September 9, 2010

Tofu Pad Thai

It's been a crazy week. For having a short one, I think as much has been packed into four days as I can possibly handle at once. During busy weeks, many people turn to takeout for relief from the stress. Instead, I find relief in cooking a homemade dinner that only tastes as good as takeout.

This pad thai is so easy and fast that it's ready in the time it would take to dail and wait for the doorbell to ring. And, on my lovely new student's budget (read: there is no budget since there is no income. Budget = spend as little as possible) it's wonderful to save, oh, say, ten bucks off what pad thai from the corner restaurant would have cost me. Make that twenty, actually, since this pad thai fed both M and me generously and cost only a couple of dollars!

Now that's making your meal work for you, and not the other way around.

For all the busy hours and days you put in, isn't that exactly what you deserve? Payback has never tasted so good!

Tofu Pad Thai: serves 2
1/2 package rice noodles (4 oz.)
1/8 cup peanuts, finely chopped
1/2 t. grated lime peel 
2 T. fish sauce
1 T. lime juice (lemon is ok if you don't have lime)
1 T. packed brown sugar
3 T. rice vinegar
1 T. Asian chile sauce
1 T. cooking oil
1/2 package of firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 T. garlic, finely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 cup assorted veggies of your choice (bean sprouts, small cuts of carrot, corn, broccoli)
1/4 cup sliced green onion

Completely cover the rice noodles with hot water in a large bowl. Let them soak for 15 minutes, while you do the rest of the steps. Combine peanut and lime peel toppings and set aside. Combine fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and chile sauce in a small bowl and stir to incorporate, then set aside.

Heat the T. of oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add the vegetables and tofu and stir fry for about four minutes until heated through. Meanwhile, drain the noodles well. Add the garlic and the egg and stir quickly to scramble. Add the noodles and pour the sauce over them, and stir fry for two minutes, until everything is coated in sauce. Divide between two plates and top with the peanuts and lime. Serve immediately.

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