A typical vegetarian pad Thai noodle dish has a large portion of noodles with few vegetables. What makes this a “California” version is the bounty of vegetables (you could probably use whatever you have on hand); the addition of toasted seeds; and an inventive, easy sauce. If you don’t have ponzu (citrus-infused soy sauce), use soy sauce or tamari for gluten-free mixed with orange, lemon, and/or lime juice.
- large dried rice stick or pad Thai flat rice noodles (might be called banh pho)*
- extra-virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- onion, sliced into thin half-moons
- super-firm tofu or seasoned baked tofu, cut in ½-in. dice
- sweet pepper, chopped
- jalapeño chile (optional), chopped
- kale, center ribs removed and leaves cut into thin strips
- garlic, minced
- Sriracha chili sauce
- ponzu sauce
- toasted sesame oil
- green onions, thinly sliced
- cilantro leaves and tender stems, minced
- toasted sunflower seeds and/or sesame seeds
* Find dried rice stick or rice noodles in the Asian foods aisle at well-stocked grocery stores, at gourmet stores, or at Asian markets.
- Put noodles in a large heatproof bowl. Pour boiling water to cover and let stand until noodles are soft, at least 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add onion, tofu, sweet pepper, and jalapeño, if using, and cook until starting to brown.
- Meanwhile, steam or microwave broccoli until soft but still bright green. When cool, coarsely chop and set aside.
- Add kale and garlic to tofu mixture. Cook, stirring, until kale has softened. Stir in broccoli, noodles, Sriracha, ponzu, and sesame oil. Adjust seasonings. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with green onions, cilantro, and toasted seeds; serve immediately.