Thai food ranks among my favorite genres of food and I crave it. Often. I love the spices and flavors and also that there are always lots of tofu options on the menu. Massaman curry and spicy tofu stir fries with basil are my typical choices when we order Thai. Mmmmm. We recently introduced our son to Tofu Pad Thai and he really loved it, which made us so happy! I have a homemade version that I’ve made several times in the past and decided to make it again, now that my son could join in the yum. It’s not exactly authentic (I’m pretty sure “real” Pad Thai does not contain ketchup) but it sure is good. This is not a complicated recipe but takes some time due to the multiple steps. I think it’s worth it every so often though; I can still get it made faster than I can pick up Thai take out!
I drained a standard 12 ounce package of extra firm tofu and cut it into inch-sized cubes. I placed the cubes on a paper towel on a plate and then covered them with another paper towel and another plate with a weight on top to get as much liquid out as possible to allow for crispy tofu. I let the tofu sit for 30 minutes. Afterwards, I tossed it with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to help with the crispy outer coat when stir frying.
I cooked the rice noodles according to the package–in this case it entailed putting 6 ounces of noodles in a bowl and covering them with very hot tap water and letting them soak for 25 minutes. While they were soaking, I cooked the tofu. I heated a tablespoon of vegetable oil over medium-high heat in the wok and sautéed the tofu for 7 minutes until it was light golden brown. I removed the tofu from the wok. I then scrambled 2 whole eggs and an egg white in the hot wok with a little more oil and removed them as well.
The sauce included ketchup, sugar, Sriracha, and soy sauce. The original recipe calls for fish sauce instead of soy sauce and I know that real Thai contains fish sauce but I find it unappetizing to cook with so I usually sub in something else. I then added the soaked and drained noodles to the wok and cooked them for 3 minutes. I added the sauce and mixed it with the noodles, then the scrambled eggs. I stirred in half a cup of chopped green onions and 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro, added the tofu back to the pan, and garnished with chopped peanuts. Thai craving fulfilled. For now…
Tofu Pad Thai (adapted from Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2010)
1 (12.3 ounce) package of extra-firm tofu, drained
2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 ounces flat uncooked rice noodles
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce (or fish sauce)
1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, chopped
lime wedges as garnish
1. Drain tofu and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place cubes on several layers of paper towels, layer with additional paper towels and put a plate on top of them, pushing down lightly occasionally. Let sit for 30 minutes, then toss the cubes with the cornstarch.
2. Prepare the noodles according to the package directions. Do not add salt or fat. Drain the noodles and set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu and cook until lightly golden brown on all sides, approximately 7 minutes. Remove from the pan.
4. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in the pan. Add the eggs/egg white and scramble for 30 seconds, stirring the whole time. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5. Combine ketchup, sugar, soy sauce, and Sriracha in a small bowl. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil in the wok. Add the noodles and cook for 3 minutes then stir in the ketchup mixture. Add the eggs and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, then add the onions, cilantro, and tofu to the pan. Garnish with peanuts and a lime wedge.