October 21, 2009

Enviromom Meatless Supper Club: Pad Thai

I had a hard time deciding what to post this week, because we actually lucked out with a string of tasty vegetarian dinners. (I think my family got a little tired of me taking pictures of our food.) So I'm going with the one that was a surprise to us and saving my all-time favorite autumn meal for next time.

When I came across this pad thai recipe awhile back, I was reluctant to try it. Pad thai conjures up memories of fun late night food runs with roommates and relaxed meals out with my husband during the childless days of our marriage. I didn't want to ruin those associations with some bad homemade attempt. But the point of this EnviroMom project for me was to try new vegetarian recipes, so we plunged ahead.

The results: My husband and I were both pleasantly surprised by how good it was. The sauce was flavorful without being too powerful, with just the right tang from the lemon lime juice. The eggs and peanuts made it a filling meal. It probably took about 30-40 minutes to prepare, from start to finish.

The four-year old flat out refused to eat it. We tried calling it Peanut Noodles, but no dice. He's just determined not to like anything new right now. The one-year old, on the other hand, liked it so much it was almost disturbing. She kept stuffing noodles into her mouth and frantically signing, "More, more, more, please, please, more!"

The verdict: Definite keeper. I'm already craving it again.

Recipe below the jump, plus more meatless meal ideas at EnviroMom...

(from the never disappointing Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home)

3/4 lb. mung bean sprouts
6 oz. rice noodles (1/4 in. wide) [I found them at Safeway. Trader Joes also carries them.]

3 T fresh lime juice
3 T catsup
1 T brown sugar
1/4 c fish sauce or soy sauce [We used soy.]

3 T peanut oil or vegetable oil  [We used peanut.]
3-4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 T minced fresh chile or 1.5 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 c grated carrots
4 large eggs, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
2/3 c chopped peanuts
6-8 scallions, chopped (about 1 cup) [We used green onions.]

In a covered pot, bring 2 quarts water to a rolling boil. Blanch the mung bean sprouts by placing them in a strainer or small colander and dipping it into the boiling water for 30 seconds. Set aside to drain well. When the water returns to a boil, stir in the rice noodles and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until tender but firm. Drain the cooked noodles, rinse them under cool water and set them aside to drain well. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix together the sauce ingredients.

Prepare the remaining ingredients and have them near at hand before you begin to stir-fry. Heat the oil in a wok or large skillet. Add the garlic and chile, swirl them in the oil for a moment, and stir in the grated carrots. Stir-fry for 1 minute. Push the carrots to the sides to make a hollow in the center. Pour the beaten eggs into the center and quickly scramble them. When the eggs have just set, pour in the sauce mixture and stir everything together. Add the drained rice noodles and mung sprouts, and toss to distribute evenly. Stir in the peanuts and scallions, and serve at once.

Makes 4 servings.


Dawn said...

OK, I'm going to have to try this recipe because my own recipe is a whole lot of work with disappointing results.

Marta said...

we LOVE this recipe! (though we sometimes put chicken in it, i will admit, but mostly not). i haven't made it in a long time, but you're right -- it's fast and a crowd pleaser, we make it for company a lot. i'm going to make it soon -- thanks!

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