Paht Thai + a review of Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking

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Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking:  125 Real Thai Recipes by Nancie McDermott

Though millions love Thai food, actual meatless recipes and dishes are often difficult to find. Nancie McDermott has developed innovative and authentic variations on traditional Thai recipes, providing health-conscious home cooks with a repertoire of vegetarian dishes that capture the vibrant tastes and scents of Thailand.

Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking review

From refreshing salads and savory soups to flavorful and spicy mains and side dishes to the wonderfully refreshing Thai Iced Tea, this definitive cookbook offers 125 delectable recipes for every meal and occasion. Vegans will be pleased with the recipes since dairy products are virtually unused. The ever-popular eggs as an ingredient are usually left whole in these recipes, making substitutions and omissions easy. In most of the recipes that use eggs, Nancie has provided adaptations for vegans.

Here are genuine Thai recipes for every meal and occasion: Appetizers and Snacks, Salads, Soups, Curries, Main Dishes, Rice and Noodles, Sweets and Drinks, Basic Recipes for Curry Pastes, Sauces and Stocks.

A glossary introduces and demystifies the ingredients and equipment used in Thai cooking. McDermott also offers tips for finding ingredients and lists substitutions that might be needed.  (-synopsis)

Cook up this delicioius Paht Thai tofu dish!

We love Thai food and often when I’m eating Thai I like it with tofu so this vegetarian Thai cookbook is perfect for me.  This cookbook starts with an introduction that introduces Thai cooking and life.  It’s interesting to read because I didn’t really know much about it.

After the introduction the book is divided into sections.  There are appetizers, salads, soups, curries, stir-fries, rice and noodles, sweets and drinks, and basic recipes.    Since we don’t have a Thai restaurant near us I was excited to make a lot of these recipes.   Many of them have ingredients I can find at my local grocery store but for others I’m going to have to go to the Asian market and get them.

Paht Thai is a delicious noodle and tofu dish

I like that each recipe has an introduction that talks about where it comes from and a description of the recipe.   Many of them have tips on the side and vegan options.   There are several sections with large color photos of finished dishes.

Some of the best looking recipes in this book are Delectable Lettuce Bites, Thai Fruit Salad, Lemongrass Soup, Mushrooms and Tofu with Fresh Mint, Paht Thai, Fresh Lemongrass Lemonade, and Thai Tea Ice Cream.  They all sound delicious and I can’t wait to make them.

Paht Thai is a delicious vegetarian meal made with tofu

I decided to make the Paht Thai first because it’s one of my favorite dishes.  This recipe combines sweet, sour, and salty with a little bit of heat.   It’s made with thick rice noodles, peanuts, bean sprouts, and lime.  I’ll be honest, I did not put the peanuts in this dish because I don’t like them.   I would definitely add them for anyone who does enjoy peanuts.   I like my Paht Thai peanut free.

This dish is super easy to make and is ready in under 30 minutes.   It uses tofu as it’s protein and combines noodles and vegetables to make a complete meal.   I really liked the sweet, salty, and spicy flavor of the sauce.  It made the entire dish.  I also ended up throwing in some bell peppers because I had them cut up and I didn’t want to waste them.

Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking review

Paht Thai

Yield: serves 4
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Paht Thai is a tofu and rice noodle dish with a sweet, salty, sour, and spicy sauce that makes for a delicious one pot meal.


  • 4 oz. dried rice noodles, the width of linguine or fettuccine
  • 8 oz. firm tofu, cut into slender 1 inch long rods
  • 1 Tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 c. vegetable stock
  • 2 Tablespoons Tamarind Liquid or freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon bean paste
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1/2 c. finely chopped salted dry-roasted peanuts, divided
  • 2 c. bean sprouts, divided
  • 3 green onions, whites thinly sliced crosswise and tender green tops cut into 1 inch lengths
  • 1 lime, quartered


  1. Place dried noodles in warm water to soak for 15-20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, pour vegetable oil into a medium skillet to a depth of 2 inches. Place over medium heat until a bit of tofu added to the pan sizzles at once. Line a plate with paper towels and place near the stove.
  3. When oil is ready, add tofu in small batches to discourage them from sticking together. Fry, turning to cook evenly, until crispy and golden, about 2 minutes. Using a long-handled wire strainer or a slotted spoon, remove from oil, draining over pan briefly and transfer to prepared plate.
  4. hen noodles are very limp and white, drain and measure out 2 1/2 cups. Set near stove.
  5. Heat a wok or a large, deep skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat pan. Add garlic and toss until golden, about 1 minute. Add egg and tilt pan to coat surface in a thin sheet. As soon as egg is opaque and beginning to set, scramble well and transfer to a serving platter.
  6. Add 2 more tablespoons oil to pan and heat for 30 seconds. Add softened noodles and, using a spatula, spread and pull noodles into a thin layer covering surface of pan. Then scrape down into a clump again and gently turn over.
  7. Add vegetable stock, tamarind, bean sauce, sugar, soy sauce and salt and toss well. Hook loops of noodles with edge of spatula and pull up the sides, spreading out into a layer again. Repeat this process several times as the stiff, white noodles soften and curl into ivory ringlets. Add pepper flakes and about half of the peanuts and turn noodles a few more times.
  8. Set aside a little less than half of the bean sprouts for garnish. Add remainder to pan along with green onions and cooked egg. Toss well and cook until bean sprouts and green onion tops are shiny and beginning to wilt, 1 to 2 minutes more. Transfer to serving platter and squeeze lime wedges over top. Garnish with remaining peanuts and bean sprouts on one side and serve at once.


Recipe from Simply Vegetarian Thai Cooking: 125 Real Thai Recipes by Nancie McDermott, 1997, 2015.

Love the sweet, salty, and spicy flavors in this Paht Thai with tofu


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