Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Taste of Thai
I'd probably be stretching the point to call this raw Pad Thai. The sauce isn't quite the same, but it's reminiscent of Thai dishes with a lovely peanut sauce, a bit spicy, rich and satisfying.

Using my handy dandy Oxo julienne peeler, I made quick work of converting two medium sized zucchini and a long, slim carrot into lovely fettuccine shaped strands. This little peeler is a handy gadget for slivering up broccoli stalks or shaping any hard vegetable into manageable pieces for salads or other dishes.

It makes a lovely pasta or noodle substitute out of daikons, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, etc. Long, hard veggies are perfect for this type of preparation.

I try to plan a bit ahead to allow time for the strands to soak for 30 - 60 minutes in a bath of lightly salted filtered water with a generous squeeze of lemon juice. The lightly acidic water bath helps to soften the strands and also removes a lot of the starch.

After draining the noodles, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze out the excess water. The strands are fine to use as is, or they can be drizzled with a little extra virgin oil oil, a pinch of sea salt and sprinkled with sea vegetables or other herbs before adding to a salad or using as a pasta substitute.

I tossed the noodles with a bit of peanut sauce (see recipe below) then scattered sliced almonds and snipped cilantro over the top. It was so tasty, I had seconds!

Peanut Sauce
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated into mixing bowl
1/2 cup creamy, almond butter
5 TBS mirin
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (unseasoned)
2 TBS tamari
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)

Grate the ginger into a medium sized bowl. Then add the remainder of the ingredients. Use a whisk or fork to combine well. Store covered in the refrigerator. Great for salads or dipping veggie nori or rice paper wrapped treats.

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