Mar 12, 2013

Delicious (step-by-step) Pad Thai with Tofu

As we entered 2013, I promised myself I would cook more often. I've always been a huge fan of pad thai so I knew this was something I wanted to try. Finding the perfect recipe was super important... I didn't want it to be too hard, but enough that I felt a sense of accomplishment. This recipe originated from Epicurious but I altered it a little so it's easier for beginners. It does take a bit of time but it's quite easy and the end results are SO WORTH IT! Trust me. I took pictures along the way so you wouldnt't get lost, promise. Enjoy!

Introducing: Pad Thai with Tofu [4-6 servings - 1 hour]
  • Ingredients:
    12 ounces dried flat rice noodles (1/4 inch wide; sometimes called pad Thai or banh pho)
  • 3 tablespoons tamarind (OR lemon/lime juice mixed with a touch of brown sugar)
  • 1 cup boiling-hot water
  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Sriracha (Southeast Asian chile sauce- ONLY if you want it to be spicy)
  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 4 large shallots
  • 1 (14- to 16-ounce) package firm tofu
  • 1 1/2 cups peanut or vegetable oil
  • 6 large eggs
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups bean sprouts (1/4 pound)
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, chopped

    1) Soak noodles in a large bowl of warm water until softened (25 to 30 minutes). Drain well in a colander & cover with a dampened paper towel. 
    2) Meanwhile, make sauce by soaking tamarind pulp in boiling-hot water in a small bowl, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Force mixture through a sieve into a bowl, discarding seeds and fibers. Add soy sauce, brown sugar, and Sriracha, stirring until sugar has dissolved. (If you're using lemon juice, mix with soy sauce, brown sugar & Sriracha)
    Cut scallions into 2-inch pieces. Halve pale green and white parts lengthwise. Cut shallots crosswise into very thin slices with slicer.
    4) Heat oil in wok over medium heat, then fry shallots. (stir frequently until golden-brown, 8 to 12 minutes) Shallots will crisp as they cool.)
    Rinse tofu, then cut into 1-inch cubes and pat very dry.
    6) Heat oil over high heat and fry tofu until golden. (turn occasionally, 5 to 8 minutes) Transfer tofu to paper towels using a slotted spoon. Pour off frying oil and reserve.
    7) Lightly beat eggs with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in wok over high until it shimmers. Add eggs to wok stirring gently with a spatula until cooked through. Break into chunks with spatula and transfer to a plate. (You're basically making scramble eggs!)

    Heat wok over high heat until a drop of water evaporates instantly. Pour in 6 tablespoons of oil, then swirl to coat side of wok.
    9) Stir-fry scallions and garlic (1 minute)

    10) Add noodles and stir-fry over medium heat (use 2 spatulas if necessary, 3 minutes.)

    11) Add tofu, bean sprouts, and 1 1/2 cups sauce and simmer, turning noodles over to absorb sauce evenly, until noodles are tender. (2 minute)

    12) Stir in additional sauce if desired, then stir in eggs and transfer to a large shallow serving dish.
    13) Sprinkle pad thai with peanuts and fried shallots and serve with lime wedges, cilantro sprigs, and Sriracha.

    That's it! You now have a delicious pad thai with tofu. nom nom nom.

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