Pad Thai is delicious. While it is naturally gluten free, it also contains two staple ingredients that don't quite work for those of us who follow a vegan or plant-based diet: fish sauce, and egg. However, with this easy recipe, instead of using tofu as an additional protein, we scramble it with black salt and use it to replace the egg. I promise with this faux egg on your plate, you won't even realize the fish sauce is missing!
I did not have a great week for running. A fun little secret about me is that I have asthma. Usually under control, every now and again it rears it's ugly head, typically due to dust, wind, or some such allergen. This week was not my week. If you're paying any attention to my previous posts you may be wondering if trail running in the mountains is the appropriate pastime for an asthmatic with no sense of direction, and honestly my answer to that is "No, probably not, but here we are anyway." I managed to keep up with my training this week, but I was slow, my body was working way too hard, and I was generally frustrated. It's never fun when you can't hit your capacity, day after day. The good news is that Buffalo was very excited not to be forced to run faster than a 10 minute mile. Here's to hoping that this week goes better!
One thing I had been mulling over all week was how to make Pad Thai. Not how to make it, per say, as I already knew how to do that, but how to make a version that rivals traditional Pad Thai! I recognize that this is not the typical sort of thing one mulls over, but food occupies a vast portion of my thoughts at all times. The great thing about Pad Thai is it such a mingling of flavors and textures. It's really not hard to make, but there are quite a few ingredients that need to work together--the cilantro, the peanuts, the rice noodles, the sauce, and of course, the egg. I had a brainwave that I could scramble tofu with black salt, or Kala namak, a pungent, sulfurous salt from India that is frequently used to impart an eggy flavor. Guess what? It worked! This recipe was a great way to cap off a tough training week, and hopefully this success signals that things are on an upswing for the coming week! Read on below to make your own Pad Thai--but be sure to invest in some of your own Kala namak, as it is a miracle ingredient!
What You Need:
Quick, Easy Prep
Pad Thai Rice Noodles--an average pack has four servings, and that is about right. You can also use fettuccine rice noodles if you can't find Pad Thai ones
One package of soft tofu
1/2 tsp turmeric
Tsp black salt
fresh veggies of choice
For the Pad Thai Sauce
1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp honey/agave
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (or more depending on your heat tolerance)
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup of cilantro, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
(optional) half a jalapeno, diced
This is actually quite an easy recipe to put together, but it does have a few steps. If you follow the directions below it will come together quickly!
Step One: Chop up whatever vegetables you're using. As usual I had a huge hodgepodge of spinach, red onion, red bell pepper, zucchini, Crimini mushrooms, and tomatoes.
Step Two: Steam your vegetables, either in a pressure cooker or on the stove top. Go for about four minutes--you want them to be al dente (I overdid mine and they were not al dente. Next time!)
Step Three: Follow the directions on your Rice Noodles to prepare them. Usually about 7 minutes in boiling water.
Step Four: Cut your tofu into chunks. In a blender or ideally a Food Processor combine your tofu, turmeric, and black salt. It should look like the photo below.
Step Five: Combine your sauce ingredients: soy sauce, lime juice, honey/agave, and red pepper flakes. Whisk until everything is combined.
Step Six: Once everything is cooked/steamed, you're ready to combine. In a saucepan on low heat, combine your cooked noodles, your sauce, and your tofu. Stir until everything is combined.
Step Seven: You can either mix your steamed vegetables in step five above, OR you can wait until you're plating and put the vegetables on the side. I put them on the side for the photo opportunity, but it would be easier to just mix everything together. Up to you!
Step Eight: Once everything is plated, sprinkle the desired amount of garnishes on the top of your Pad Thai and enjoy!
You might want to add some additional salt to this recipe, but try it first--there is enough going on, flavorwise, that you might not notice that this is also low in sodium.