Street Food in Asia: Vegetarian Pad Thai
No one can deny that eating street food is one of the most enjoyable things to do when traveling in Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia. From savory noodle soups to hot steamed buns, the variety of the street food in Asia is very hard to beat. One of my absolutely favorite dishes nowadays is inspired by the traditional Thai street food - Pad Thai. Original Pad Thai is normally served with either chicken or prawns, but at home I like to cook a vegetarian version with extra portion of eggs and vegetables. What I like most about Thai dishes like this is the combination of of flavors. Sweet, sour, salty and spicy harmoniously mixed together in the noodle dish and make you crave for more during eating.
What you'll need:
- 300 g Pad Thai rice noodles
- 1 tsp of minced garlic
- 1 red paprika, cut into thin stripes
- 1 zucchini, julienned
- 1 carrots, julienned
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup peanuts, lightly roasted
- Handful of fresh herbs like coriander leaves
- 1 green lime, quartered
- 1 sheet of banana leave, to serve.
For the Sauce:
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons palm sugar (or sub another sweetener)
- 1 tablespoons vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 1/2 tsp Chili powder (optional)
How it's made:
- Soak Pad Thai noodles in a bowl of cold water to soak for 1 hour.
- Mix all the ingredients of the sauce well together and set aside.
- Heat half tablespoon of vegetable oil in a wok (or frying pan) over medium high heat. Add minced garlic, stir fry for a minute until fragrant. Then add the paprika, zucchini, and carrot - stir fry for 2-3 minutes or until tender-crisp. Transfer to a dish and set aside. Add half table spoon of vegetable oil to the wok, then oil is not, pour the beaten egg and let it sit for 20 seconds or so. Stir fry for a minute and transfer the egg to the dish and set aside.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the wok. Drain the noodles - they should be softened by now. Add the noodles to the hot wok and stir fry for a minute, then stir in the vegetables. Stir fry for anther minute. Add the sauce and stir fry for another minute or two, until the sauce is starting to thicken and stick to the noodles. Add the eggs into the mixture. Toss everything around with the tongs, remove from heat. Squeeze a quarter of lime juice over the noodle mixture. Transfer the noodle mixture to a plate lined with banana leave.
- Top the dish with peanuts and coriander. serve with remaining lime wedges immediately.