Thug Kitchen: Vegetable Pad Thai with Dry-Fried Tofu

For a cookbook, Thug Kitchen is full of salt…y language. I took the swearing for what it is – a gimmick, plain and simple. There are eleventy billion foodie blogs started each year; TK obviously has to toss something special on the table to stand out. In this case, it’s a bunch of *!#^*!@#$. Yep, if you don’t like swearing, you better back away from this cookbook immediately.

However, if you can get past the cursing, you’ll find recipes regular humans who don’t work at 5-starred restaurants in their spare time can create. It also contains helpful hints on pantry staples as well as various utensils and gadgets you actually need in your kitchen when starting out on your own. Oh, I should probably mention the food is entirely vegan.

Vegetable Pad Thai with Dry-Fried Tofu
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SAUCE
  1. 1/4 cup lime juice
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 3 tbs water
  4. 3 tbs brown sugar
  5. 3 tbs rice vinegar
NOODLES
  1. 14 oz. rice noodles
  2. 1 medium crown a broccoli
  3. 1/3 cup sliced shallots
  4. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  5. 1 cup sliced green onions
  6. 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  7. 2 tsp neutral-tasting oil
TOPPINGS
  1. 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage (red, green, doesn't matter)
  2. 1 carrot, thinly sliced into matchsticks
  3. 1 cup bean sprouts
  4. Chopped peanuts
  5. Lime wedges
TOFU
  1. 1 block of extra-firm tofu, pressed for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Mix together all the stuff for the sauce in a medium glass
  2. Cook your noodles according to the package directions. Rinse with cold water. Chop up the broccoli into pieces no bigger than a quarter and get all the rest of your veggies and herbs ready.
  3. Heat the oil over medium heat in a big skillet or wok. When the pan is hot, add the shallots and stir-fry until they start to char around the edges, about 2 minutes. Add the broccoli and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add the garlic and continue cooking for about 30 seconds. Gently add the noodles and 1/3 cup of the sauce and toss to make sure everything is covered. Keep stirring and fold in tofu. Cook for another 30 seconds to a minute to make sure the sauce is absorbed. Keep adding sauce until it is exactly how you like it. Turn off heat and fold in the green onions and cilantro.
  4. Serve this right away piled high on a plate next to the cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, and topped with the peanuts. Squeeze lime wedges over before you dig in.
Dry-Fried Tofu
  1. Cut the tofu vertically into planks about ¼ inch thick and then cut those planks in half lengthwise. You should end up with around 20 pieces.
  2. Preheat a large wok or cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once the pan is hot, add the tofu in a single layer. You may have to do this in 2 batches. You will want the tofu to sizzle once it hits the pan, if it doesn’t you need to turn up the heat.
  3. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt over the tofu and start gently pressing down on the tofu with your spatula. You will hear steam escaping. After 3-4 minutes, the bottoms should be golden brown.
  4. Flip over and repeat.
Thinking Out Loud http://www.lauriehamame.com/
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My Thoughts:
The cookbook said this recipe would serve 4-6 people. I followed the recipe to to a T, but I ended up with enough Pad Thai to serve my entire neighborhood! I got sick of the taste pretty quickly, so I suggest using half a package of rice noodles, or to prepare yourself for stir-fry overload!

I wasn’t crazy about the sauce, as it wasn’t spicy or flavorful enough for me, so if I make this recipe again, I will amp up the taste with sriracha or create an entirely new sauce to mix in.

Having said all this, clearly people love the recipes in this book, and you may love this recipe just as it is. This is just my own subjective experience. 🙂

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Have you made this recipe before?
Will you try it out?
What is your favorite Pad Thai recipe?
Does cursing offend you?

Leave me a comment below. 🙂

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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