This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, held between 10 am - 2 pm on the corner of Agate and 19th Ave., you'll find plenty of summer produce from Camas Swale Farm and pastured meat and poultry from Fair Valley Farm and Fog Hollow Farm. Along with summer favorites of tomatoes and eggplants, you can pick up all your ingredients for a big batch of pad Thai, including scallions, leeks, carrots, and cabbage.
Here is our market haul before chopping (fortunately our cat is not easily scared by vegetables) and below is the resulting tasty plate of stir fried noodles, based loosely on this Bon Appetite recipe but with fried tofu and many more vegetables. I started with a whole head of chopped cabbage that filled a huge serving bowl, which miraculously as it always does cooked down to be contained in a wok. With all the noodles and additional vegetables, the resulting pad Thai filled back up the serving bowl, but miraculously as it always does, was mostly gone by the end of the meal.
Pad Thai for a Crowd
1 head cabbage
4 small leeks
4 large carrots
1 bunch scallions
2 Tbsp neutral oil like canola
14 ounce package of firm tofu
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Sriracha
2 Tbsp neutral oil like canola
12 ounces wide rice noodles
3 Tbsp tamarind paste
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp fish sauce
1 tsp chili garlic sauce such as sambal oelek (or more to taste)
1/2 cup roasted peanuts
1. Prepare the vegetables and soak the noodles. Core and chop the cabbage. Halve the leeks lengthwise, cut into 1/2 inch slices, and rinse. Cut the carrots into thin ovals. Cut the scallions into thin rounds. Soak the noodles submerged in boiling water until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the noodles.
2. Prepare the tofu. Cut the tofu block into 8 1/2 inch thick slabs. In a large skillet, combine the soy sauce and Sriracha and mix well. Add the tofu and turn several times, then arrange flat in the skillet. Set the skillet over medium heat and when the sauce starts to bubble, in about two minutes, use a spatula to flip the tofu. Continue cooking to allow the seasonings to concentrate and stick to the tofu. When little liquid remains in the pan, drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over the tofu, shake the pan and flip the tofu again. Let the tofu sizzle for 3 to 4 minutes to dry out and brown. Drizzle on the remaining 1 Tbsp oil and flip again. The finished tofu will have be orange-brown with some dark brown spots. Remove the pan from the heat and let the sizzling subside. Cut into 1/2 inch cubes.
3. Prepare the sauce. Mix together the tamarind paste, brown sugar, fish sauce, and sambal oelek.
4. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil and stir fry the carrots until they start to soften. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and continue to cook until charred in parts. Transfer to a large serving bowl. Add another Tbsp oil to the pan and stir fry the cabbage until most pieces have acquired some charred edges and it has reduce in volume by about half. Add the scallions and the return the carrots and leeks to the pan. Add 1/3 of the pad Thai sauce and toss to coat the vegetables. Transfer back to the serving bowl.
5. Turn the temperature of the pan to medium. Whisk the eggs together with a pinch of salt. Add the remaining 1 Tbp oil to the pan and pour in the eggs. Use a fork or spatula to mix and scramble them. When they are still a bit runny, add the strained noodles to the pan and toss. Add the remaining pad Thai sauce to the pan and toss the noodles until well coated. Add the cubed tofu and toss to heat. Transfer the noodle mixture to the serving bowl and toss well to mix with the vegetables. Serve with roasted peanuts and lime wedges.