I was introduced to Pad Thai when I moved to Toronto to study and I fell in love. Every restaurant has a slightly different take on it and I have never really been disappointed. Some I like more than others but usually it’s a dish I’m guaranteed to enjoy. Our local take out place has a fairly good version of Pad Thai and I do on occasion order some. On Friday night I almost picked up the phone but I find it to be fairly heavy meal. With a sermon to finish later that night I didn’t want to be in a food coma while writing. So I dug into my collection of cookbooks and read every Pad Thai recipe I could find with a desire to make a healthier version we could enjoy at home.
It wasn’t as simple as it sounds. Every recipe I could find had a different list of ingredients and I didn’t have many of them on hand. So I did what one might expect, I googled Pad Thai. I read about it, discovered what lay at the heart of it’s sauce (a distinctive tart/sweet contrast) and set about creating my own version from what we had on hand. It was actually pretty good. There were no complaints from my three year old which was great, my husband devoured it and I was able to satisfy my Pad Thai craving. Also with no added oil none of us sunk into the comatose state that comes from eating food that’s just a little too rich. This was recipe is definitely a keeper for us. I hope you enjoy!
Healthier Pad Thai
- 500 gm package of rice noodles
- 454 gm package of mixed vegetables (small bag)
- 1 pound firm tofu
- 2/3 c brown sugar (I use sucanat but I’m sure any kind would work)
- 1/2 c lime juice
- 1/2 c braggs liquid soy seasoning (I use this because it has no preservatives and is lower in sodium than regular soy sauce. You can use tamari or reduced sodium soy sauce here as well.)
- 6 tbsp ketchup
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tbsp Sriracha hot sauce
- 2 tbsp natural unsweetened peanut butter
- Optional toppings: finely ground peanuts, fresh cilantro, lime wedges
- Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes and bake in the oven at 350 degrees on a parchment lined sheet for about 20 minutes or so. Keep an eye on it as you’re prepping the other ingredients just to make sure it doesn’t burn or get to0 hard. Alternatively you can pan fry the tofu if you’re feeling ambitious. This requires a little more work on your part as you need to keep close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.
- Put your water for the noodles on to boil.
- Cook the vegetables in a sauce pan until done. Drain and set aside.
- While the vegetables are cooking combine the brown sugar, lime juice, Braggs, ketchup, coriander, Sriracha, and peanut butter in a small sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the peanut butter has melted and the sauce is smooth. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Once the water is hot, cook your noodles according to the package directions.
- Drain the noodles and combine with the sauce.
- Add the tofu and vegetables to the noodles.
- Add the toppings of your choice.
- If you don’t have a three year old in your house you might want to toss these noodles with some bean sprouts and peppers or whatever else you fancy. Right now our son accepts finely cubed vegetables in noodles that don’t get in his way so I try to stick with what works. If I was making it just for myself I’m fairly certain the bean sprouts and peppers would find their way into this dish.
- This takes no time to put together. It’s a really fast easy week night meal when you’re in the mood for something different.
- You don’t need to add the tofu if you’re frightened or offended by it. I just added it for some texture and added protein.
- This recipe is gluten free as it stands (Braggs is safe and my Heinz ketchup was also safe). So when you’re entertaining friends with dietary restrictions or if you have them yourself it’s all good.
- This serves 4-6 people.