Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tonight's Dinner: Tofu Pad Thai

To make this you need:

• 1 block firm or extra-firm tofu
• optional: 1 c thai culinary stock
• peanut oil for frying
• broccoli spears (1 head's woth)
• 2-3 ribs celery, chopped diagonally (I think this is to make the pieces similar in size to the other veggies for even cooking)
• 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
• 1/3 small onion, chopped
• 2-3 tbsp ground dry roasted unsalted peanuts
• fresh bean sprouts
• 1 scallion, chopped
A Taste of Thai Pad Thai sauce
• rice noodles

Drain and press the liquid from the tofu. It helps, if you have enough time, to cut the tofu into bite-sized pieces and soak it in water, changing when it gets cloudy, to get rid of the tofu taste -- but you don't have to.

I fried the tofu pieces in peanut oil until crispy, and then as an experiment I braised them in some Thai Culinary Stock from Wegmans (gotta love Wegmans) to infuse them with some flavour. It turned out very well, but I've made pad thai without doing this and it's still good.

While the tofu's braising (or draining, if you're just frying it) chop the veggies and cook the rice noodles according to the directions on the package. Stir-fry the veggies, except for the sprouts, in just a little peanut oil and add the noodles, sauce, and tofu. Cook together until heated through. Serve, garnishing with bean spouts, peanuts, and scallions.

You'll note that the sprouts here are conspicuously absent -- though they are a big part of the dish, I like them fresh and I didn't have time to run to the store before dinner. Oh well - it was still pretty good, and relatively easy to make.

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