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techno foodie

vegetarian pad thai?

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Hello. Just wanted to start by saying what a great forum this is!

I've searched this site (and many others) for a good pad thai recipe that can be made vegetarian (heck, I've searched for a good pad thai recipe, period) and haven't had any luck. Can anyone out there offer any suggestions?

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vegetarian or vegan?

i typically have pad thai with tofu in it, but it also contains eggs.

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It exists. I've had it at Thai restaurants.

Basically with vegetarian Pad Thai anything goes in terms of what kind of veggies you want to add to it. Most of the ones I have had use julinne strips of pressed firm tofu for contrasting texture to the veggies. Its prepared just as you would any other Pad Thai, just without meat.

In addition to the stir fried vegetables and tofu right before serving you want at the very last minute to top the noodles with fresh bean sprouts and crushed peanuts.

The key to a good Pad Thai is a good Pad Thai sauce used for stir frying the noodles and vegetables, and there are a few pre-made ones out there that are pretty good.

Here is the brand I like, Por Kwan:

http://importfood.com/sapk1701.html

And larger size bottles of the same:

http://www.templeofthai.com/pad_thai/pad_thai.html

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And if you want to bother with making Pad Thai sauce from scratch, here is Mamster's recipe, which I have never tried:

2 T tamarind paste

3/4 c boiling water

3 T fish sauce

1 T rice vinegar

3 T sugar

3/4 tsp cayenne

1/4 c peanut oil

8 oz thin rice stick noodles

2  eggs

1/8 tsp kosher salt

12 oz shrimp, peeled

2 c water

1/4 c kosher salt

1 T minced garlic

3 T minced shallots

2 T minced preserved radish

6 T chopped roasted unsalted peanuts

3 c bean sprouts

5  scallions, sliced

1/4 c cilantro leaf

  lime wedges

Make tamarind water by pouring boiling water over tamarind paste. Let sit for a few minutes, stir well, and strain. Discard the solids. To the tamarind water, add fish sauce, vinegar, sugar, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons oil.

Soak noodles in hot tap water 20 minutes. Drain. Beat eggs with 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Dissolve the 1/4 cup salt in 2 cups water, and brine the shrimp in this solution for up to 30 minutes. Drain the shrimp and dry well on paper towels.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12" skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Add shrimp. Stir-fry for 2 minutes or until nearly cooked through.

Remove shrimp to plate.

Add the last 1 tablespoon oil. Place over medium heat and add garlic and shallots. Stir constantly for 1.5 minutes. Add eggs and scramble 20 seconds. Add noodles and salted radish. Toss with two wooden spoons to combine with eggs.

Add sauce and raise heat to high. Toss constantly until coated. Add 1/4 cup peanuts, bean sprouts, most of the scallions, and shrimp. Toss 2-1/2 minutes or until noodles are tender. Add up to 2 tablespoons of water if it begins to look too dry.

Transfer to platter. Top with remaining peanuts, scallions, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.

Optional: If you can get good dried shrimp, a couple of tablespoons added to the pan along with the noodles is a nice touch.

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And if you want to bother with making Pad Thai sauce from scratch, here is Mamster's recipe, which I have never tried:

I've tried it...it's very good! :wub:

For vegetarian, I would just leave out the eggs and substitute the shrimp for some deep fried tofu cubes. For the fish sauce, substitute in vegetarian fish sauce (available at many asian supermarkets). I think it's called Nuoc Mam Chay?

When I was vegetarian, I would make pad thai with these substitutions and it was still very good. If you eat eggs though, I would recommend keeping it in, as it adds a lot of flavor.

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And if you want to bother with making Pad Thai sauce from scratch, here is Mamster's recipe, which I have never tried:

I've tried it...it's very good! :wub:

For vegetarian, I would just leave out the eggs and substitute the shrimp for some deep fried tofu cubes. For the fish sauce, substitute in vegetarian fish sauce (available at many asian supermarkets). I think it's called Nuoc Mam Chay?

When I was vegetarian, I would make pad thai with these substitutions and it was still very good. If you eat eggs though, I would recommend keeping it in, as it adds a lot of flavor.

What does vegetarian fish sauce have?

And what does it taste like? Would it not defeat the purpose of the sauce to have it be non-fish based?

Or is the same flavor achieved using something else, maybe gluten from soy...

Wondering.

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I think it's made out of fermented soybeans or something. It's also very stinky, and it's a good substitute, but it's not the same.

If you're not a vegetarian, I would definitely use regular fish sauce, but if you are vegetarian, it gives a better "authentic" flavor than using just salt or soy sauce.

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Vegetarian pad thai is easy and delicious. I've made it using soy sauce instead of the fish sauce before with success--though vegetarian fish sauce would probably be even better. The prefried tofu from Asian markets makes an excellent addition. I keep veg stock around and add it if it seems a little dry.

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Depending on how you deep fry it, if you start off with soft tofu, when it's done it may still be slimy in the middle. Some people dig that kind of thing. Not me. I highly recommending buying extra firm, slicing it, baking it for 1 hour at 325 and THEN using that in the recipe. The flavor will be aided by a marinade pre-baking but even if you skip the marinade the texture will be night and day.


Edited by scott123 (log)

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BTW instead of Rice Sticks, try using Cellophane Noodles for an interersting variation on Pad Thai.

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Vegetarian pad thai is easy and delicious. I've made it using soy sauce instead of the fish sauce before with success--though vegetarian fish sauce would probably be even better. The prefried tofu from Asian markets makes an excellent addition. I keep veg stock around and add it if it seems a little dry.

Yeah, they have all kinds of different cooked and flavored tofus, I like the really firm blocks that have been marinated or flavored with soy sauce and five spice powder. Then you got the various faux-meat TVPs, which aren't bad either.

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It pains me to admit this, since I love fish sauce so, but the great thing about phad thai is that you can substitute for almost any of the flavorings and it's still recognizably phad thai and still delicious. I've substituted lime juice for tamarind and soy sauce for fish sauce (not at the same time) and it's fine.

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It pains me to admit this, since I love fish sauce so, but the great thing about phad thai is that you can substitute for almost any of the flavorings and it's still recognizably phad thai and still delicious. I've substituted lime juice for tamarind and soy sauce for fish sauce (not at the same time) and it's fine.

mom always substituted lemon or lime for tamarind or even tomato or amchur.

She always says you have to be clever in kitchen and not worry what is authentic to a recipe. Importance is in having correct taste.

you say same thing... glad to read your words.

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Instead of fish sauce, I've used a substitute made of fermented black beans (soybeans, not black turtle beans), miso, sherry, and soy sauce. Here is the recipe for Jonathan Kandell's fish sauce substituted that was posted in rec.food.cooking:

http://groups.google.com/groups?q=kandell+...zona.EDU&rnum=4

(I've also used hoisin sauce at times.)

To be upfront about it, being a vegetarian, I don't quite know what flavor I'm going for in a fish sauce substitute but I figure it's something fermented and pungent.

By the way, rec.food.cooking also has a wonderful recipe for pad thai by Keith Rickert. The story was that the dish was so good that he received marriage proposals. I do the fish sauce substitution and also substitute sauteed tofu for the meat. Since I eat eggs, those aren't a problem.

jayne

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