Vegan + Gluten Free Pad Thai

In the past couple of years, I’ve developed the strange obsession with Pad Thai. I can’t stop, and it’s morphing into a serious problem

Friend: “What do you want for dinner?”

Me: “Pad thai.”

Friend 2: “We had that last night, what else are you in the mood for?”

Me: “Oh, you’re right. In that case, I’d love to get pad thai.”

Silence and death stare from Friend 1 and Friend 2.

I spend half of my eating time at a vegan Thai restaurant down the street from my school’s campus and I’m pretty sure they even know I’m developing an addiction. So now that I’m home for the summer and have an actual kitchen at my disposal, I opted to learn how to make my own, since this addiction is getting expensive.

I tried it the night before last and my family ate everything. Down to the last noodle and peanut crumb. Which I consider to be a great accomplishment because my sisters are quite picky and my mother is allergic to most grains and some forms of soy. But she also can’t really tolerate meat, dairy, or eggs, and therefore tries to be vegan most of the time. So I was fully convinced this endeavor would be a failure, but somehow ended up being the ultimate success. It’s actually really simple:

Ingredients

Noodle dish

  • 1 – 8oz. package of rice noodles
  • 10-12 basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 2 green onion stalks, finely chopped
  • ½ spoonful of chopped garlic
  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tbsp. 2 tsp. gluten free soy sauce
  • Half a lime
  • A small spoonful of garlic chili sauce
  • Protein of choice (I always use fried or baked tofu)

Toppings

  • Shaved carrot
  • Peanuts
  • Extra garlic chili sauce
  • Extra gluten free soy sauce
  • Mung bean sprouts

Directions

  1. Set a pot of water to boil for the rice noodles. It should only take 4-5 minutes.
  2. Slice the basil, peel the carrot thinly, and chop the green onion. Set aside for later use.
  3. Mix the molasses and soy sauce together and squeeze what juice you can out of the lime and add to the mixture.
  4. Cook the noodles according to package directions. Rinse in cold water and set aside.
  5. Add garlic and oil to a skillet over medium heat.
  6. When the garlic starts to seriously sizzle, add the noodles and stir around a bit to mix everything up.
  7. Pour the molasses/soy/lime mixture over the noodles and stir until everything is equally coated. Add extra soy sauce if necessary.
  8. Add the basil, green onion, garlic chili sauce and protein. Let sit until the basil is hot and slightly wilted with noodles.
  9. Ta da! Top with whatever you’d like!
mmm...doesn't that look delicious?
mmm…doesn’t that look delicious?

Because I used lime instead of fish sauce and omit eggs, this specific recipe is vegan! It’s also gluten free if you use the gluten free soy sauce and double check your rice noodles.

What I like about pad thai is that it can be done with a myriad of vegetables and herbs and tweaked to suit your personal taste. I used to cook by the book, but now typically cook using more of an intuition, so you can add more or less to taste and make a formula of it!

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