Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cookbook Challenge - Week 3 - Pad Thai with Tofu

Thad picked this week's 'cookbook' recipe - Pad Thai from  Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home: Fast and Easy Recipes for Any Day . This is a cookbook we received as a gift years ago from a vegetarian coworker friend. She had given us 3 books written by the chefs from Moosewood Restaurant Collective in New York. I've only made one other recipe from this particular cookbook and it was great, so I had high hopes for this recipe. As I was cooking I was a little leary as it wasn't quite looking like what I thought Pad Thai should - but once it all came together and the flavors melded - it was, and it was excellent!

Pad Thai (page 236)
serves 4-6; serving size - 8 ounces
Per serving (without tofu): 296 cal, 11.3g protein, 15g fat, 31g carbs, 71g sodium, 142 mg cholesterol
(note: I've adapted the recipe slightly and added in instructions for the Tofu if you choose to include it. You could also use cooked chicken breast pieces, shrimp, etc if you prefer.)

2 quarts water
3/4 lb mung bean sprouts
6 ounces rice noodles (instead, I used 6 ounces Al Dente Pasta Spicy Sesame Linguine)
3 TB peanut oil

4 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 cups grated carrots
4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
2/3 cup chopped peanuts
6-8 scallions, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 TB canola oil (optional)
1 package Firm or Very Firm Lite Tofu (optional)
1/4 cup cornstarch (optional)

3 TB lime juice
3 TB ketchup
1 TB brown sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce

  1. (optional - if you are including Tofu) Take tofu out of package, drain and place on a plate or cutting board with a couple paper towels under it and over it. Place a weight over the tofu (bag of beans, etc) and let sit 30 minutes to help draw out more of the liquid. After 30 minutes, cut tofu into 1/2" cubes, then dredge pieces in cornstarch. Heat 1 TB canola oil in a nonstick frypan, then fry the tofu for about 7 minutes, turning often so all sides crisp. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In a covered pot, bring the water to a rolling boil. Blanch the bean sprouts by placing them in a strainer and dipping it into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Set aside to drain well. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the noodles and cook for 3-5 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain, rinse under cool water and set aside to drain well.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients.
  4. Prepare the remaining ingredients and have them near at hand before you begin to stir fry. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, swirl them in the oil for a moment, and stir in the grated carrots. Stir fry for 1 minute. Push the carrots to the sides to make a hollow in the center. Pour the beaten eggs into the center and quickly scramble them. When the eggs have just set, pour in the sauce mixture and stir everything together. Add the drained noodles and sprouts and toss to distribute evenly. Stir in the peanuts and scallions, and serve at once.

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