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.
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.
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
- Blend/ whisk all ingredients until smooth
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)
- Heat the sesame oil in a wok
- Add the onion and celery and cook for 4 minutes
- Add the ginger and chilli and cook for a further 4 minutes
- 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)
- Heat a griddle pan and cook the tofu until crispy (save the marinade for later)
- Fill a medium pot with boiling water and cook the noodles for 4 minutes
- Drain and rinse immediately in cold water, shake dry
- Put the wok back on the heat, stir in the noodles and the tofu marinade
- 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.