BM# 76: Week 3/ Day 3
Theme: Picnic Hamper
Dish: Pad Thai Noodle Salad
For the final day of this week's marathon I have yet another colorful and delicious salad. Pad Thai noodles are one of my all-time favorite dishes and I crave for it once in a while. The problem with that dish is that it has to be made in small portions (2 servings at a time) for the best flavor. So I make it only when I really feel like it.So this Pad Thai Noodle salad has all the important elements of the traditional Pad Thai but without the fuss involved. Thai dishes have a wonderful balance of flavors -- they sweet, spicy, salty and tangy, all at the same time. Soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili sauce (either sriracha or sambal oelek) and apple cider vinegar add some serious flavor punch to the dressing. This recipe is adapted from Good Housekeeping site. Pad Thai usually has a meat based protein in it, but since I was making a vegan version I added some fried tofu. Oriental or Teriyaki style baked tofu would be a nice addition as well. I recently tried fried tofu from my local Korean market and I'm currently obsessed with it. It is just perfect to chop and add to any Asian style dish.This Pad Thai noodle salad is great to serve at room temperature making it perfect to bring to a picnic or potluck or even in the lunchbox. Serve the salad over baby greens like spinach or watercress to add more color and nutrition to the dish.I was given this idea by a camera company called Light. They are running a food photography project where they want to share the behind-the-scenes food photos. So, here's my setup for the Pad Thai noodle salad. I have a large sliding door that gets good amount of light during mid day. (If I want a moody shot, I use the curtains to make it slightly dark.) It was a nice sunny day when I took these pictures and also since this is for a picnic post, I wanted it the photo to be nice and bright, so left the curtains out. I added some fresh cilantro on the side to add a pop of color to the background.
Pad Thai Noodle Salad
For the Salad:
- 8 oz. Pad Thai Brown Rice Noodles
- 1 Large Carrot, shredded or grated
- 4~6 Small Radishes, grated
- 4~6 Green Onions, finely chopped
- 1 Medium Red Pepper, thinly sliced
- 1 cup Mung Bean Sprouts (optional)
- ¼ cup Roasted Peanuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 8 oz. Baked or fried Tofu
- 3 tbsp Cilantro, finely chopped
- 8 oz. Baby Spinach
For the Pad Thai Dressing:
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tbsp Peanut or Vegetable Oil
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1" piece Ginger, finely grated
- 1 Garlic clove, finely minced
- ½~1 tsp Sriracha or Sambal Oelek
- To taste Salt Pepper
- Whisk all the ingredients for the dressing in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
- Cook noodles according to package instructions. I boiled a large pot of water, turned off the heat and added the brown rice noodles while stirring to separate them. Set it aside for about 5 minutes or until the noodles are tender but firm. Drain well and add to a big mixing bowl.
- Add shredded carrot, radish, red pepper, green onions, tofu and mix well.
- Stir in the sauce and mix well to evenly distribute it with the noodles and veggies. Rest the salad for at least 30 minutes.
- Divide the spinach between serving plates, top with noodle salad, chopped cilantro, roasted peanuts and mung beans sprouts and serve. Enjoy!!