HOUSTON – Are you looking for a creative and delicious way to sneak in veggies into your family’s diet this quarantine? Or maybe you just want ideas to spice up your cooking game? How about trying vegan pad Thai!
Stephanie Rich, owner and executive chef with Verdine in The Heights, shares the recipe for this noodle dish that many Texans are craving these days, because surprisingly, Pad Thai, is one of the most ordered items in Texas according to Uber Eats.
“The key to a good pad Thai is the sauce. What I’ve done is cleaned it up a little bit with vegetarian fish sauce. Anybody who might have a shellfish or a seafood allergy, you can order pad Thai to-go, and make it at home with that,” said Rich, who explained that the sauce should taste like a mixture of salt, sour and sweet, and heat depending on taste.
Some of the substitutions she used in the recipe include organic rice vinegar, organic coconut nectar, tofu and tomato paste.
If you’re planning on doing this recipe, Rich encourages you to load up on veggies.
“Experiment with your favorite veggie combinations or use whatever you have on hand. Frozen veggies work great here too. With more veggies you add volume, reducing the calories per serving,” said Rich.
If you want to learn how to do this pad Thai at home, watch the video above, or check out the recipe below.
Healthy Crispy Tofu Pad Thai
( Makes 4 servings)
Pad Thai Sauce:
• ¼ cup vegetarian fish sauce
• ¼ cup tamari or soy sauce
• 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1 tablespoon coconut nectar
• 2 medjool dates, pitted
• 1 teaspoon sriracha
• 1 teaspoon tomato paste
• Juice of 1 lime
• 8-ounce brown rice noodles
• 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, or high heat oil of your choice
• 1-pound extra firm tofu
• ½ bunch, about 4, scallions, white & light green ends thinly sliced and dark green parts cut into 1-2-inch pieces
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 4 cups of sliced matchstick vegetables such as: zucchini, shiitake mushroom, snow peas, bell pepper, carrot, or shredded cabbage
• 1 cup bean spouts
• Crushed peanuts, for garnishing
• Lime slices, for garnishing
• Cilantro, for garnishing
Prepare the Pad Thai Sauce:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a high-power blender and blend on high until smooth.
Prepare the Rice Noodles:
1. Boil the rice noodles per package directions, typically 5 – 10 minutes. Drain and rinse and set aside until ready to use.
Prepare the Tofu:
1. Cut the tofu in half lengthwise so it’s the same overall size but now half the thickness. Press the tofu between two clean kitchen towels and plates for a minimum of 10 minutes and maximum of overnight.
2. After the tofu is pressed, cut each half into 16 equal cubes.
Prepare the Pad Thai:
1. Heat 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil in a large sauté pan, when oil is hot add the cubed tofu and season with salt and pepper. Allow the tofu to crisp and brown on all sides, about 6 – 8 minutes.
2. Add the white and green ends of the sliced scallions with minced garlic and sauté for 1- 2 minutes.
3. Add in the 4 cups of prepared matchstick cut vegetables and sauté until veggies begin to soften about 5 minutes.
4. Add in the crispy tofu, cooked noodles, bean sprouts, and reserved dark green ends of the scallions with the pad Thai sauce, continue to cook for 2 – 3 minutes more to allow everything to come together event distribute the veggies with the noodles.
5. Serve with crushed peanuts, cilantro and a lime wedge.
Verdine is open for pick up and delivery for delicious vegan and gluten-free dishes and desserts.
If you want to order from Verdine, click here.
Recipe provided by Stephanie Rich.