Vegan pad Thai for a delectable dinner on Meatless Monday
Vegan Black Metal Chef first popularized his version of this excellent recipe for pad Thai, one of our favorite dishes, and although we've made a few variations -- we like more rice noodles and a little less sugar -- it's always fun to follow along with the video. Vegetarians can fry up an egg per serving and stir it in before dishing up dinner -- but without that addition, this is a wholly vegan (and delicious) meal sure to impress your dinner companions.
You will need:
1 16-ounce package firm tofu
2 packages rice noodles (you can use only 1 if you prefer)
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons tamarind paste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1-2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons salt
Water (cover to fill ingredients)
7 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch cilantro
2 tablespoons distilled vinegar
2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce (to taste)
1/4 cup peanut butter
10 green onions
1 package bean sprouts
Coconut oil or other oil to cook with
Lime, peanuts and cilantro leaves to garnish
1. Place the rice noodles in a large bowl and fill with water to cover. Let noodles soak while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Slice the tofu into triangles (about 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch thick).
Line a large plate with paper towels or a couple of clean cloth towels. Arrange the tofu triangles on top and then layer on more paper or cloth towels. Use another plate or the bottom of a cast-iron skillet to add weight to the top (you can place large cans on top of the plate/pan for even more weight). Let the towels pull the water out of the tofu while you make the sauce.
3. Place the peanuts in a food processor. (You can also use a plastic bag and a large pot or a rolling pin to crush them.)
Crush them into small pieces.
4. Put the crushed peanuts and the sugar in a large bowl. (And heat a large skillet on medium-high heat with a lot of coconut oil to fry up the tofu.)
Add the tamarind paste, salt, garlic powder and chili powder.
Fill the bowl with about 3 cups water.
Peel and press the garlic into the sauce, and add the vinegar.
Rinse the cilantro and tear the leaves off, throwing them into the sauce; add the Sriracha sauce, too.
Add the peanut butter and whisk everything together until all the lumps are dissolved. The oil should be hot by now, so start frying the tofu, flipping after a minute or two on each side, until golden-brown; place on a plate lined with paper towels.
5. Cut the ends off the onions and cut into inch-long pieces.
Rinse and chop the tomato.
6. In a large pot, heat some more coconut oil (just a couple of tablespoons will do) over medium heat. When it's hot, add the tomato.
Add the bean sprouts.
Add the onions.
Cook for three to four minutes, stirring well.
Add the tofu, which should be done by now.
Add the sauce.
Drain the noodles and add them, and add enough water to just cover everything. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for ten to fifteen minutes, until the extra water has been absorbed and the sauce is thick.
Serve immediately with lime wedges, peanuts and cilantro leaves for garnish.
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