|Prep Time: 10 minutes||Cook time: 35 minutes||Serves: 4|
When we started this blog, one of our first recipes was Pad Thai. Pad Thai has always had a special place in my heart: It was the first restaurant food I ate in college, and it was the meal that initially made me fat! For years, I wished I could somehow enjoy Pad Thai without the oil and fried tofu that billowed me to nearly twice the person I was.
That first recipe was my whole-foods, plant-based oil-free version of Pad Thai, and I just loved it. Kati has made it even better. Her rendition of this recipe is even lighter and simpler, and doesn’t rely on any sweeteners. Plus, since it’s so quick to prepare and uses such inexpensive ingredients, it’s become one of her go-to recipes!
- For the Noodles and Veggies
- 8 oz rice sticks (or Pad Thai noodles)
- 2 carrots, julienned
- 4 large mushrooms
- 2 yellow onions
- 2 cups green beans
- 1 cup bean sprouts
- For the Tofu
- ½ block tofu, cubed (approx. half inch cubes, or preferred shape)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- For the Sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1 tbsp sriracha
- 2 tbsp crushed peanuts (or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 400°, and prepare rice sticks or Pad Thai noodles according to the directions on the package.
- Press tofu to extract as much moisture as possible. You can do this most easily by laying one cloth or paper tower underneath the tofu, and one above. Lay a book or something else moderately heavy on the tofu, and allow it to press for several minutes.
- Cut the tofu and lay it onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Space them well, and coat them with about a tablespoon of soy sauce. The tofu will bake for 30 minutes. You can bake it for a few minutes longer if you want a more dehydrated/meaty texture. (If the tofu was cooked on foil, here’s a tip for removing them: While the tofu is still attached to the foil, put it in the freezer for 30 seconds to a minute. This allows the tofu to separate easily from the foil.)
- While the tofu is baking, saute the veggies over medium-high heat using water or vegetable broth. Cooking without oil requires you to pay attention, stir regularly, and continue adding liquid as necessary. Start with the onions, making sure they start becoming translucent, and then add the remaining vegetables.
- When the vegetables, noodles, and tofu are done, combine them. Make your sauce by combining all ingredients in a measuring cup, and make sure it’s thoroughly mixed. Pour the sauce into the pan over the rest of the ingredients.
- Cook over low heat, mixing frequently, until the sauce has been thoroughly absorbed.