Fast and easy? Adaptable? Simple? Delicious? That’s this vegetarian pad thai.
serves: 4 servings
For the Pad Thai
4 ounces brown rice noodles (you can get stir-fry type noodles or Pad Thai noodles – and usually that’s half a box)
1 red pepper
half a yellow onion
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg, beaten
½ cup peanuts, chopped
½ cup fresh herbs like cilantro, green onions, and basil, chopped
For the Sauce:
3 tablespoons fish sauce or vegan fish sauce substitute
3 tablespoons brown sugar (or sub another sweetener)
3 tablespoons chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
Place the uncooked noodles in a bowl of cold water to soak.
Spiralize the zucchini, red pepper, and onion into noodle-like shapes. Cut the carrots into very small pieces (or spiralize them, too, if they’re big enough).
Shake up the sauce ingredients in a jar.
Heat a tablespoon of oil over medium high heat. Add the veggies – stir fry with tongs for 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp (if they are not spiralized, they might need longer). Be careful not to overcook them – they’ll get soggy and heavy. Transfer to a dish and set aside.
Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Drain the noodles – they should be softened by now. Add the noodles to the hot pan and stir fry for a minute, using tongs to toss. Add the sauce and stir fry for another minute or two, until the sauce is starting to thicken and stick to the noodles. Push the noodles aside to make a little room for the egg – pour the beaten egg into the pan and let it sit for 30 seconds or so. Toss everything around with the tongs. The egg mixture will stick to the noodles and everything will start getting sticky.
Add in the vegetables, toss together, and remove from heat. Stir in the peanuts and herbs and serve immediately.
There is a fine line between the mixture being Just Right Sticky and TOO Sticky. Usually too sticky happens when you cook it too long. Watch it carefully and once you see it starting to come together, remove from heat right away and toss with the veggies.
You might not need all the sauce in this recipe, but I (as a sauce lover) did use all of it! I would say just eyeball whatever amount looks good to you and save the rest to add in later if you want.
This recipe is gluten free other than the 1 tablespoon soy sauce, so just swap that out for something else if you need it to be gluten free!
NOTE: The fish sauce is a key ingredient and the flavor is hard to replicate, and personally, I’m not a die-hard vegetarian, so this works for me as is. But that being said, if I were an absolutely 100% vegetarian, I would try this recipe as a vegan fish sauce substitute.