On the heels of my adventures in Pad Thai Soup a couple of weeks ago, I decided to try out the more traditional version of the dish tonight. And so, armed with a recipe from the great Robin Robertson’s Vegan Planet, I got home and went straight to work in the kitchen.
Thai and Asian dishes are always very daunting for me – they have a ton of preparation steps – but once you get right down to the cooking, they’re really not difficult at all. The same was true for this Pad Thai recipe! Once I got through the prep work, I was home-free.
As the rice noodles cooked, I sautéed the tofu in peanut oil, and then stir-fried some bell pepper, garlic, and scallion. Then I added a diced tomato along with some seasonings – soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and the like – and tossed the tofu back in. By this point, the rice noodles were also finished, so I added them in and tossed everything around, dousing the pan with a little more peanut oil for good measure.
The end result was good, but “just” good – it lacked a bit of the peanutty taste I’ve come to know and love about restaurant-style Pad Thai. I’m certain I read the directions properly and followed suit in my cooking; the peanut oil just didn’t add enough of that nutty flavor for my liking. But LeeLee and I solved that tableside! We just went into the cabinet, pulled out a jar of peanut butter, and added a spoonful to each of our plates, blending it in with the hot noodles. Voila! Extra peanut flavor in no time.
Even with our dinnertime hack, though, this wasn’t the best dish I’ve ever made. I was glad to try it – and I love Robin Robertson! – but this just wasn’t my favorite. It was edible, it was even enjoyable, but it wasn’t quite up to par. Oh, well. Not every recipe can win the Michelin Five Stars! ;)