I know I mention the size of our town quite frequently… But here I go again… We just recently got a Thai food restaurant and everyone was talking about it. You’d think it was the most exciting thing ever. But rather than pay way too much for way too little and not know what’s in our food I decided to try to make my own pad thai. I compared a bunch of recipes and came up with my own version. I was amazed at how well it came out. Even my husband loves this stuff, and he likes the leftovers even more. Way better than take-out in my opinion.
After typing out my recipe I realized it’s not the healthiest recipe. I try my best to keep sugar to a minimum, but in this case it needs a bit of sugar. And given the alternative is ordering out when you have no idea what’s in the meal, I feel like it’s a fair trade off. Feel free to reduce the amount and then taste and add only as much as you need. I do that quite regularly, because you might be surprised that it tastes just fine with less than you think it needs. Also, as with any store bought sauces(like the fish sauce in the recipe) make sure you read your ingredients list – there should only be a few ingredients. Also, you can find vegetarian fish sauce and omit the shrimp in the recipe for an awesome vegetarian meal.
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 block firm tofu, pressed and cut into thin strips
- 2 C or approximately 1/2 lb shrimp
- 2 eggs
- 1/2-3/4 of a package of rice stick
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 C julianned carrots
- 4 green onions
- 1/3 C peanuts
- 3 tbsp rice vinegar, plus more if you like it a bit tangier
- 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, plus more to taste
- 1 tbsp cornstarch in 1 tbsp cold water(or another thickener like tapioca starch or arrowroot)
- Juice of 2 limes
- 3-4 tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tbsp soy sauce(for a gluten free option be sure to use GF soy sauce)
After pressing the tofu to remove some of the liquid(I wrap the tofu in a towel and then put two heavy cast iron pans on top for at least half an hour), slice into thin strips. In a container mix the lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce and 1 tbsp oil. Add the tofu, cover and let sit a couple hours to overnight in the fridge.
Depending on your kind of rice noodles, you may just need to soak them in hot water or boil them for a couple minutes. Do this first and then set them aside to drain and have all your ingredients ready. Heat a small pan and cook the two eggs, scrambling them. Once they’re all done set them aside. Pulse your peanuts in a mini food processor or something equivalent. You don’t want flour – you just want to crush them.
Once everything else is ready, heat the 1 tbsp oil in a large pan over high heat. When it’s really hot throw in the tofu that has been drained. Turn the heat down to medium. I like to cook my tofu till it’s very chewy and this takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how well drained it is and how hot the pan is. Once it looks fairly well done it should turn golden(darker than in the pictures above – I didn’t cook mine long enough this time) and develop a “crust” on it. You can also remove a piece and test it. If it’s still mushy, cook it longer, unless you don’t mind it like that texture.
Turn the pan down to medium low and add the remaining tbsp of oil and 3 cloves of garlic, either minced or pressed. Cook for 1-2 minutes then add the carrots and green onions. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes then add the shrimp and eggs. Mix well and cook just till the shrimp turn pink then add all the sauce ingredients except the cornstarch. Taste before adding any soy sauce or salt as the fish sauce is fairly salty. Mix well and heat through then add the cornstarch mixture and mix well till the mixture thickens. Then add the already cooked rice noodles and mix in. Serve hot with 1-2 tbsp crushed peanuts and some green onions on top of each serving.