It’s been crazy busy at the McKenzie house lately!
Many cool things have happened like: (1) my article When Gluten Free Isn’t Enough getting featured on BlogHer totally to my surprise, and (2) the super cool reality that I have to prepare for a fun giveaway with an awesome brand next week (watch out for that here on the blog)!
Splendid days ahead, I suppose.
We have also been preparing for a big move from our lovely quiet country setting to an area closer to the city – sighs – there is clearly a long journey ahead of us heading into next month.
Nonetheless, in the midst of the pandemonium, I have a wonderful dish for you today if you love Asian food like Otavio and I do!
It’s gluten free and vegan pad thai. This staple Thai noodle dish is perfect when you want Thai-style food in the comfort of your own home. After working on this dish for literally months, I present to you a best kept secret!
No doubt, it does seem that this recipe was a best kept secret.
While living in California, I experienced some of the best pad thai on the planet, and truly nothing has come close to a restaurant that I found in Aptos, CA – Sawasdee. We went there all the time trying to master the ingredients to their signature dish. That’s right, me and my husband’s dates would become professional taste testing affairs.
Fair enough, because after 7 years straight, we have mastered the dish … yes, unconventional, but perfectly reminiscent of our favorite Thai restaurant.
Here is the best pad thai recipe that you will ever try.
It is savory, spicy, and unapologetically a wow-factor. Trust me when I say that I have no need to visit a Thai restaurant for this dish again!
What’s better? This recipe requires only ingredients that you can find easily!
How did we do that? We carefully omitted the tamarind, and the fish sauce in this recipe, yet worked in other flavors to make it even better than before. Isn’t that awesome? Now you can celebrate and make this dish wherever you are!
- 8 oz. pack of thin rice noodles (dry)
- 8 oz. vegetarian protein (e.g. tofu, veggie meat)
- 3-1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup sweet red chili sauce, I used Thai Kitchen
- 3 tbsp reduced sodium tamari
- 3 tbsp coconut sugar
- 1-1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 whole lime, squeezed in
- Red chili flakes to taste, (optional)
- 1 green onion
- Sea salt (optional)
- Optional Add-Ins:
- Red or yellow bell peppers
- Optional Side/Top Items:
- Fresh bean sprouts
- Crushed peanuts
- Lime wedges
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add rice noodles. Cook the rice noodles until they are al dente (firm, yet drawing close to soft), which would probably take about 4-6 minutes flat. Then immediately remove pot from heat, and drain noodles, rinsing them quickly (to stop them from cooking) with cold water, and set them to the side.
- Next, in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat, add ½ tbsp of oil, followed by vegetarian protein of choice. Fry protein on both sides until evenly golden. Once vegetarian protein is evenly fried, add garlic, shallots, and optional vegetables to skillet, and fry for about a two minutes more or less.
- Add drained noodles next to the skillet, followed by drizzling remaining 3 tbsp of oil. Stir noodles, vegetables, and vegetable protein very well.
- Then add sweet red chili sauce, tamari, rice wine vinegar, coconut sugar, lime juice, and chili flakes. Stir vigorously to incorporate all ingredients, and allow pad thai to cook thoroughly. Watch to avoid burning the dish. It cooks faster than you may think!
- Once the dish is evenly heated, the vegetables are crisp, and the noodles are soft, remove pad thai from heat, cut one green onion into the skillet, and give the pad thai a final stir.
- Plate the dish and add to the side/top of the pad thai optional items listed for those who want to add bean sprouts, peanuts, or extra lime.
Note: You may substitute in or out any vegetables that you prefer. However, be aware that some vegetables can change the flavor of the recipe, therefore I would avoid strong tasting vegetables (e.g. eggplant, spinach, chard, artichoke, etc.), or vegetables that soak up too much of the sauciness (e.g. cauliflower, or excessive amounts of broccoli). ~Bella