Pad thai, with its tangy sweet sauce, large flat rice noodles and gorgeous fresh veggie crunch, is so very popular when it comes to take-away dishes.
It’s the noodles that take up the sauce, the crunch of salty peanuts and the chilli kick that I personally love. It’s also a dish I’ve worked very hard to perfect without meat, because a vegetarian version of this dish is a sure-fire winner for everyone.
No one will ask where the meat is when the tofu is crunchy on the outside and the sauce is pungent and tangy-sweet. The noodles fill everyone up, and there’s so much going on in this flavour explosion of a dish that you really can’t fault it.
Even better, you don’t need a wok to make it. Trust me (check out the video cook-along above for proof). Of course, if you have one feel free to use it, but what I have learnt over the years is that many of us have a wok but not a hot enough heat source to make them the efficient tool they can be.
If you do use a wok and it’s not hot enough all the way up the sides, you run the risk of just stewing and steaming your dish, rather than kissing it with extreme heat. That’s why you might be better off using a wide, flat, shallow fry pan with more points of heat contact for the ingredients and less of a chance to stew your dish — especially if you want to keep that crunch that a dish like pad thai really loves and needs.
Here are some fun lemon hacks that will come in handy when you’re juicing your citrus for this recipe…
A quick note on coconut aminos: if you can’t find them at your supermarket, just use some tamari or soy sauce with a splash of lime juice and a pinch of coconut or brown sugar added.
If you do come across coconut aminos, the coconut vinegar flavour with added sweetness is a great addition to your pantry, particularly if you like dishes like this one. So it’s worth grabbing a bottle of to keep on-hand now it’s so readily available.
Easy vegetarian pad thai recipe
Pad Thai sauce:
⅓ cup coconut aminos (you can use soy in a smaller quantity)
3 tablespoons coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
juice of one lime (check out the lemon/citrus hacks above to get more out of your limes)
a dash of tamari
1 teaspoon chili paste (like sambal oelek)
2 teaspoons tamarind paste
1 clove garlic, crushed
Stir fry ingredients:
2 tablespoons sesame oil
300g extra firm tofu, pressed to dry out a little and cut into 2-3cm cubes
2 red chilies, chopped (I use red Thai chillis)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (you can find this at most supermarkets, or a smaller dash of tamari)
big handful of fresh bean sprouts
½ cup sliced spring onions
⅓ cup roasted salted peanuts, crushed
2 carrots, shredded into wide flat ribbons (use a vegetable peeler)
big handful of fresh coriander, loosely torn
1 packet of rice noodles (flat and wide pad thai type), cooked, rinsed and tossed in some oil to stop them sticking
peanut sauce (½ cup peanut butter, diluted with a little apple cider vinegar and water and with 1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic added)
fresh lime wedges
extra chilli sauce or your choice (I like sambal oelek)
If you haven’t already, first cook your noodles as per the packet instructions, rinse and drain and toss with a little sesame oil to avoid sticking. Set aside.
Mix all your pad thai sauce ingredients together in a small bowl or jug. Set aside.
In a large flat frypan (or wok if you have a good wok and a good heat source) heat a few dashes of sesame oil. Toss in the cubed tofu and brown on all sides.
Turn the heat down to low and toss in the finely sliced chilli and minced garlic very quickly an toss through. Then splash in 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (or tamari) and toss again. Throw in your pre-cooked rice noodles, fresh bean sprouts, coriander, sliced spring onions, ribbons of carrot and crushed peanuts. Toss it all through, then add the pad thai sauce and toss it through again. Serve and top with peanut sauce, extra fresh coriander and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. I also add some extra crushed peanuts at this point too.
TWIN FALLS — Beverly Hiatt, a 95-year-old resident of Syringa Place Senior Living in Twin Falls, was honored June 28 as a national winner of the Enlivant Senior Living Recipe Contest. She was recognized in a Zoom conference with other winners from the Northwest U.S. Division and honored in-person at Syringa Place by the administrator of the Twin Falls facility, Brandon Peterson.
Hiatt received an engraved plaque and a $250 gift certificate from Amazon which she immediately offered to her children for their help in preparing the dish. Her award-winning salad will be featured on the Enlivant fall/winter menu at their 220 facilities across the nation.
There were 12 categories open for entry and Hiatt’s family choose the salad category to feature her recipe for Ginger Pear Salad, using lime Jell-O, ginger ale, cream cheese and pecans.
The contest came at a difficult time. Her daughter had arrived for a month’s visit when the COVID-19 pandemic hit and residents at assisted living centers were being sheltered from exposure by isolating themselves from visitors. The Hiatts collaborated from a distance to prepare the dish and submit the recipe along with pictures of the Jell-O variation.
Hiatt has lived in the Magic Valley for more than 30 years and is no stranger to winning such contests. In 1990, she took home a $500 gift certificate won in the Weight Watchers Recipe Book contest for her Chili Rellenos.
KFC is turning back the clock 50 years to celebrate National French Fry Day by offering Secret Recipe Fries at the throwback price of 30-cents on Monday, July 30, 2020.
KFC’s 30-cent Secret Recipe Fries offer is valid for an individual order of Secret Recipe Fries at participating locations with any purchase, while supplies last. There’s a limit of one order per person at the discounted price. Unfortunately, the deal is not valid for delivery.
According to the company, the brand actually offered fries on the menu for 30-cents some 50 years ago.
KFC’s Secret Recipe Fries are seasoned with a secret blend of herbs and spices and fried up until crispy and golden, for signature KFC flavor.
Outside of the one day only National French Fry Day promotion, fans can enjoy an individual size of Secret Recipe Fries a la carte for a suggested price of $2.29, although prices may vary.
You who sear steer meat are acquainted with Chuck, but generally steer clear of him in favor of Sir Loin, or Madame Filet Mignon, or other, more tender cuts of beef. However, inside of Chuck was always a soft heart; it just took a crafty butcher to find it.
It’s called flat iron (because, not unlike our own, Chuck’s tender heart has the triangular shape of a clothes iron). Flat iron was always that part of Chuck called top blade (Chuck is very large and has many personalities). But because blade has a nasty seam of sinew and connective tissue running down his middle, he never did well alone over the dry heat of the grill or in a cast-iron skillet. Blade just was best for braising, that moist-heat cooking that could properly and profitably soften him up.
But one day, a crafty butcher skillfully sliced away at top blade’s sinew, separating steaks on both sides — and the grilling world had its first flat irons.
Some say, in fact, that flat iron is the second most tender cut of beef after filet mignon. Hence, it is woefully under-appreciated and, often, underpriced. However, because it does come from chuck, it sports much more intense beefy awesomeness than filet, more like that from New York strip. That’s a compliment that any searer of steer will appreciate.
Flat iron also has more names than pro wrestling’s roster. You’ll find it, in different parts of the country and from various butchers or grocers, under these names: boneless top chuck steak; oyster blade steak; book steak; butler steak; lifter steak; chuck clod; petite steak; triangle steak; shoulder top blade steak; and boneless top blade steak. (Note that it is not, however, one of these names, all of which are different cuts of beef: hangar, flank or skirt steak.)
The flat iron steak is very tender and well-marbled, therefore great for grilling. Some cooks reflexively marinate it because they marinate all beef. There is no need to tenderize flat iron, but be cautious not to overcook it, either.
Flat Iron Steaks
To serve 2
2 flat iron steaks, each 1 1/2 inches thick (total weight of each depends on your appetites)
Seasoning of your choice (kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper; dry prepared steak rub or seasoning; marinade)
For both methods of cooking here and to assure proper finishing temperatures, steaks should be thawed and at room temperature (out of the refrigerator and set on the counter 30-40 minutes before cooking). Season the steaks, however desired.
To grill: On charcoal, have both hot and medium-hot sections of the grill. Put steaks over the hotter section first, searing both sides for 2 minutes a side. Then move to the less hot part of the grill and cook to an internal temperature (read on an instant-read thermometer) of 130 degrees for medium-rare (12-14 minutes, with one flip). On gas, preheat to high, then proceed as with charcoal, lowering heat to medium after the 2-minute sear.
To sear in a skillet atop the stove: Heat a heavy or cast-iron skillet over high heat for 5 minutes, or until very hot. Add 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil (such as canola, avocado or soybean; however, not olive oil or butter) and immediately add steaks to pan. Cook to an internal temperature, read on an instant-read thermometer, of 130 degrees for medium-rare (13-15 minutes, with one flip).
For both methods of cooking here, remove the steaks from the heat source and rest them on a counter, cutting board or warmed plate for 5 minutes before serving, tented loosely with foil. (The internal temperature will rise about 5 degrees, which is desired.) Resting the steaks allows the internal juices to redistribute themselves away from the surface of the steaks where they have traveled due to the heat of cooking and back into and throughout the meat.