Wolfgang Puck's Vegan Pad Thai

Serves 4 to 8

With its generous amounts of vegetables and its lively flavors, this version of the popular Thai noodle dish from my forthcoming book, "Wolfgang Puck Makes It Healthy" (to be published on March 18, 2014), is an admirably healthy main-course pasta.

Ingredients:

Lime-Tamarind Sauce:

  • 1 1/4 cups light brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 6 tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon paprika

Garlic-Chile Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro leaves
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 teaspoons minced Thai green chiles or small fresh green Mexican chiles

Stir-Fried Noodles:

  • 8 ounces dried rice noodles, linguine size
  • 2 quarts cold water
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced green chile
  • 2 teaspoons chopped shallot
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon minced lemongrass
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves, or 2 (2-by-1/2-inch) strips lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 1 pound mixed fresh seasonal vegetables, cut into thin bite-sized pieces
  • 4 ounces firm tofu, well drained on paper towels, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup julienned cucumber
  • 1 cup julienned carrot
  • 2 cups bean sprouts

To Assemble:

1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion, for serving

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges, for serving

First, prepare the Lime-Tamarind Sauce: In a small saucepan, combine the sugar, lime juice, tamarind, salt, and paprika. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring frequently. Continue boiling and stirring just until the sauce has reduced and thickened slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Prepare the Garlic-Chile Sauce: In a small nonreactive bowl, stir together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cilantro, garlic, chiles, and 2 tablespoons water. Set aside.

Prepare the Stir-Fried Noodles: Put the rice noodles in a bowl filled with the cold water and leave them just until softened, no more than a few minutes. Drain and set aside. (This can be done several hours ahead and covered.) Heat a large nonstick wok over high heat. Add the peanut oil. When it’s almost smoking-hot, add the chile, shallot, ginger, lemongrass, kaffir lime, chopped cilantro, and mixed vegetables; stir-fry until the vegetables are tender crisp, about 2 minutes. Add the noodles, tofu, carrots, cucumber, half of the bean sprouts, and both sauces. Continue stir-frying until the noodles have separated, heated through, and are glazed with the sauce and mixed with the other ingredients, 1 to 2 minutes longer.

Assemble the dish: Transfer the noodles to a serving platter or individual serving plates, forming a mound. Arrange the remaining bean sprouts on top and garnish with cilantro sprigs and green onions. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze over the noodles.

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