Thursday, 9 December 2010

Vegan Pad Thai

Pad thai is one of my favourite pasta dishes, and this vegan recipe is completely guilt-free. Lots of bright flavours and spicy peppers, it would pair perfectly with a couple of veggie skewers and some peanut dipping sauce.

This recipe comes from The Sublime Restaurant Cookbook, Nanci Alexander's book from her famous Florida restaurant. Enjoy!

Florida's Ultimate Destignation for Vegan Cuisine
Nanci Alexander
Softcover, 128 pages
8x9.25 inches

From the Sublime Restaurant website:
Sublime is an innovative concept in vegetarian dining that's completely cholesterol-free but satisfies even the most devout carnivore. With an award-winning menu featuring natural and organic foods and spirits from around the globe, Sublime is one South Florida restaurant that truly lives up to its name. Sublime has received numerous accolades including 4 out of 4 stars in the Sun-Sentinel, USA Today's top 10 in the nation for serving cuisine with a clear conscience, and the 2005 South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Best Restaurant in Broward County.

Aside from thrilling your taste buds, Sublime is also a treat for your eyes. Cascading window waterfalls, skylights, Italian glass tiles, an open-hearth oven, and exotic trees reminiscent of a tropical rainforest are the reason the Zagat Guide gave Sublime its "Top Restaurant Decor" award. Locals, visitors and celebrities including Pamela Anderson, Paul McCartney, Alec Baldwin, Alicia Silverstone, and Bob Barker love Sublime's eclectic cuisine as well as its upbeat atmosphere. Owner Nanci Alexander invites you to enjoy a truly Sublime experience!

Pad Thai
This rice noodle dish, with baked tofu and peppers, is an adventurous alternative to typical pasta presentations.

Thai Sauce
2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
2 tablespoons tamarind pulp or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup water
2¼ teaspoons chopped Thai basil
¾ teaspoon peeled and chopped fresh ginger

Baked Tofu
1 pound extra-firm tofu
1 cup light soy sauce
¼ cup toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger

2 cups flat rice noodles
6 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
2 tablespoons thinly sliced Thai basil (I subbed cilantro)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced Thai chile
¾ cup thinly sliced carrot strips
½ cup thinly sliced bell pepper strips (use a mix of yellow, red and green)
½ cup mung bean sprouts
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted peanuts

For the Thai Sauce, place the sugar and tamarind pulp into a heatproof container. Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan and pour it over the sugar and tamarind. Stir in the basil and ginger and let steep for 1 hour. Stir vigorously and strain through a sieve into another container.

For the Baked Tofu, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place them in a deep baking dish. Mix the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger and pour over the tofu. Bake for 15 minutes, until the tofu is golden brown and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

For the Noodles, cook the rice noddles in boiling water for 2 minutes, until just barely softened. Drain and set aside. Place the oil in a sauté pan over high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook and stir for 30 seconds. Add the basil and chile and cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the carrot strips, bell pepper strips, and tofu and cook and stir for about 3 minutes, until the carrot strips just begin to soften. Add the rice noodles and the Thai Sauce and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the noodles are soft. Garnish each serving with the mung bean sprouts and peanuts.