Pad Thai

Published11/4/2009 12:16 AM

1 pound wide rice noodles

1 tablespoon olive oil


2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon tamarind concentrate (see note)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon raw sugar

4 ounces extra-firm or firm tofu, cut into strips

2 carrots, peeled and grated

2 cups shredded red cabbage

1 cup bean sprouts

3 scallions, trimmed and chopped

cup chopped roasted peanuts

Boil a pot of water. Put the noodles in a bowl, and cover with the boiling water by a couple of inches. Soak for two to three minutes, until the noodles are soft. Drain well, and set aside.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan set over medium-low heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the tomato paste, tamarind paste (see note), lime juice, soy sauce and sugar, and stir until the sugar dissolves and the sauce is smooth. Add the tofu, and stir gently until evenly coated.

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Put the noodles in a serving bowl, then pour in the sauce-and-tofu mixture and toss together with tongs. Top with the carrots, cabbage, sprouts, scallions and peanuts, and serve right away.

Serves six.

Cook's note: A staple in Southeast Asian cooking, tamarind paste is sold in Indian and Asian markets and in some supermarkets. In a pinch, you can substitute the more widely available pomegranate molasses (sold in most supermarkets), which has a similar sweet-sour tang.

"The Accidental Vegan" by Devra Gartenstein (2009 Celestial Arts)

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