Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Pad Thai's Long Lost Vegetarian Fraternal Twin (recipe)

This recipe is inspired by a few recipes I've seen online, notably at An Opera Singer in the Kitchen, on Recipezaar, and at Vegetarian Times. However, I've adapted it to include a few new ingredients and work with what I had on hand. We had this for dinner tonight and it was delish!

If Pad Thai had a fraternal twin (a vegetarian one that was raised in a different country), it might go something like this. The key is to prepare all the ingredients beforehand, so that the cooking is actually very quick. The rapini has a very distinct sour taste which I think balances nicely with the sweetness of the sauce, but if you're not into that just leave it out!

Pad Thai's Long Lost Vegetarian Fraternal Twin

1 package flat rice noodles

The veg:

5 stalks rapini, trimmed and chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced
½ zucchini, julienned
½ cup broccoli florets
1 green onion, slivered

1 Tbsp coconut oil for cooking

The sauce:
2 Tbsp brown sugar
¼ cup Mirin
3 Tbsp Tamari
3 Tbsp ketchup
1 Tbsp lime juice
2 tsp chili sauce
2 Tbsp coconut peanut butter
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced or pressed

The garnish:
lime wedges
chopped peanuts
  • Whisk together the sauce ingredients. If the peanut butter won't mix easily, just pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds, then mix and set aside.
  • Heat the coconut oil on medium-high heat. Saute mushrooms, zucchini and broccoli, stirring, until vegetables are tender and the mushrooms start to lose their moisture. Add in rapini and cook until it begins to wilt (just about a minute).
  • Add in the sauce and stir to combine. Cook one minute more (to take the edge off the garlic).
  • Add the noodles and toss to distribute the sauce.
  • Sprinkle with green onions and chopped peanuts, add a wedge of lime and serve! Serves 4.
Now - options. I rarely follow a recipe exactly, and certainly don't expect you to!

If you don't have...
  • rice noodles, try soba, fettucini, or even ribbons of zucchini lightly steamed.
  • any of these vegetables, try julienned carrots, snow peas, bean sprouts, slivered onion (red or white), tofu, fresh spinach or kale, green beans, bok choi, bell peppers - whatever you've got. You can certainly make this without vegetables too, for a very simple, saucy noodle dish.
  • Coconut oil, use peanut, canola, or your favourite mild cooking oil
  • Mirin (Japanese cooking wine), use vegetable broth, or half and half rice wine vinegar and water
  • Tamari (Japanese wheat-free miso-based sauce), use low-sodium soy sauce.
  • Ketchup, use a little more nut butter, or tomato paste and a bit more sugar.
  • Lime juice, use lemon juice or rice wine vinegar. In desperate times even apple cider vinegar will work.
  • Chili sauce, use red pepper flakes to taste and add just a touch more oil, or chop up a fresh chili or jalepeno pepper (to taste).
  • Coconut peanut butter, use almond or peanut butter (smooth or crunchy), or a bit of buttermilk or cream, or just leave it out.
  • Fresh garlic - well, just leave it out, don't use powdered (ick). You might add a minced shallot if you happen to have that on hand. Or some minced ginger.
  • chopped peanuts - try chopped cashews. You could also garnish with cilantro, if you like it.
This could be about a hundred different recipes, depending on what's in your pantry :)

BTW, I was using Tropical Traditions products here (among others, of course). I used their Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil, and their Organic Coconut Peanut Butter. The coconut peanut butter, by the way, is pretty yummy! I made granola with it the other day, but I need to tweak the recipe some before it's worth sharing (it was tasty, but it was too loose to be bars, yet too firm to be cereal). Anyway, I have been really happy with their products so far! And for those of you that read this far - keep an eye out for an upcoming giveaway of the Organic Coconut Peanut Butter very soon!

Hope you like it! I'd love to hear if you try it (and what you do with the recipe!).


  1. Thanks for visitinf my blog! Isn't Pad Thai great!! I am glad you were able to make your own and enjoy it! OPera Singer in Kitchen

  2. Looks like it turned out perfect... looks very tasty!!


  3. I was thinking that coconut peanut butter sounded pretty good!


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