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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Crispy Tofu Pad-Thai

Ketchup? Really? In Pad-Thai? Are you sure? 
That is what I said before making this recipe. I had noted that I might want to make this from this month's issue of Cooking Light.  We have been eating pretty simply lately, the old stand-byes of burritos, fajitas, pizza, and frozen veggie patties. I'm a little burned out from cooking after the holidays, not to mention our sub sub-zero temperatures have meant that the shelves at the grocery store have been a bit empty. Maybe they have taken a hit on my creativity as well. In any case we had the ingredients on hand and I decided to give this a try. Well, it turns out that ketchup really is good in Pad-Thai.  Sure, I have had better at our fine Thai restaurants here in Fairbanks, but for a quick and fairly cheap at home meal this is pretty good.  I will definately use the frying tofu in cornstarch trick again. It made the tofu really crispy. I always wondered how they do that in the restaurants...

1 (12.3-ounce) package reduced-fat, firm tofu, drained
1 tablespoon cornstarch
6 ounces flat uncooked rice noodles
1/2 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce, such as Huy Fong)
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts, chopped
4 lime wedges

1. Place tofu on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Cut tofu into 1/2-inch cubes, and toss with cornstarch.

2. Prepare noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well; set aside.

3. Combine ketchup, sugar, fish sauce, and Sriracha. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add tofu to pan; sauté 7 minutes or until golden. Remove tofu from pan.

4. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in pan. Add eggs and egg white; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Remove from pan. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in pan. Add noodles; cook 3 minutes. Stir in ketchup mixture; cook 30 seconds. Add egg mixture; cook 1 minute, stirring often. Remove from heat; stir in onions and cilantro. Place 1 cup noodle mixture on each of 4 plates. Top each with 1/2 cup tofu and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanuts. Serve with lime wedges.

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