Pad Thai is one of the most commonly recognized dishes in Thai cuisine. It is a balance of sweet, savory, salty and sour – the perfect compliment to any curry dish. What separates Thai cookery from other cuisines is the high ratio of fresh to dry ingredients. Fragrant ingredients like galangal, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, bird’s eye chilies, garlic, Thai basil, mint and coriander to name a few, can often be found at your local farmers markets.
Thai is cuisine bursting with flavor.
I have always been a Thai food enthusiast but it wasn’t until I attended culinary school that I learned just how easy it was to prepare. While the process may seem daunting, it is quite simple. Using Tamari (gluten-free soy sauce) instead of fish sauce to prepare this beloved comfort food, you can create this tasty gluten-free, vegan version of Pad Thai whenever you need to get your Thai food fix.
Vegan Pad Thai
16 oz flat rice noodles
3 tbsp tamarind paste
1 – 2 cups warm water (for soaking noodles)
½ cup Tamari
¼ cup coconut sugar
2 tbsp sriracha
1 bunch of scallions
1 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
¼ cup peanut oil
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup daikon sprouts
1 cup of carrots, julienne
¼ cup roasted peanuts
Garnish Options: Thai basil, lime, cilantro, carrots, daikon sprouts, and peanuts
Soak rice noodles in warm water, making sure the noodles are fully immersed, until they are soft but not mushy for approximately one hour.
In a sauté pan create the Pad Thai sauce by combining the tamarind paste, Tamari, coconut sugar, and sriracha. Stir until the coconut sugar has completely dissolved and adjust sauce to desired salt, sweet, sour and spice level then place off to the side.
Next, coat pan with peanut oil and sauté shallots with garlic in peanut oil. Once the shallots and garlic are fully translucent, add the Pad Thai noodles (Bahn Pho) and stir until soft. While the noodles are cooking in the pan, introduce the Pad Thai sauce and stir until noodles are fully coated.
Then add some bean sprouts, carrots and scallions into the Pad Thai noodles, leaving some for garnish, stir until tender.
Finish by garnishing with any combination of roasted peanuts, Thai basil, carrots, bean sprouts, daikon sprouts, cilantro and limes.
Images via Whitney Lucas