Commons Recipes

Commons Recipes That Are Near And Dear To The Heart for Valentine’s Day: Vegan Pad Thai and Molten Lava Cakes

Bates DCCE Executive Chef Owen Keene proudly displays Commons’ famous Vegan Pad Thai
Cheryl Lacey /Courtesy Photo

Vegan Pad Thai and Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes – what a combo! These are some of the most popular items served in Commons and two of our most requested recipes. On days that we serve Vegan Pad Thai the line starts around 10:30 AM and does not stop until we close at 2 PM. Two of our most skilled chefs work diligently throughout the day to prepare and serve this to you all, cooking an average 120 lbs. of rice noodles, 60-80 lbs. of fresh broccoli, 40 lbs. of red pepper, 50 lbs. of marinated tofu and a whopping 15 gallons of our house made Pad Thai sauce. That’s a lot of product! 

Chocolate Molten Lava Cakes only appear once a year, for our Valentine’s Adventure in Dining. Head Baker Daisy Taylor perfected the recipe on these little delights, which are individually scooped, baked just until the outside cooks through, pulled out of the oven while still “molten” in the middle and served immediately for your dining satisfaction. It’s safe to say that these two dishes would make a great pairing for you and your loved one on Valentine’s Day. I’ve pared down the recipes so you can make them for yourself. Hope you all enjoy!

Owen Keene
Bates DCCE Executive Chef

Vegan Pad Thai

Serves 6

1 pkg  rice noodles

¼ head fresh broccoli, cut into florets (approximately 2 inch pieces)

½  red pepper

Handful of baby spinach

½ small onion, chopped

1 tsp. canola oil

1 c. Bates Pad Thai Sauce

  1. Soak rice noodles in cold water for 20-30 minutes. Make sure to drain well.
  2. Saute peppers, broccoli and onions.
  3. Add noodles, Pad Thai sauce and the remainder of the vegetables. Toss gently until incorporated.

Optional Toppings: marinated tofu, peanut sauce (recipes for both are below,) chili sauce, bean sprouts, chopped cilantro, chopped scallions, chopped peanuts

Bates Pad Thai Sauce

¾ c. teriyaki sauce

¼ c. water

¼ cup granulated sugar

3 T. rice wine vinegar

Combine all ingredients.

Marinated Tofu

1 lb. tofu, cubed

2 T. + ½ tsp. rice wine vinegar

1 T. + ¼  tsp. soy sauce

1 ½ tsp. sesame oil

2 T. + ½ tsp. granulated sugar

¾  tsp. red curry paste

½ tsp. chopped garlic

2 T. + ½ tsp. scallion, chopped

Combine all ingredients except tofu. Add tofu to the sauce and allow to marinate 

Peanut Sauce

½ c. creamy peanut butter

¼ c. water

Combine all ingredients to make a sauce. Adjust to your own thickness.

Molten Lava Cakes

Serves 6

¾ c. semisweet chocolate chips

¼ c. + 1 t. butter

¼ c. flour

¾ c. confectioner’s sugar

2 medium eggs

2 egg yolks

1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Melt chocolate and butter over double boiler. Mix flour and sugar together and add to chocolate mixture. Whisk in eggs and yolks until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Put cupcake liners into cupcake pan and scoop mixture into them evenly. Bake for 9 minutes. Serve warm. (Note that our industrial ovens may be hotter than a regular kitchen oven so you may want to check after 5 minutes and then at 1-2 minute intervals thereafter to prevent the center from cooking all the way through.)