Tofu Pad Thai with Broccolini

If any of your New Years resolutions included eating less meat, this is a great recipe to keep in your repertoire. My skipper and I recently spent some time living the vegetarian lifestyle* and I labored over recipes I’d never ventured into before. Tofu was my challenge. Getting tofu to be crispy, like some restaurants serve, was my goal. And I discovered there is a very easy secret: corn starch and a non-stick pan. Tofu is great for cruisers as you can buy it in cans and it does not need to be refrigerated. Keep it on board for months on an ocean excursion.

*which I abandoned ’cause I was putting on the pounds…replacing meat with pasta and cheese! I have to admit I was loving this vegetarian life though!

Tofu Pad Thai with Broccolini

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1 pkg Pad Thai noodles (rice noodles)
3 tbsp. canola oil

SPICE MIXTURE
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and cut into matchsticks
1 fresh cayenne chili, thinly sliced

SAUCE
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp coriander
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. plus 1 tsp cornstarch, divided

MAIN INGREDIENTS
8 oz. firm tofu
2 bunches broccolini, stems sliced
1 cup bean sprouts
3-4 green onions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
1 handfull Thai basil
Chopped peanuts
Lime wedges

Cook the Thai noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, coriander, 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/4 cup water until smooth.

Mince the garlic, ginger and cayenne peppers and set aside.

Lightly press the tofu with paper towels to remove excess liquid. Cut into 1/2″ cubes and toss in the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch. The cornstarch is the important part of getting tofu to be crispy on the outside.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. If you don’t use a non-stick skillet the frying of the tofu in the pan could be disastrous as the cornstarch will make it all stick to the pan. Add 2 tablespoons oil, heat until oil is hot, then add the tofu and cook until golden brown on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes total.

Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet.

See how nice a crispy this tofu looks.

Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook scallions, ginger, garlic and cayenne for 1 minute. Add broccolini and bean sprouts; cook, tossing, continue to stir fry for 2-4 minutes until broccolini turns bright green and a just starts to soften.

Return the tofu to the pan, toss to combine, then add the soy sauce mixture and let simmer, tossing everything together to make a sticky sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.

Oh, yum! Place a spoonful of Thai noodles on each plate and spoon the Tofu-vegetable mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with scallions, Thai basil and peanuts. (Peanuts are standard Thai garnish but they would kill my skipper so we obviously didn’t add them!)

Tofu Pad Thai with Broccolini

A classic Pad Thai made with crispy tofu

Ingredients
  • 1 pkg Pad Thai Noodles about 1/2 lb
  • 3 tbsp Canola oil
SPICE MIXTURE
  • 3 Cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Thumb-sized piece of ginger, minced
  • 1-2 Fresh cayenne peppers, minced
SAUCE
  • 2 tbsp Soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tsp Coriander
  • 1/4 cup Water
  • 1 tsp Corn starch
MAIN INGREDIENTS
  • 8 oz Tofu, firm
  • 2 tbsp Corn starch
  • 2 Bunches of broccolini, about 3 cups, stemmed and sliced
  • 1-2 cups Bean sprouts
  • 4 Scallions (green onions) thinly sliced
  • 1 Handful Thai basil
GARNISH
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Minced scallions
  • Minced cilantro
  • Lime wedges
Instructions
  1. Cook the Thai noodles according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soy sauce, brown sugar, coriander, 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1/4 cup water until smooth.

  3. Mince the garlic, ginger and cayenne pepper and set aside.

  4. Lightly press the tofu with paper towels to remove excess liquid. Cut into 1/2" cubes and toss in the remaining 2 tablespoons cornstarch. The cornstarch is the important part of getting tofu to be crispy on the outside.

  5. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil and then the tofu and cook until golden brown on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes total. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet.

  6. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and cook scallions, the ginger, garlic and cayenne for 1 minute. Add broccolini and bean sprouts; cook, tossing, continue to stir fry for 2-4 minutes until broccolini turns bright green and a just starts to soften.

  7. Return the tofu to the pan, toss to combine, then add the soy sauce mixture and let simmer, tossing everything together to make a sticky sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.

  8. Place a spoonful of Thai noodles on each plate and spoon the mixture over the noodles. Sprinkle with scallions, Thai Basil and peanuts.

 

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