Cooking is not normally my thing. I prefer baking (or should I say my sweet tooth does!) But I love Thai food - amazing aromas of basil and chilli, tofu, fresh veggies, jasmine rice and tasty noodles. It’s all delicious, if a touch spicy. Having just returned from a 2 week holiday in Thailand I feel inspired to share one of my favourite meals – Pad Thai.
This dish is served all over Thailand usually cooked up in a big wok by street vendors at the side of the road, aromas filling the roads and tempting you in to buy some! Full of protein and veggies with flavours of roasted peanuts, chilli and lime. It tastes delicious!
I’ve been perfecting my very own Pad Thai recipe for a while now. My version is vegetarian and toned down in spiciness! But the recipe could easily be adapted to include chicken or prawns, which they often use in Thailand and of course if you like your food “Thai spicy” feel free to go wild with the chillies!
You will need (Serves 2):
Oil for cooking
200g firm tofu
Pak choi x 2 (I’ve also used spring greens, kale, cabbage and spinach and all taste equally delicious so feel free to experiment with your favourite greens!)
Spring onions x 5
200g Bean sprouts
2 Medium eggs
For the sauce:
150g unsalted peanuts
3 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 birds eye chilli
Place the peanuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for approximately 15 minutes or until brown and smelling delicious! When your peanuts are nicely roasted, take them out of the oven and set aside to cool.
Thoroughly drain your tofu (I use kitchen roll to press the water out) until it is dry and firm and cut up along with the spring onions and pak choi.
Add a little oil to a wok and fry the tofu until browned.
Add the onions, pak choi and bean sprouts and fry until all of the veggies are softened. I like a little crunch to my veggies so I probably only cook for about 8-10 minutes.
Whilst your tofu and veggies are cooking, make your sauce in a small bowl. Add the soy sauce and brown sugar and mix well.
Cut up the chilli into small pieces (remove seeds for a less spicy dish or leave them in if you like it hot!) and add to the soy sauce mixture.
Add in tamarind paste, sweet chilli sauce and the juice of ½ lime. Set aside the other half of the lime for later.
Once your peanuts have cooled, add to a blender and briefly pulse until the nuts are roughly chopped. You can also crush them by hand if you prefer using a pestle and mortar. Add 2 tbsp of crushed roasted peanuts to the sauce. You should have some peanuts let over for serving.
By the time you’ve prepared your sauce, the tofu and veggies should be cooked. Add in 2 eggs and stir until cooked. You should have egg mixed in evenly with the rest of the ingredients.
Add your noodles and cook for a further 2-3 minutes until noodles are soft.
Finally, add your sauce and cook for a further minute.
Dish up and serve each plate with a scoop of roasted peanuts, a quarter of lime to squeeze over and add sweet chilli sauce and dried chillies to taste.
Grab a Singha beer or cool glass of coconut water and sit back and enjoy!