Meatless Monday: Pad Thai

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

As promised, the fantastic Pad Thai Recipe!! Adapted from this recipe on

Pad Thai


  • 8 oz. Pad Thai rice noodles (thin, flat linguini-like noodles)
  • (Like these)
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup purple onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 "heads" of baby bok choy, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup ground (or well-chopped) cashews*
* John is allergic to peanuts, so I substituted ground cashews. You can use peanuts or any other nut you like, but to get the richness of flavor I would recommend cashews or peanuts. Maybe macadamias? Hmm...

Pad Thai Sauce:
  • 3/4 Tbsp. faux Tamarind Paste*
  • 1/4 cup hot water
  • 3+1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce (or gluten-free soy sauce)
  • 1/2 to 2 tsp. chili sauce (to taste), OR 1-2 fresh red chilies, minced
  • 3 Tbsp. brown sugar
* If you have it, use the real thing. I was out, so made up Faux Tamarind instead. To make the Faux Tamarind Paste, you'll need brown sugar and some juice from a citrus, preferably orange, but if you don't have orange try mixing it up with whatever you have on hand. Here's what I did: Mix up 1/4 cup boiling water, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, juice from 1/2 a lemon, a squeeze of lime juice (from the bottle), and a couple of tablespoons tangerine juice (I had a bunch of tangerines laying around). As you can see, it's basically brown sugar + some citrus juice + boiling water to dissolve it and meld it together. You then only need 2 tbsp of this mix, but I wound up with more than that because I wanted to use all the various juices. Note that these ingredients are completely separate from the other ingredients for the sauce. You still need that brown sugar, etc.

  • 3-4 Tbsp. oil for stir-frying (I like sesame oil for this, but olive or canola will work)
  • 2-3 Tbsp. faux chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and remove from heat. Be sure to stir thoroughly or those babies will get all stuck together, just like any pasta. Stir it!!!! This is the voice of experience speaking. I waited to midway through to stir and wound up hand-peeling the noodles apart. Not so fun. Soak noodles in the hot water for 6-10 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Tip: Noodles are ready to drain when they are soft enough to eat, but still firm and a little bit "crunchy". The noodles will finish cooking when they are fried.
  2. Dissolve the tamarind paste in the hot water. Add the other pad thai sauce ingredients and stir well to dissolve the sugar. Add as much or as little chili sauce as you prefer, but don't skimp on the sugar (you need it to balance the sourness of the tamarind). Reserve.
  3. Place your large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp. oil plus the garlic and shallot. Stir-fry 1 minute to release the fragrance.
  4. Add the bok choy plus the stock. Stir-fry 2 minutes, or until bok choy is bright green and slightly softened.
  5. Push ingredients aside and add 1/2 Tbsp. more oil to the center of the wok/pan. Add the eggs and stir-fry briefly to scramble them.
  6. Push eggs aside and add a little more oil to the middle of the wok/pan. Now add the drained noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir-fry everything together for 1 minute using 2 utensils and a tossing motion (like tossing a salad).
  7. Add a little more sauce and continue stir-frying in the same way for 1-2 more minutes, or until the noodles begin to soften and become sticky. Reduce heat to medium if noodles begin to stick and burn.
  8. Add the water chestnuts plus the remaining sauce. Stir-fry to incorporate everything together for 1-3 more minutes, or until noodles are done. Noodles are cooked to perfection when they are soft but still deliciously chewy and a little bit sticky.

  9. Remove from heat and taste-test, adding more soy sauce if desired for more salt/flavor.
  10. To serve, scoop noodles onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with the green onion, coriander/cilantro, and ground nuts. Serve immediately and ENJOY!
The finished dish with its lovely cilantro, green onion and cashew topping:


Elise said...

Hi Cynthia!
I tried this recipe tonight, it was good!

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