Pad Thai Noodles (Kwaytiow Paht Thai)
September, 2005

Serves 6–8 / Thais usually enjoy paht Thai at a noodle shop or market cafe, where expert cooks make it their signature dish. In its original country-style form, paht Thai included salty dried shrimp and small rods of crisp fried tofu, but Thais love to personalize the dish, so interpretations abound. It calls for lots of ingredients, but once you start cooking, it goes fast. To make this vegan, simply omit the egg.

1/2 pound dried rice noodles
1 egg
1 teaspoon canola or olive oil
3 tablespoons tamarind chutney (or 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce plus 1 tablespoon lime juice plus 1 tablespoon sugar)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1-2 teaspoons salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes or chili powder (optional)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
1/2 cup chopped green onions (green and white divided to add separately)
1/2 cup firm tofu, cut into 1-inch rods
1/2 cup sliced shiitakes or other mushrooms
Water, as needed
2 cups fresh bean sprouts, divided
1/4 cup coarsely chopped dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges, for garnish


1. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil; add rice noodles and remove from heat. Let noodles steep 3 minutes. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again, and place by the stove.
2. Beat egg with 1 teaspoon oil. In a small nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add egg and swirl to cover the pan in a thin sheet. Cook 30 seconds to 1 minute, until egg is set. Flip to cook other side briefly, and turn out onto a plate to cool. Roll up egg and cut thin slices crosswise, to make long strips. Set aside.
3. Combine tamarind chutney (or hoisin, lime juice, and sugar), soy sauce, sugar, and salt and chili flakes, if using, in a small bowl, stirring well to dissolve sugar. Place noodles, sauce mixture, and all remaining ingredients by the stove, along with a serving platter and a spatula or long-handled tongs for tossing the noodles.
4. In a large, deep skillet or wok, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat, then add garlic and the white part of the chopped green onions. Cook 1 minute, then add tofu and mushrooms. Toss well and cook 1 minute more, until mushrooms are shiny and tender.
5. Add noodles and spread them out to cover the pan. Gently scoop and scrape to turn and heat evenly. Add tamarind–soy sauce mixture and continue cooking, turning and scooping, to cook and season evenly. Add a splash or two of water to prevent sticking, as needed.
6. Add half the bean sprouts, reserved egg strips, green part of the green onions, peanuts, lime juice, and cilantro. Remove from heat. Toss to mix well. Mound mixture on a serving platter, arrange remaining bean sprouts and lime wedges on the side, and serve hot.


PER SERVING: 276 cal, 27% fat cal, 9g fat, 1g sat fat, 35mg chol, 7g protein, 45g carb, 2g fiber, 266mg sodium