Derek’s request for dinner tonight was noodles with peanut sauce, so this is what he got. I’m calling it Pad Thai because that’s what it most closely resembles, although I’m not sure the purple cabbage is a traditional Thai ingredient. I just didn’t have any bean sprouts, so I pulled out the cabbage and sliced it really thin. And since I’ve never met a cabbage that I didn’t like, it turned out well.

Purple Pad Thai for 2

8 oz. linguine or fettuccine
8 oz. tofu, cut in 1 inch cubes
2 T peanut or canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 green onions, white and light green parts chopped
2 Cups shredded purple cabbage (or just use green, but it won’t be as pretty)

Sauce:
2 T soy sauce
3 T lime juice
1 T fish sauce (unless you’re vegan. You know who you are.)
2 T palm sugar* or brown sugar
pinch cayenne pepper

1/3 cup chunky natural peanut butter
1/4 cup water

Garnishes:
Lime slices
snipped chives
chopped toasted peanuts

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add noodles, and cook as directed on package.
In a non-stick frying pan, heat 1 T oil on medium. Add cubed tofu and fry on each side, turning gently with a fork, until each side is golden.

In a small bowl, mix sauce ingredients with a fork. In another small bowl, mix peanut butter with water.

Meanwhile, in a wok or large non-stick frying pan, heat remaining 1 T oil on med. Add garlic and fry for a few seconds. Add scallions, stir, then add cabbage and fry, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes, until tender but not mushy. Add sauce and simmer for a minute or two. Turn off heat. Add peanut butter mixture, drained noodles and tofu, stir gently. Taste, and add sugar, soy sauce or lime juice to taste. Add a little water if you like it saucier. Plate up and add garnishes.

* You can get palm sugar at Asian markets, or Indian markets, where it’s called jaggery. It comes in lumps or powdered, and is yellow. It has a strong taste, sort of like brown sugar, but different.

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