I spent this weekend 1) watching most of Season Three of Mad Men on DVD; 2) Visiting G-Free, an all gluten-free grocery store on the Upper West Side, and 3) craving Thai food.
Before I go into my pad thai journey, a quick reminder about my Good Habit sample pack giveaway: you only have one day left. I’m going to pick a winner tomorrow at 5pm. So hurry up and enter already!
Since going gluten-free, I’ve had a crazy craving for Asian food. Soy sauce, very sadly, is chock full of gluten. Since it’s fermented, it affects me even more — I can always tell when some has been slipped into my food. Luckily for me (and you!), there are options to replace soy sauce in cooking: gluten-free tamari sauce, Bragg’s liquid aminos, and some sort of coconut protein (or something… I’ve only heard about it).
I decided I wanted to tackle pad thai, a dish I love and have always wanted to make. The recipes I’ve found are too intimidating — a pinch of this and a pinch of that: all spices and sauces that I don’t have and would never use again. I eventually relinquished the notion that I’d make a totally legit pad thai and decided to just wing it.
Part of my winging it was laziness: I didn’t feel like making the trek to a specialty store to buy tamarind paste and I forgot to get peanuts and cilantro, so I left those out too. Part of it was also my aversion to seafood, so fish sauce (normally a key ingredient) was also out.
To be clear, this is in no way authentic. I wouldn’t recommend serving it to anyone who considers themselves connoisseur of Thai food. (And it goes without saying that if you have Thai ancestry, this probably isn’t for you). That being said — it’s delish. It will hit the spot.
So without further ado…
FAKE PAD THAI
(gluten-free, can be vegan or vegetarian)
Three options: you can add chicken, tofu, egg — all of the above or none of the above. I made mine with chicken and egg — if you want to sub in tofu, just follow the basic directions for the chicken.
1 chicken breast (or one package tofu)
8 oz Thai rice noodles
2 eggs, beaten
1 shallot, thinly sliced
1 c mushrooms, sliced and cut in half
1 c sugar snap peas, cut in half
1/2 c hot water
6 tbsp agave nectar
7 tbsp tamari sauce (or soy sauce, or Bragg’s, or the coconut stuff)
1 tsp sriracha
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
4 tbsp coconut oil (could also use olive oil)
In a large bowl, immerse noodles in very hot tap water. Soak them for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to separate noodles, then drain.
In a large saucepan (or, if you’re trying to make this slightly more authentic, a wok), heat 1 tbsp coconut oil. Add chicken and saute until cooked. Remove and dice. (If using tofu, you’ll want to cube it beforehand and then saute).
While this cooks, combine the tamari, agave, hot water, sesame oil and sriracha. Blend well and set aside.
Add more coconut oil and add the shallot and mushrooms. Saute at medium-high for 2-3 minutes and then push to the side.Add a bit more oil and then add the eggs to one corner of the pan. Gently scramble (don’t overcook) and then push those to the side. Add the peas and saute for 1 minute.
Add the chicken and noodles and 1/3 of the sauce. Stir everything together and cook on high for one minute. Add the rest of the sauce and cook for 2 minutes. Make sure everything is mixed together well (I used two ride paddles and tossed it like a salad).
Serve immediately. It’s supposed to be served with crushed peanuts and cilantro on top — I didn’t do this (laziness!), but I think it would have been better with it.