I GOT SICK AGAIN. Or rather, I thought I was better and foolishly decided to try and eat normal food; naturally, my body was having none of that, and I therefore had one of the most uncomfortable Easter weekends in living memory. I hope with every ounce of my exhausted body that yours was better than mine – I really do. Although mine did have dogs:
They made it a little easier to get through my tough ordeal. God bless their lengthy snoots.
Anyway, obviously I’ve been a bit quiet on the recipe front, especially since the first proper meal I’ve managed to keep down is a recipe that’s already up here (this delightfully easy tomato soup). But now it is time to once again break free of my toast-and-crackers-only constraints and put my heart and soul into creating semi-healthy, mostly vegetarian* recipes with a smile on my face.
The weekend wasn’t a total loss, of course. Other than a huge number of muddy dog walks, we also managed to escape the madhouse and get to a big supermarket so that I could start to plan for the week ahead – and I finally found smoked tofu! This particular stuff is by The Tofoo Company; it’s vegan, organic (oooh), and extra firm**, which means it doesn’t need to be pressed. Heaven be praised! Tofu can be expensive though, so you can add whatever you want instead if you’re restricted by budget.
There are a few substitutions throughout the recipe, as I’ve noted where certain ingredients could be switched around in order to accommodate different dietary requirements. Godspeed (which must be, as Eddie Izzard has pointed out, pretty fast, because otherwise what’s the point in being God).
Smoked Tofu Pad Thai (Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Vegan, Gluten-free)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Wok or large saucepan; spatula; tongs (optional – they’re really good for moving noodles around the pan and making sure everything gets coated); a pestle and mortar (or a sturdy bowl and the end of a rolling pin/back of a measuring cup if you’re thrifty); an urgent need for Thai food.
- 300g pack straight to wok rice noodles (traditionally flat rice noodles, but get whatever works for you)
- 225g pack smoked tofu (if you’ve got some leftover roast chicken, king prawns, or really any kind of protein, you can of course use that instead of – or as well as – tofu)
- 2 spring onions (or half a large shallot)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (sub with GF alternative if needed)
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (sub with soy sauce for vegans/vegetarians)
- 1 lime, zested and juiced
- Handful fresh coriander with stalks (roughly 10g)
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 pinch chilli flakes
- Coarse salt
- 1 tsp runny honey (sub with brown sugar or agave syrup for vegans)
- 1 egg, beaten (omit for vegans)
- 20g peanuts, roasted or plain
- Cooking spray/vegetable oil
- If you’re roasting your peanuts (ooh-er missus), put the oven on at around 200°C so that you can pop them in for a few minutes later on in the recipe. Get your pan on a high heat and spray generously with cooking spray or add a good splash of oil. I’m trying to keep this as healthy as possible, kiddos, so I used cooking spray. Let this heat up while you do your minimal amount of prep.
- Drain and pat dry the tofu. Cut into 1-2cm cubes. Finely slice the onions, and set this aside with the tofu. Chop the coriander stalks (reserve the leaves for serving later), along with the garlic, and add both to a pestle and mortar/bowl with a sprinkling of coarse salt***, chilli flakes and the zest of a lime. Grind this all together into a rough paste. If you are roasting your peanuts, spread them into a single layer in a small, lined pan (a cake tin is perfect) and put in the oven for around 5 minutes until they’re starting to colour, but make sure they don’t burn. I used red skinned peanuts so left them unroasted.
- Once the frying pan/wok is hot, turn it down to medium-high, add the paste and stir for about 1 minute until fragrant and aromatic. Add the tofu and the onions and cook for a further two minutes, making sure everything is coated in the paste. Add the noodles and mix thoroughly, along with the soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, honey and lime juice. Cook for a further two minutes, making sure everything keeps moving.
- Take the pan off the heat and add the egg, if using, stirring through until just cooked; there will be more than enough residual heat in the pan to cook the egg. Divide between two bowls and serve sprinkled with the peanuts (chopped, if you can be bothered), and the coriander leaves.
Well wasn’t that nice? I feel like I’m coming home after a brief stay in a hostel or something. I loved this, though Isla wasn’t as keen on the smoked tofu as she is on regular tofu, so feel free to switch it out however you fancy if you’re not sure.
Coming soon: a photo-shoot! With brownies! And fresh produce! I will be omitting the entire series of photos in which I methodically consumed a Bueno cheesecake brownie. While I may have, in my short years on this planet, looked less attractive than I did in those photos, I don’t have any actual evidence to prove this fact.
I’m just so pleased to be handing you stuff! Look at me. What a goober.
(Thanks to the lovely Georgia for the lending of her skills to this important endeavour; more photos coming very soon.)
*One thing that consistently set my stomach off this weekend was the smell of cooking meat, so… I’m pretty sure I can’t eat meat any more. At all. Oh well.
**Yes, I laughed while typing that, but I’m getting a mortgage so you can pry my Adult Credentials from my cold, dead hands.
***This is technically optional, but you need to add salt at some point anyway, and the coarse element helps you to get a real grind on in mortar. Or is the pestle? Which way round is it? I could look it up but instead I choose to live in ignorance.