Vegan Pad Thai

I don’t want to start this by writing the typical ‘things have been really busy recently’ but… things have been really busy. I’ve been meaning to write up this recipe for a few weeks now, but things always got in the way – things like work, playing Zelda, and snuggling with our new cat(!)…

Onto the food, though. Pad Thai is traditionally made with egg, which is cracked into the pan and scrambled before being stirred through the noodles. After seeing dozens of ‘tofu scramble’ dishes online, though, I wondered if I’d be able to replicate the egg effect with tofu, and was so pleased when it worked!

Another deviation from the traditional recipe is the addition of miso. Because I’m not using fish sauce, I wanted something that would still give that really deep, savoury hit: stirring a little miso into the sauce does just that. Pad Thai does need a little bit of hands-off prep time, but it’s really quick to cook, and is great for a fast, weeknight meal.

Ingredients (serves 2):
– 120g wide flat rice noodles (I like these)
– 396g block of tofu
– 60ml soy sauce
– 2 tsp tamarind paste, made up to 60ml with water
– ½ tsp miso paste
– 60g palm sugar
– 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 100g mangetout, trimmed
– 100g beansprouts
– 30g peanuts, roasted and crushed
– ½ lime, cut into wedges
– ½ red chilli, sliced into rings
– handful fresh coriander, chopped

1. Begin by drain the tofu and gently squeeze to remove excess water. Wrap in kitchen paper, transfer to a plate and press by placing a heavy pan on top. Meanwhile, put the noodles in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for 25-30 minutes, until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Gently heat the soy sauce, tamarind (and water), miso and palm sugar in a small pan, until the sugar has dissolved. Put to one side.

3. Cut 2/3 of the pressed tofu into cubes. On a medium-high heat, heat 1 tbsp groundnut oil in a wok, then add the tofu cubes. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 5 minutes, until browned and crisp. Stir in the garlic, the drained noodles and the soy mixture and cook for a further 2 minutes.

4. Push the noodle mix to one side of the wok, and crumble the remaining tofu into the empty space. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, before stirring through the noodles along with the mangetout and beansprouts. Cook for a further 2 minutes.

5. Transfer to bowls and top with the crushed peanuts, chilli slices and coriander. Serve with the lime wedges.

Ps. For anyone interested, this is Posie. She likes sleeping, chin scratches, sleeping, snuggles and sleeping.

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