Vegan Pad Thai from Chef Chloe

The other day my dad sent me a New York Times article about a vegan chef who won a Food Network Cupcake Wars Competition. I had never heard of this Chef Chloe, who created the most delectable sounding vegan cupcakes I’ve ever heard of (Raspberry Tiramisu…Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake…) so I looked her up and found her blog. About halfway through reading her first post, I was hooked. Chloe has some amazing vegan recipe ideas from easy dinners to party desserts and summer cocktails. And her photos make you want to reach through the computer screen and gobble up the food. After flagging about 10 of her recipes that I want to make, I went back to her post on Vegan Pad Thai. Armed with all the necessary ingredients, I made this for dinner last night with some minor edits:

Ingredients:
8 ounces dried brown rice noodles (I used white – gasp! Couldn’t find brown at Trader Joe’s)
4 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving (I used bottled lime juice)
4 tablespoons soy sauce (light soy sauce)
2 teaspoons canola oil
3 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 bunch broccoli, steamed and florets cut
½ cup fresh cilantro
¼ cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts

Head on over to Chef Chloe’s blogto see how to whip up this simple noodly dish!

I started off by steaming the broccoli and when I was done, I was left with broccoli-green water in the bottom of the pot. Instead of dumping it down the drain, I used that nutrient-infused water to boil the rice noodles. This way, I didn’t lose any of the vitamins and minerals that were lost in the steaming process! Usually steaming shouldn’t leech out any nutrients, but I did more of a half boiling/half steaming with the broccoli so the florets were partially submerged in the water.

I do love authentic Pad Thai, but because restaurants always serve it with lots of little egg white bits, I never order it. I have to say, though, as good as this recipe is, it does not taste like Pad Thai. At all. That was a bummer, but it was quickly made up by the fact that the simple ingredients of soy sauce, brown sugar and lime juice that make up the sauce taste so fresh, and the salted peanuts add a great crunch. And I loooove cooked broccoli, so having a big broccoli piece in every bite won me over. If you’re craving Pad Thai, this dish isn’t for you. But if you’re looking for a simple noodle dish with some Thai food flair, give it a go.

5 Comments

  1. Posted September 15, 2010 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    I like peanut sauce but sometimes I think it can be a bit overpowering. I am going to try this lightened up version of pad thai. And thanks for introducing your readers to chef chloe!

  2. Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s so hard to find a pad thai recipe that actually tastes like pad thai, and I appreciate your honesty about this one. It probably would be best for her to call it something else so our expectations for mouth watering pad thai wouldn’t be dashed. Chef Chloe sounds like one to watch, though, as are you, Janel!

  3. Janel
    Posted September 21, 2010 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Aviva! I think the trick with pad thai is the fish sauce, which won’t make the cut in a vegan dish!

  4. Karen Lothrop
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    You need tamarind to get the pad Thai flavor.I got that at n Indian food market.

  5. Janel
    Posted March 10, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Interesting – thanks for the tip!

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