big pieces of shredded wheat) into cold water. Let them soak for 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to boil.

While the glass noodles soak and the water boils prepare the sauce. To do this combine all the sauce ingredients into a sauce pan. Turn the sauce pan on low--allowing the peanut butter to melt. Stir occasionally or whisk--and turn the heat off once the peanut butter has melted.

Back to the noodles: Drain the noodles from the cold water and place them into the boiling water. Let them cook for about 3-5 minutes or until they look "glass-y." Drain, rinse with cold water, and set aside in a bowl of ice cold water.

Use a wok or large pan to fry up all your veggies and tofu. You can fry them in peanut oil if you have some available, but I simply used an Oil Spray like PAM and some water. Once your veggies are tender and the tofu is browned, drain and add the glass noodles and Peanut Sauce to the wok. Cook until warm. Serve.

I garnished mine with red pepper flakes, carrot flowers (that I made!!), lime, and cabbage.

The verdict:
It is nice to know I can enjoy Pad Thai again finally since Sweet Basil started adding overbearing amounts of FISH SAUCE to all their dishes last year.

Personally it was the best Pad Thai I have had. Granted I've never had authentic Thai, but this beats Gumari Thai in Chicago...which is saying a lot. (But--nothing will ever beat their Yellow Curry.)

Next time I will pan fry the glass noodles before adding them to the wok. They weren't MUSHY per say, but they didn't have the crunch I like.

All in all, a great meal. Even if it was technically my breakfast!




Sar Sar said...

Good work my dear! I want some.

herbstsonne said...

OH MY GOSH that looks so good. I will be making that as soon as I get back to Eugene (this is Meg from Sisters Vegan, btw; thanks for leaving us a comment! ;)