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Stefanos Ultimate Pad Thai

Stefano Faita is one of my favourite TV chefs. Thai food is also a favourite of mine. This recipe seems a little complicated, but if you prepare everything in advance it is quite fast to cook for your guests.

Stefano’s Ultimate Pad Thai 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
3/4(14-ounce) package flat rice noodles (1/4-inch thick)
4 tbsp. ketchup
3 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. lime juice
3 tbsp. fish sauce
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 block extra firm, pressed tofu, diced or about 1 cup diced tofu
20 small to medium shrimp, peeled, deveined and tails removed
2 small chicken breasts, thinly sliced
Salt, to taste
3 eggs
2 shallots
1 heaping tbsp. ginger
1 heaping tbsp. garlic
2 Thai chilies, or to taste, chopped
3/4 cup peanuts, coarsely chopped
3 green onions, sliced on the diagonal
2 handfuls bean sprouts
3 limes, cut into wedges
Large handful cilantro, chopped

PREPARATION
Add boiling water to rice noodles. Let soak for about 1 minute. Drain and set aside. Alternatively, let soak in room temperature water until pliable, about 1 hour. (You can soak noodles in cold water and store in fridge 1 day in advance.)
To make sauce: add ketchup, lime juice, sugar, and fish sauce to small bowl. Whisk to combine. Set aside.
Add vegetable oil to wok and heat over medium heat. Fry tofu, until golden, about 1 to 2 minutes. Drain on paper towel. (Note this step can be done 1 day in advance).
Remove 3 tbsp. oil from the wok. Increase heat to high. Add chicken and season with salt. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp and stir-fry until both chicken and shrimp are just cooked, about 2 minutes. Transfer to plate.
Add shallots, chilies, garlic and ginger and stir-fry until lightly golden, about 30 seconds. Add eggs. Let fry for 1 minute.
Add noodles then sauce. Stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add chicken and shrimp back to the wok. Cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes.
Garnish pad Thai with peanuts, green onion, bean sprouts, cilantro and lime wedges.
Yield: 4 servings.

Chinese Chicken Hoisin Pizza

I first came across this recipe several years ago. I have to admit that I love Hoisin Sauce which you will find in the Oriental section of any grocery store (even in Mexico). If you buy  some flatbread or a prepared crust and those precooked chicken strips, this recipe is K.I.S.S.  Cooking it on the BBQ keeps the kitchen from heating up!

VEGAN friends…you can substitute your favourite grilled tofu for the chicken!

Chinese Chicken Hoisin Pizza

  • Prepared pizza dough (or your favourite flatbread)
  • 2 T oil
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 grilled skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 onions finely sliced
  • 2/3 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/3 cup red pepper in paper thin strips
  • 1 cup mozzarella
make it
Roll out dough if using fresh. Brush with olive oil. Place directly in center of BBQ for 1-3 minutes. Flip over and spread hoisin sauce, chicken, onions, cilantro and pepper. Sprinkle cheese over top. Move off heat and grill 5-10 minutes with lid closed.
OR
Brush flatbread or prepared crust with oil and brown one side on BBQ. Flip over and spread ingredients. Close lid and grill until cheese melts.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Hot and Sour Soup for a COLD DAY!

Stay inside and enjoy this Chinese favourite! You can use any fresh mushrooms you might have instead of the dried ones. Be decadent and use chicken instead of the tofu! It is important to use rice noodles…

Hot and Sour Soup

  • 10 oz. chicken broth
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 10 grams dried sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 20 grams rice stick noodles
  • 6 oz. silken tofu OR shrimp
  • 3 green onions chopped

Combine broth, water, ginger. Rinse mushrooms in cold water.
Add to broth. Stir in soy, vinegar, sugar, Tabasco and sesame oil. Bring to boil.
Break noodles into 4 inch lengths. Cover with hot water for a few minutes to soften. Add to soup. Simmer uncovered for 8 minutes. Dice tofu. Slice onions. Stir tofu into soup.
Simmer until hot. Stir in onions. Taste. Add more Tabasco if desired. Serve.

Notes

Preparation time – 10 minutes
Cook time – 11 minutes
Makes 4 cups.

Baked Thai Tofu

Since we have two vegan friends, I am always on the look out for an interesting and tasty main course. I came across this excellent baked tofu recipe which I use quite often with non vegan friends as well. The key is to use extra firm tofu!  I know every one says it can taste like chicken (LOL), but in this marinade it is very good. The last time I made it we used it in a stir fry, adding it near the end and then just warming it through before serving. The tofu can be baked ahead….

Thai Tofu for Stir-Fries, Pasta or Salad

The marinade below is sufficient for two packages of extra firm tofu.

Before doing anything you need to remove excess liquids from the two blocks as follows –

Wrap blocks in a clean cloth towel and place in a small dish. Put a large can or a brick on top to weight the tofu down for maximum liquid removal. This should take less than an hour.

Once that is done slice it horizontally and then cut into cubes of about one inch square. Place all of the cubes in a Pyrex dish along with the marinade below –

Thai Tofu Marinade:

•             1/2 cup fish sauce (or soy sauce) [I prefer the fish sauce]

•             1/2 cup rice wine (or sherry)

•             1/4 cup palm sugar (or brown sugar)

•             Splash of rice vinegar

•             Juice from 1/2 lime

•             1 small shallot (or half onion), finely minced

•             1 tbsp chili paste – Sambal Oleek can be found in the Oriental Foods section at the grocery store. Use less for less heat!

•             1 tbsp finely minced lemon grass (fresh or dried) [not important if you do not have].

Let marinate at least FOUR hours!

Heat oven to 250 F or 120 C depending on the accuracy of your oven temps. Place the marinated tofu in the oven for about ONE hour, turning after 30 minutes. It should turn brown and have the texture of tender chicken.

Serve it in freshly cooked pasta, along with some previously steamed vegetables and a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

It is also great in any salad or in a stir fry!!! Try it as an appetizer as well, in place of meatballs.