Pad Thai is Always a Good Idea Recipe

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The Blender Girl Super-Easy, Super-Healthy MealsThis vegan variation on traditional pad thai strikes a nice balance between sweet and spicy. I love the tanginess of the quick pickles a great idea I borrowed from my friend Eda. One day she and I made a batch of this pad thai with our fellow pad thai lover, Nikki. Eda wanted more lime juice, Nikki wanted more sugar, and I wanted more heat. Pad thai is like that; everybody prefers it a different way. As a result, I’ve kept this recipe quite neutral so you can make whatever tweaks you want.

  • Yield: 2 to 4 Servings


  • 1 (14-ounce/395 g) package rice stick noodles
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 2 small radishes
  • carrots
  • 2 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or soy sauce, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice, plus more to taste
  • 8 ounces (230 g) tempeh, thinly sliced, or very firm tofu, cubed
  • 4 green onions, sliced on the diagonal into 2-inch (5 cm) pieces (white and green parts)
  • 2 heads baby bok choy, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
  • Natural salt
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) toasted sesame oil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) plus 3 tablespoons wheat-free tamari or soy sauce
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) plus 3 tablespoons coconut nectar (or other natural liquid sweetener)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • ½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon red curry paste, plus more to taste
  • 0.12 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups (120 g) bean sprouts, to garnish
  • 1 cup (140 g) roughly chopped raw unsalted cashews, to garnish
  • Cilantro, to garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, to garnish
How to Make It
  1. Soak the noodles until al dente according to the instructions on the package. Drain and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and coconut sugar. Quickly grate the radishes and the carrot half and transfer the gratings to a glass bowl. Pour the vinegar and sugar mixture over the gratings, cover the bowl, and place it in the refrigerator.
  3. In a sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine the tamari, sesame oil, and lime juice. Add the tempeh and cook for 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and a bit crispy. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  4. To make the sauce, pour the sesame oil, tamari, coconut nectar, lime juice, garlic, ginger, curry paste, and pepper flakes into your blender and blast on high for about 30 seconds, until well combined. Transfer the sauce to a wok or deep sauté pan and bring it just to a boil over high heat. Cut the remaining carrot into julienne. Reduce the heat to medium, stir in the green onions and carrot and cook for 5 minutes. Add the bok choy and cook for about 1 minute more, until the bok choy is just cooked through. Add the noodles and stir until coated with sauce and heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the tempeh and stir carefully. Remove the radish and carrot pickles from the fridge and drain them. Add to the noodles and toss gently. Tweak flavors to taste (you may want more tamari, curry paste, lime juice, or a little salt).
  5. Serve on individual plates or in a big bowl, family style. Top each portion with some bean sprouts, a sprinkling of cashews, and chopped cilantro. Garnish with a lime wedge.

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