Wow, Sunday evening sure has a way of rolling around fast. Wasn’t it just Friday?
The boy and I have a Sunday night ritual: every week, we eat pad thai together. We’ve done so ever since we moved to Austin a little over three years ago. The only Sundays where this recipe doesn’t get made are the Sundays when we’ve been out of town, which does not happen too often. That means we’ve consumed a lot of pad thai.
About six months into our ritual, JB asked me nervously if I was sick of pad thai yet. I wasn’t, and neither was he. We don’t even bother asking each other anymore. It seems that it’s impossible for us to grow tired of it. This recipe survived our transition back into vegetarians and a vegan version followed once we cut eggs from our diet. I don’t remember where JB found the original recipe, and at this point, it’s been so severely altered that this is 100% his own creation.
I tried to make this pad thai once when he was out of town, and it turned out horribly. I often joke with him that if I ever seriously tried to learn how to make it, he should be worried that I was thinking about breaking up with him. I cannot live without this dish, and he alone seemed to hold the key to its perfect creation. Needless to say, the whole time I meticulously transcribed his directions and photographed the process, he eyed me uneasily.
Rest easy, JB. You’re not getting rid of me any time soon, and we will continue to enjoy this recipe together every Sunday for the foreseeable future. Now, readers, you can enjoy it as well!
JB’s Pad Thai
Serves 4-6, but we almost always eat most of it between the two of us. I am not proud.
- 14 oz. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed then diced
- 2 tablespoons oil (either peanut or olive), divided
- Brown rice noodles (we like Annie Chun’s) or other bahn pho noodles
- Nearly 2/3 cup Heinz chili sauce
- A little bit of sriracha (~1 to 2 tsps)
- 1/4 c. brown sugar
- 1 serrano pepper, diced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
- 1/2 c. cilantro, chopped
- Juice of 1 small lime
- 1/4 c. peanuts, crushed
- After tofu is drained and pressed, cut into cubes and set aside.
- Heat a large pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once warmed, add the diced tofu to the pan. Saute until the tofu is browned, about 10 minutes.
- While the tofu is cooking, fill up a measuring cup nearly 2/3 the way full with chili sauce. Fill the remainder to the 2/3 line with sriracha. If you like spicy foods, add more sriracha, but be warned — a little goes a long way. Add the sauce mixture to a bowl, and stir in the sliced serrano, ginger, brown sugar, soy sauce, and water.
- Cook noodles according to their package instructions. Once they’re finished cooking, rinse them in cold water to prevent sticking.
- Once tofu is browned, empty into a bowl. Return the pan to the stove.
- Add another tablespoon of oil to the pan. Once it is heated, add the garlic. Stir until browned, about 30 seconds, and then add the sauce mixture to the pan.
- Stir in the noodles and cook for about 2 minutes. Once the noodles are completely saturated, add the tofu, cilantro, and green onions.
- Top with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and the crushed peanuts.
- Eat weekly with someone you care deeply about.
Let me know what you think if you try this. It’s one of my favorites. <3