Brooklyn Pad Thai

Pad Thai
  • Yield: 8 servings

Press the water out of the tofu for the firmest texture. To press tofu, place between a kitchen towel or 3–4 paper towels, and place a heavy object, like a book, a few cans, or a cast-iron pan, on the tofu for 30 minutes. Flip tofu and press for another 30 minutes. To quickly press the tofu, cut into 4 even slices and press each gently between your hands to get the water out. Then wrap in paper towels and place under a heavy object for as long as you can (at least 10 minutes).


1pound pad thai rice noodles
6tablespoons tamari
6tablespoons sugar
2tablespoons tomato paste
2tablespoons Sriracha hot chili sauce
1/4cup rice wine vinegar
3tablespoons tamarind concentrate or fresh lime juice
Pad Thai
6tablespoons peanut oil
14ounces extra firm tofu, drained, pressed, and diced
1medium red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1tablespoon finely minced lemongrass
2cups bean sprouts
8 scallions, sliced into 1 1/2 inch lengths
2 dried red chiles, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped roasted peanuts
1/4cup chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges for serving


  1. Prepare the rice noodles according to package instructions. Mix together the ingredients for the sauce.
  2. Preheat a large nonstick skillet or wok over moderate-high heat. Pour 2 tablespoons of the peanut oil in the pan and heat, then quickly add the tofu. Stir-fry for 4 to 5 minutes, until the tofu is crisp on the outside. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  3. Pour 2 tablespoons more of peanut oil in the pan. Add half the red onion and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add half the garlic and half the lemongrass, and stir-fry for 30 more seconds. Add half of the sauce, and when it starts to bubble (it should bubble within a few seconds), add half the noodles. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly, then add half the tofu, bean sprouts, scallions, chiles, and peanuts. Stir for 30 more seconds.
  4. Transfer to 4 serving plates and garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Repeat with the remaining ingredients.

Courtesy of Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Recipe from The Unofficial GIRLS Guide to New York: Inside the Cafes, Clubs, and Neighborhoods of HBO’s GIRLS by Judy Gelman and Peter Zheutlin (Smart Pop, 2013)