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We had an awesome meal at Phuket Pavilion for my birthday. The food here is beyond fresh- those meals where you can truly taste every single flavour. Theres something for everyone- omnivore, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free- Becci heaven!

The one thing i really wanted but acquiesced from (for the sake of an already happily full stomach) was Pad Thai. Pad Thai, i dream of you frequently. The play of fresh, intense flavours, the perfect balance of textures- you’ve really got it all.

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So a week later i decided to get the (somewhat rusty) wok out of the cupboard and set to. I wanted an authentic as possible recipe for my noodle dream so it took a lot of research, a lot of vegan tweaking and to be honest, a hell of a lot of time to prepare each component. Let me tell you- Pad Thai is complex devil of a dish. The resulting simple tastes absolutely do not bely how intricate this guy is to create. But heck, i’m in for the long haul!

The main tastes come from a delicate (and somewhat arguable) balance of the three main ingredients- fish sauce, tamarind and lime. I had wanted to make my own vegan fish sauce (which i will get round to) but i hadn’t the necessary ingredients. What i threw together was a happy pass in terms of flavour but obviously lacks the authentic accents. Still, it was vegan and it was delicious.

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To be honest, once you’ve prepared all the components, its really quite simple in end. Maybe its because i had a new mandolin to play with, maybe its because the vegan element required more preparation. Whatever the reasons, the finished dish was truly splendid- fresh and unique tastes that linger on the palate.

(Serves 4, vegan, Gluten free)
Faux Fish Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp dried Seaweed (i used a blend i’d foraged from the seaside)
  • 4 tbsp Water
  • 4 tbsp Tamari
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
  • zest of 1 Lime
  • 1 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  1. Blend/ whisk all ingredients until smooth

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Pad Thai components:

  • 1 tbsp Tamarind Paste
  • 2 tbsp Faux Fish Sauce
  • juice of 1 Lime
  • 1/4 cup Peanuts, roasted and bashed up
  • 2 Carrots, Julienned
  • 1 stalk Celery, 1/4″ slices
  • 1 Red Onion, finely sliced
  • 1 thumb of Ginger, minced
  • 2 Green Bird’s Eye Chilli, sliced very finely
  • 1/2 Yellow Pepper, finely sliced
  • 1/4 small Red Cabbage, finely sliced
  • 1 tbsp fresh Coriander
  • 2 tbsp Sesame Oil, for cooking
  • between 50g-100g Flat Rice Noodles
  • 1/2 block Tofu (sliced and marinated for 4 hours in Sesame Oil, Liquid Smoke & Tamari)
  1. Heat the sesame oil in a wok
  2. Add the onion and celery and cook for 4 minutes
  3. Add the ginger and chilli and cook for a further 4 minutes
  4. Throw in all the vegetables (except the peanuts) and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently (you may need to take this off the heat after the 5 minutes- you don’t want the vegetables to overcook)
  5. Heat a griddle pan and cook the tofu until crispy (save the marinade for later)
  6. Fill a medium pot with boiling water and cook the noodles for 4 minutes
  7. Drain and rinse immediately in cold water, shake dry
  8. Put the wok back on the heat, stir in the noodles and the tofu marinade
  9. Cook for 5 minutes then plate up- start by portioning the noodles on to your plates, then sprinkle the peanuts over and the tofu on top. serve with an additional wedge of lime.
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