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.