by Christie Qualey
The secret to a delicious Pad Thai is going bold on all flavor components: sweet, savory, tangy, spicy, and rich. Traditionally, this is done with many fresh ingredients like cabbage, mint, ginger, red pepper, chili pepper, and bean sprouts. The addition of processed ingredients, such as peanut butter, sugar, salt, MSG, and other unpronounceable additives, overthrows the virtues of the fore-mentioned bounty. A dish of only these elements would indeed be less exciting and hardly reminiscent of its traditional counterpart. However, with a little creativity and a handful of ingredients, your taste buds will be tantalized!
The secret is always in the sauce, and this Tamarind Tahini sauce is inconceivably exquisite and sure to export you to Thailand with its distinctive piquant flavor and sweet eastern aroma. Tamarind is a leguminous seedpod filled with brown, sticky, slightly sweet, and very acidic (high in Vitamin C) paste. This goo encircles the seedpods in a very irking manner. The best trick for extracting the pulp is to cover the seeds in water and massage the pulp off the seeds, mixing it into the water to make an unassumingly delicious brown liquid. The tamarind is so strong you do not have to worry about diluting the flavor.
Letting the dish marinate in in the tamarind sauce for 2-4 hours will produce a truly tangy Thai delight!
Peaceful Pad Thai
|4 large||organic zucchinis, peeled|
|2 large||organic carrots, peeled|
|1 small||organic green cabbage,
shaved very thin
|1||organic red pepper, julienned|
|1||organic yellow pepper, julienned|
|1 lg handful||mung bean sprouts
(sprout them yourself with seeds
and kit from Marlene’s!)
|1 bunch||cilantro, finely chopped|
|2 lg handfuls||shiitake mushrooms, halved and
dehydrated at 105° for 6 hours
(1 handful of fresh shiitakes
may be substituted)
Spiralize the zucchini with a julienne peeler, Spirooli gadget, or by using a simple peeler to make long, thin strands. The carrot may be grated or spiralized as well. combine all ingredients in a very large bowl, squeeze with lime, and set aside.
Tantalizing Tamarind Tamari Sauce
|2||tamarind pods, soaked as described above|
|2 Tbs||raw tahini|
|2||organic oranges, juice of|
|1||organic mango, peeled and chopped|
|3||organic dried pineapple rounds, soaked|
|1 small nub||organic ginger|
|1 handful||fresh, organic mint, chopped fine|
|1 handful||cilantro, chopped fine|
optional: one Thai chili pepper or one teaspoon cayenne (to make it truly Thai!)
Combine all ingredients, except cilantro and mint, into high-speed blender and whirl away until a smooth, homogenous consistency is reached. The fresh aromas will meld harmoniously if left to sit a couple of hours. Serve with a wedge of lime, sprigs of cilantro and mint, and a pair of chopsticks.
Christie Qualey is a raw food healthy lifestyle enthusiast. She operates Reciprocity Foods mobile food cart in the Tacoma area, selling fresh, organic fare.