Pad Thai

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We love Pad Thai in our whare.  We have fond memories of eating it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner down Kao San Road in Bangkok.  This is the best version I’ve managed to make to date – a lot of the recipes I’ve tried didn’t even come close to the original awesomeness.  This is pretty good, but I don’t think anything will quite manage to live up to our holiday memories.  If you want to make this a spicy version, add a tablespoon of sriracha to the sauce mix (I usually do this.  I much prefer a bit of chilli!).

Kīnaki (Serves 4)
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 x block firm tofu, drained and chopped into large cubes
  • 1 x small bunch of pak choy roughly chopped
  • 8 x white button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 x clove of garlic, finely diced (or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic)
  • 4 x spring onions chopped small
Pad Thai Sauce
  • 2 heaped tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • ½ cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • fresh coriander roughly chopped


In a wok or large pan with deep sides, add the sesame oil and turn up to a medium heat.  Ad a little bit of garlic and the tofu cubes and cook until the tofu is brown on all sides.  Set this aside.

Bring a pot of water to the boil and then add the rice noodles.  Cook for about 8 minutes (until tender) and then drain these and set them aside also.

In the same pan you used for the tofu, heat some more sesame oil and then add the chopped pak choy, mushrooms, spring onions and the rest of the garlic.  Cook for about five minutes until all the veggies have softened.  Add the drained noodles to the pan as well as the tofu and toss everything together.

In a small jug, whisk together all of the sauce ingredients.  Pour this over the noodle and veggie mixture and toss it all together.

Put the crushed peanuts and sesame seeds in a small pan and turn up.  Toast these lightly and set aside.

Serve the pad thai up into four bowls and garnish with the toasted nuts and seeds and a sprinkle of chopped fresh coriander.




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This is a really tasty version of phở – Vietnamese noodle soup.  You can mix up the toppings that you use, depending on what’s cheap or what you have growing at your whare – you don’t need to use everything I’ve listed (i.e. it looks like you need heaps but really you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want).  Leave out the chilli if you’d rather have a savoury soup than a spicy one.  Some nice substitutions are: lightly stir-fried or steamed green beans, broccoli or cauliflower, or oyster mushrooms instead of the button variety.

Kīnaki (serves 4)

For stock

  • 1 x onion
  • 2 x garlic cloves (or a teaspoon of crushed garlic)
  • 4 thin slices of fresh ginger (or a teaspoon of crushed ginger)
  • 9 cups of vegetable stock (or 8 cups of water and 4 teaspoons of vegetable bullion)
  • 4 x cloves
  • 1 x stick of cinnamon (or 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon)
  • 1 x star anise
  • 1 x fresh red chilli, diced

Noodles & toppings

  • 2 x tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 x tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 2 x sliced spring onions (you can cut these on the diagonal to look flash…)
  • 2 x handful of bean sprouts
  • 1 x packet of firm tofu, drained and cut into slices.
  • 8 or so white button mushrooms
  • 1 x small bunch of pak choy
  • Crushed peanuts or cashews
  • Rice noodles


To make the broth, add the stock, garlic, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, chilli and star anise to a large pot.  Roughly chop the onion and add this to the mix.  Bring it to the boil and then turn down the heat and let it simmer away.  Set a timer for 15 minutes.

While the broth is cooking, prepare the noodles and the fresh ingredients.

I usually use white vermicelli noodles – to prepare these they just need to be soaked in cold water for a few minutes.  Drain them and then place a handful of noodles into each bowl you are using to serve your phở.

Cut up the pak choy – I like to cut a few slices off the stalk as those are nice and crunchy, and then cut the rest of it lengthways into a couple of long, green bits from each leaf.  Set these aside.

Heat a little sesame oil in a large pan to cook the tofu (if you want you can add a little garlic and freshly grated ginger to season the tofu a little).  Add the tofu slices and cook until brown on all sides.  Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.  Return the pan to the stove, add a little more sesame oil and fry the mushrooms.  Once tender, remove these from the pan also and set aside.

Once the 15 minute timer goes off, add the pak choy to your stock and set the timer for another 5 minutes.

Now prepare the bowls for serving. Place some bean sprouts on top of the noodles.  Add a few slices of tofu and some mushrooms to each bowl.  Once the timer goes off, ladle some of the soup into each bowl (avoiding the large chunks of onion, star anise etc.  Make sure you get a few slices of the pak choy though.)

Top each bowl with some spring onions, some mint and coriander, a sprinkle of the crushed nuts (and add a little sriracha if you like it spicy).



Kia Ora

Kia ora, koutou.  Haere mai – welcome to Kaimangatanga.

I created this space as a way to keep a record of and share my favourite plant-based kai recipes.  I also want to use this as a platform to explore a kaupapa Māori plant-based lifestyle ethic.

For a long time I felt that my Māoritanga couldn’t sit very well with my leanings towards plant-based kai and ethics.  However, the more reo I learn, and the more I learn about Te Ao Māori, I realise that my Māoritanga in fact informs and supports this lifestyle in many ways.

This is a place to discuss some of these ideas, share thoughts, questions, ideas, experiences, suggestions, and of course, recipes.  I hope you enjoy it.

Ngā mihi.