|E2 Vegan Pad Thai - a recipe for disaster|
I'm a good cook. And I followed the recipe verbatim. But this dish turned out like a big bowl of ass! However, I did learn a few things as things in the kitchen unraveled:
1.) If you're cooking with vegetable stock instead of oil, keep extra stock on hand to splash on when the pan dries out, which is inevitable.
2.) DO NOT add dry spices at the end of preparation! Dry spices need something to bind to; something to help blend their flavor with the other ingredients. Typically stovetop dishes start with onion, garlic or both - that's the time to add dry spices. This recipe called for dry chili powder to be added at the end of the cooking process so it never got the chance to blend with anything. Instead, it just sat there on top of the noodles, broccoli and tofu. And it just plain sucked.
3.) If a recipe calls for noodles, cook them first, then add them at the last minute. This recipe said to add cooked rice noodles early in the process. But when you're cooking without oil and the pan keeps drying out, adding noodles early on can only result in a mushy stuck-to-the-bottom-of-the-pan disaster. And that's exactly what happened. If I had followed my instinct and waited until the last minute to toss the noodles in, one problem with this recipe might have been avoided.
4.) If you know better, DO better! I knew better than to add the chili powder late and the noodles early, but the recipe told me to - so I did. That's why I ended up wasting a lot good food that could have been put to better use. So from now on, I'm going to make my own decisions about what to do with steps that seem questionable.
5.) KEEP TRYING! This recipe totally sucked wind but it might work with the tweaks I've mentioned here. And there are other Vegan Pad Thai recipes out there - I've already collected a few. Once I clean out my pans I'll give them a try.