VEGAN PAD THAI PALOOZA

1, 14-ounce package pad Thai rice noodles

1, 5-ounce package vermicelli rice noodles

Vegetable oil for frying

½ teaspoon salt

The Veggies:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

8 large garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon ginger root, minced

1 jalapeño, chopped including seeds

10-ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced

1 red bell pepper, cut into 3” strips

1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 3” strips

2 cups pea pods, stringed

1 cup purple cabbage, chopped

1 cup edamame

The Sauce:

½ cup soy sauce

½ cup vegan fish sauce

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

3 tablespoons mirin

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter

4 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons white miso paste

¼ cup hot water

3 tablespoons corn starch

2 teaspoons sesame oil

The Garnish:

½ cup basil, chiffonade

½ cup chopped pistachios

2 tablespoons tuxedo sesame seeds (black and white)

Edible flowers

Place the pad Thai noodles in a 9” x 13” baking dish and cover them with boiling water.  Let sit for 8 minutes tossing occasionally to avoid sticking.  They should be tender but not mushy.  Strain and rinse with cold water.  Toss with 2 teaspoon olive oil to avoid sticking and set aside.

Bring a Dutch oven with about 4” of vegetable oil to 400 degrees.  Break the vermicelli noodles in half and drop half of them into the hot oil. They will puff up very quickly. Turn them over a couple of times in the oil with tongs or a large slotted spoon to ensure they are all cooked (not glossy).  This process will take less than one minute.  Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels.  Season immediately with salt and set aside until plating.

Heat the olive oil in a large deep skillet.  Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeño until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and continue cooking until the mushrooms release their juices and start to lightly brown.

Add the red and yellow peppers to the pan and cook for 2 more minutes until they begin to soften. Add the pea pods and purple cabbage and cook until pea pods are bright green and crisp tender about 2-3 minutes.

Add the edamame and the pre-soaked pad Thai noodles to the pan with the vegetables.  Whisk all of the sauce ingredients together in a small bowl and add to the pan along with half of the basil.  Toss everything together with tongs until the sauce thickens and evenly coats the noodles and vegetables.  Add a little more water if needed to ‘loosen the sauce’.

Serve hot in bowls topped with the remaining basil, pistachios, and sesame seeds.  Place a mound of the fried vermicelli noodles on the top of the dish and garnish with the edible flowers.

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