If you’re looking for a simple pad thai recipe you can easily make at home again and again, look no further. This recipe is versatile, flavorful, and not at all hard to prepare. You can spice it up or down by changing the quantity of chili pepper used, add baked or fried tofu if you wish, even change the veggies depending on what you have on hand or what’s in season.
This is a base recipe to work from, but we often include more veggies; broccoli, kale, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, and mushrooms all make excellent additions. Simply slice thinly and saute them when you add the bean sprouts. You can even substitute toasted sesame seeds or toasted cashews for the peanuts if you prefer. If you’d like this to be oil-free, simply leave it out, or saute veggies in vegetable broth instead. Protein-packed and very filling this dish makes a great weeknight dinner and makes plenty for lunch leftovers.
1chili pepper, thai or red chili, de-seeded and finely chopped
1cupof shallot or yellow onion, sliced
1bunchof green onions, chopped
1cupof mung bean sprouts (or cabbage, thinly sliced)
1/2cupof fresh basil, chopped
1/2cupof fresh cilantro, chopped
1/2cupof peanuts, roasted and unsalted, chopped
4Tablespoonsof soy sauce, tamari, or coconut aminos (soy sauce substitute)
2Tablespoonsof brown sugar (or agave)
2Tablespoonsof ketchup or tamarind paste
2Tablespoonsof fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
1Tablespoonof sesame, peanut, or grape seed oil
1 ripe avocado, diced
Set a medium pot of water to boil for rice noodles. Cook them until just al dente, drain, rinse, and set aside. Drizzle with a tsp of oil if desired and toss to prevent noodles from sticking together. You can proceed with the following steps while the noodles are cooking.
In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, sugar, lime juice, and ketchup. Set aside.
In a skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of oil on medium heat (or omit if you prefer) and saute shallot or onion, garlic, and chili pepper for 3-4 minutes until lightly browning. Add mung bean sprouts, green onions, and half of sauce mixture. Toss well and let cook one minute more. Transfer veggies to a large bowl and set aside.
Add cooked rice noodles to same skillet and toss with remaining sauce, salt, cilantro, and basil and mix together well. Add rice noodles to veggie bowl and toss together like making a salad.
Add peanuts to skillet to gently toast and warm. Cook them on medium heat until turning golden, about 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle atop noodle bowl along with diced avocado, and additional chopped basil and cilantro if desired. Drizzle with extra lime juice, or serve with a wedge of lime. Season to taste with salt and pepper and enjoy!
Renee Press is the founder of Fire and Earth Kitchen in Seattle WA. which offers cooking classes, food coaching, and chef services. She's on a mission to make vegan, gluten-free cooking easy, accessible, and delicious for everyone. fireandearthkitchen.com