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Recipe: Famous Uncle Dennis’s Coconut Curry Pad Thai (Vegan)

This simple combination of stir-fried veggies, sauce, and noodles is rich, creamy, and delicious! Try to get as many veggies as you can from local, organic suppliers. Look for farmers’ markets and natural foods co-ops in your area. Buy herbs and spices in bulk and use your own containers, rather than buying them pre-packaged—you’ll get a lot more bang for your buck. You will need
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole
  • 1 tbsp soy oil (or canola oil)
  • 1 tsp peanut oil
  • 1 carrot, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1 small white onion, sliced
  • 1 block of tofu (about 8 oz.), diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 10 oz. Crimini mushrooms, halved
  • 1/4 cup snow peas
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 8 oz. dry rice noodles (rice sticks)
For the sauce, mix
  • 1/2 can of coconut milk (about 8 oz.)
  • 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
in a bowl and put aside. Separately, mix
  • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp water
and set aside for later.
Chop up your veggies first. This will save you from having to run around like a maniac. Start a deep pot boiling with about 8 pints of water. When the water comes to a boil, remove from heat, add the rice noodles, and soak them for the amount of time recommended on the package (usually 8–10 minutes), stirring occasionally to keep them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Heat the soy (or canola) oil together with the peanut oil over medium heat in a fairly large pan. Add the garlic and ginger, crushing the garlic in the pan with a wooden spoon, and cook until the garlic starts getting golden and fragrant, about 3–4 minutes. Remove the garlic and ginger from the oil, and reserve. Return the pan to the heat and turn it up to medium high. Add the chopped carrot and sliced onion and stir-fry until the carrots begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Toss in the tofu, mushrooms, and snow peas. Stir-fry an additional 5 minutes. Add the coconut curry mixture, along with the salt, ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes, and reduce heat to medium. Throw in the reserved garlic and ginger. Stir in the flour-water mixture for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the lemon zest and lemon juice. Serve over the rice noodles. Garnish with your chopped fresh cilantro. Add salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Serve with white wine or sake.

Dennis Pacheco is the Web Editorial Assistant and cartoonist-in-residence at Chelsea Green. He attended the School of Visual Arts in New York, where he majored in cartooning. He lives in downtown White River Junction with his partner, Robyn, and their cat, Marty McFly.

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