Friday, May 15, 2015

Raw Vegan Pad Thai

Pad Thai is the most popular dish from Thailand and also happens to be their national specialty.  Each region puts their own local twist on the noodle's recipe and it can be fun to compare flavors if traveling throughout the country. 

I had the opportunity to visit Thailand several years ago and was eager to try many pad thais that claimed to be "the best in the country."  Like everywhere, people just print that on their menus and brochures for marketing purposes, but it was fun going to markets and finding this out for myself.  

I never found that perfect pad thai, and most of the time they contained eggs and ketchup; I just left it on my plate and told the server I wasn't hungry. Refusing food for dietary and ethical reasons may be common in the west, but it can be seen as highly insulting in other countries, and since it was my first time in Thailand, I didn't know how my refusal due to veganism would be taken. 

My quest for a perfect pad thai continued even after I left Thailand, until one day I bought a spiralizer and started making raw noodles.  I found it!  My favorite pad thai which didn't even contain rice noodles, ketchup or eggs. 

This raw vegan version is much healthier than the traditional version and takes very little time to prepare.  I now eat this quite a bit, and after you try it, you will see why! 

"Noodle" ingredients 

  • 1 small zucchini 
  • 1 medium sized carrot 
  • 1/2 cup cilantro 
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts 

  • 1 cup dried coconut 
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cilantro 
  • Zest of one lemon 
  • Juice of one lemon 
  • 2 garlic cloves 
  • 1" knob ginger
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon salt (add more if you want) 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 

Preparing the noodles:

  1. This is very simple.  Using a spiralizer, slice the zucchini and carrot into long, thin "spaghetti" shaped noodles. 
  2. Add to a bowl along with half of the bean sprouts and cilantro.  (The other half will be used as a garnish).

Prepare the sauce:

  1. In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.  If the blender needs help, add a small amount of water slowly until the sauce can mix evenly.   Taste to make sure the saltiness and acidity is to your linking.  If not, add more salt and vinegar. 
  2. Pour this dressing over the zucchini-carrot noodles and toss, making sure that everything is coated. 
  3. Serve with a garnish of extra bean sprouts and fresh cilantro. 

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