When thinking about Thai cuisine, Pad Thai is the first dish that most people identify with, including myself. It is an iconic dish of an iconic cuisine that embodies the five basic tastes in Thai tradition: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and pungent from palm sugar, lime and tamarind, fish sauce, coriander and chilies respectively. (On a side note, Ayurveda follows the same list but adds a sixth: astringent). When all five flavours are in balance, we feel well and satisfied because the right balance in food is said to correspond to the right balance in one’s health.
Classic Pad Thai is heavy on the rice noodles and can leave one dozing off into a post-meal slumber. Moreover it usually contains shrimp and eggs making it non-vegan. This raw vegan version is uses zucchini noodles, carrots, red cabbage and red peppers as the base, tossed in a nutty almond sauce that retains all the requisite flavours of Pad Thai. For a dish that packs a tremendous amount of flavour, raw vegan Pad Thai requires few ingredients and is a breeze to prepare with the help of a spiraliser. I have made this wonderful Thai creation many times for myself and guests; during busy periods and for large gatherings.
As you prepare this fresh and fiesty colourful dish with streaks of green, orange and red, give thanks for breath, life and our connected experience.
An Iroquois prayer of thanks
We return thanks to our Mother, the Earth, which sustains us.
We return thanks to the rivers and streams, which supply us with water.
We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish medicines for the cure of our diseases.
We return thanks to the moon and stars, which have given to us their light when the sun was gone.
We return thanks to the sun, that has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye.
Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in whom is embodied all goodness, and who directs all things for the good of her children.
- 2 medium zucchini, peeled and spiralised
- 1 small carrot, peeled and spiralised
- 1/4 head red cabbage, shredded finely
- 2 bunches fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 bunch spring onion, chopped
- Chili Lime Activated Cashews (recipe below)
- 128 g (1/2 cup) almond butter or smooth peanut butter
- 72 g (1/2 cup) activated cashews
- 60 g (1/4 cup) lime juice
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 tsp tamarind paste
- 2 tsp tamari or nama shoyu
- 2 tsp cold-pressed sesame oil
- 1 tsp coconut sugar
- 2 stalks lemongrass, chopped
- 2 pc kaffir lime leaf, julienned
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- 1/4 tsp chile powder
- 140 g (1 cup) raw cashews, soaked
- 2 tsp coconut palm sugar
- 1/4 tsp kaffir lime zest
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/8 tsp sea salt
- Prepare the salad ingredients and set aside. Place the ingredients for the dressing in a blender and blend until smooth. The dressing should have the consistency of a thick paste. Tossed the spiralised vegetables with the dressing until thoroughly and evenly coated. Garnish with fresh cilantro, spring onions and Chili Lime Activated Cashews. Best served and enjoyed immediately as the vegetable noodles will start to release moisture.
- Kaffir lime leaves are frequently used in Thai cuisine to add a tangy flavor. The leaf is considered to be more medicinal than the fruit, although the juice and rind of the knobbly fruit can also be used. Taken internally, it is a digestive stimulant and blood purifier. Learn more about kaffir lime here.
- Kaffir lime, together with ginger, makes the above dressing a powerful digestive stimulant. Feel the difference!