posted by on Asian, Noodles, Tofu, Vegetarian, Vegging In


I associate pad thai with a lovely Evanston Thai restaurant I’d venture to in college called Cozy Noodles & Rice. Well, that was before it had that awful fire and shut down for a long while. I also associate it with stomach aches and food comas. It’s usually greased up and probably loaded with MSG.

Trying to avoid a trip to Queasy Town, I’ve avoided pad Thai and can’t even remember the last time I had it. Perhaps during my gluttonous college days. Nowadays, I go for the super-boring, but always reliably tasty entree of mixed vegetables with tofu. Fancy, huh?

But I did a little happy dance when I saw that Candice Kumai, a.k.a. The Stiletto Chef, whom I interviewed recently, had a recipe for a skinny pad Thai in her new cookbook, Pretty Delicious, and on her web site. And the results? Pretty delicious! Har-har.

Thanks to the incredible homemade sushi dinner my boyfriend made me for Valentine’s Day (I guess you gotta keep some things personal and private), I had a lot of the ingredients already, like sesame oil and ginger. But I also happened to have most of the other mix-ins as well. Man, I’ve been on a good streak of having a stocked kitchen.

{From clockwise top left: Sesame oil, soy sauce, chopped garlic, cubed tofu and scrambled egg}

I even had the usually useless tomato paste leftover from a breakfast pizza I made last week. (I’ll post that beauty next week.)

{Cubed tofu marinating in sauce made of tomato paste, honey, ginger, soy sauce and lime juice}

I didn’t have onions, bean sprouts or sugar snap peas, so I subbed in steamed broccoli. Any green is good for me. As for my favorite part of any meal (carbs!), I used a 13-ounce package of Trader Joe’s rice noodles, and though it was a few ounces shy of the full pound that the recipe called for, it ended up being a little dry even after making the sauce for the 1 pound. Adding a swig of sesame oil to the finished pot of noodles was a quick fix.

It’s not the super-indulgent, restaurant-variety pad Thai but a healthier take on a cherished comfort food. And the sesame seeds? That was all me. Love a good crunch.


  1. Eaman
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