Monday, October 23, 2006

Pad Thai

My son has always been an adventurous eater, willing and eager to try anything once. Unfortunately, he also has a very quick gag reflex. This does not a happy combination make.

The first time shmoo tried pad thai was off his father's plate at a cozy little Thai restaurant. He asked for the noodle, placed it in his mouth, and promptly threw up all over the table. I was mortified beyond my wildest nightmares. I rushed him off to the bathroom while the waitress earned possibly the largest tip ever by clearing off the table. I knew right then and there that rice noodles were OUT.

But this summer (four years later) shmoo told me he wanted to give rice noodles another try. With no small amount of trepidation, I placed some pad thai on his plate in the safety of our own home and ran for cover. Lo and behold, he loved it!

So, here's a vegan pad thai lunch to celebrate shmoo's new love of rice noodles. A Taste of Thai's Pad Thai For Two is vegan (hooray, no fish!); I followed the recipe on the package, substituting crumbled tofu tossed in a bit of turmeric for the egg. I garnished it with fresh cilantro and a wedge of lime.

On the side are three recipes from the vegan Thai cookbook Buddha's Table: Thai Feasting Vegetarian Styleby Chat Mingkwan. First, Stir-fried Red Curry Green Beans with just a hint of red curry paste, made with mushrooms instead of tofu. Then a crisp, refreshing Cucumber Salad garnished with cilantro. For dessert, a wedge of Asian Pear sits alongside a very interesting little treat: a Thai Cupcake (kanom thuay). These traditional Thai sweets are made with coconut milk, rice flour, and sugar, steamed in small saucers until firm. They taste a bit like coconut-flavored gum drops!

Verdict: It was -- dare I say it? -- Thai-riffic! Doh! Shmoo's favorite part was the tender, spicy green beans (he picked out the mushrooms). 4 stars.


Belladonna said...

Oh yes! I absolutely LOVE pad thai and this looks like an excellent one!

OshinkoTickle said...

I say this, along with the soba noodles, has got to be one of my favorite lunches!

bazu said...

That lunchbox looks simply to thai for! (sorry!)
I'm glad Shmoo has grown to like pad thai, because it's one of the most delicious things. and so cool that he likes lime and cilantro and all the accoutrements!

you're adopted. said...

Pad thai makes my life shiny. Vegan pad thai? ... well, my life is glowing, now.

I'm a very close-minded chef, and I don't often think to substitute one thing for another, so I always leave the egg out.. I'll try tofu&friends next time.


Elizabeth said...

I think I'd have been tempted to serve Shmoo his rice noodles in the bathroom. ;-) Hibi also throws up very easily, and without warning. Though it doesn't seem to be triggered by food. Did I tell you about when she threw up *in church* right after communion, our second Sunday here? Yeah, and it was right in front. Wow.

Anyway, I'm glad to see a product like this! I usually make my pad thai from scratch, but it always seems to be missing something when compared with restaurant pad thai. I was in the store once and saw a jar of pad thai sauce and thought, oh, I'll try it! I brought it home, cooked with it, had the dish all ready to serve. Then my growing recognition that....hmm, that doesn't smell completely vegetarian. Looked at the label and of course it had anchovy paste in it. I hated to do it, but didn't know what else to do--I dumped the entire thing in my compost heap.

DDawnC said...

You guys are cracking me up with the puking stories! lol

This lunchbox looks and sounds WONDERFUL! Pad thai is so good, but those beans!!! Wow, I could do some damage to a plate of those beans. :D

laura jesser said...

This lunch looks great! Pad Thai is one thing I've never tried but have thought about giving it a go. I'm glad Shmoo's stomach took the noodles a lot better this time! :)

Susan said...

Glad I am not the only one with a child who pukes in Thai restaurants. My son had done it no less than 3 times in the same restaurant!
AND- you rock, JennSchmoo!

HottieMuffin said...

Thai Kitchen also has some GREAT pad thai (Thai Peanut... YUM)
and it's easy to see which products are vegan (or anything else)!
I have no less than 4 of these boxes in my pantry at ALL times. It's the quick fix lunch/dinner. :)
I just crumble firm silken tofu in a pan and that's it...

Alyse said...

first off i must say that sounds absolutely divine... although maybe i'll leave out the tofu... and thai story one night me and my cousin wanted to try this new thai place which we promptly fell in love with and took the younger ones to try... the youngest having a stomach problem tried it and hurled there too... we haven't been back since... oh and ps do you know where we could find some vegan all natural candy corn? i might be able to live with wax or honey in it i just want one that doesn't have artificial colors or flavors any form of egg or gelatin or any sort of that matter... thanks so much!

peg said...

Jennifershmoo, I'm so glad you're posting again and I have to tell you, I'm looking forward to your cookbook.

Laura Ashley said...

The Thai Cupcake sound (and look) really good!

vickie pellouchoud said...

Love your ideas, this one looks just so yummy but I wonder if my boy would be adventurous to try pad good!! Question, does this bento have little individual covers for all the separate goodies or do you just close one big lid over the whole thing...and if so does it all stay in place and not spill. I'm trying bento box lunch ideas and know where to buy that box and am just concerned that it wouldn't spill or fall out all over. I'd love for my little guy to open up and see all the good stuff at onece as in your pic.

Thanks! Love the blog.

Miso said...

fabulous! A vegan pad thai recipe. Now the trick is to make it without simple sugars--the problem is a lot of vegan food is that it often includes the dreaded (to me) "s" powder. will try to make it with brown rice syrup (not so quick to raise the blood sugar) and see what arises. --Miso

Jennifershmoo said...

I've noticed a lot of Japanese and Thai recipes use sugar in main dishes. A bit of sugar and/or sweet mirin, in combination with salty elements like soy sauce, give you that sweet/salty taste that's so addictive.

shumbelina said...

Just discovered this on the campus radio station here. It's a vegan cooking show I think. No meat for sure anyways. There are recipies and podcasts and everything on the website

Sonya said...

My husband and I laughed OUT LOUD at your pad thai story... but we're glad to hear the happy ending. We love vegetarian pad thai too. Looks beautiful, as usual!

Juliancito said...

Maybe Lil' Shmoo was allergic to a fish oil they put in the original dish, or perhaps it was the peanuts. But by the looks of the most recent dish, it isn't the peanuts.

Jennifershmoo said...

Ah, no, it was definitely the texture of the rice noodle -- it didn't even have time to get into his system.

Jennifershmoo said...

>>do you know where we could find some vegan all natural candy corn?

Hi, alyse -- I've been trying and trying but I can't find any vegan or all-natural candy corn out there. Does anyone else know of any?

If you do a search for "vegan candy corn", a few people have mentioned candy corn that contains no egg or gelatin, just beeswax (I think Jelly Belly was one brand). But even those contain artificial colors and who-knows-what-all.

I think I see a niche crying out to be filled...

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