Today: Make your favorite take-out meal at home. And make it vegan.
There’s nothing that makes me feel more smug as a home cook than the pride I take in having prepared a meal that I might otherwise have ordered as takeout. Pad Thai is perhaps my favorite example of this: It’s such a classic takeout favorite that we tend to forget that it’s fun (and delicious) to make at home.
Traditional pad Thai includes both egg and fish sauce, but it’s amazingly easy to veganize the recipe. I don’t even fret about replacing the egg; if you use a good, rich sauce for the noodles (and the almond butter sauce in this recipe is a great example), you won’t need anything additional to create richness or binding. Sriracha, lime juice, and fresh ginger offset the richness of the almond butter and tamarind brightly.
More: Make your own almond butter for the sauce.
The sauce, by the way, is just too good not to dwell on a little. I’ve tried to make it in advance of the recipe (which you can totally do), and then found myself polishing it off before it ever hits a noodle. Try it as a dip for summer rolls, as a topper for a warm bowl of grains, as a dressing for shredded cabbage, or as a way to liven up steamed broccoli or bok choy.
Serves 4, with extra sauce
8 ounces pad thai rice noodles
6 tablespoons almond butter
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil, divided
3 tablespoons tamari, divided into 2 tablespoons and 1 tablespoon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons sriracha (or to taste)
1/4 cup lime juice
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
One 14- to 16-ounce block of extra firm tofu, drained
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 large carrot, cut into thin strips
4 green onions, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 1/2 cups mung bean sprouts
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
Lime slices, for garnish
Photos by Mark Weinberg
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