Tofu pad Thai

Last Updated on March 25, 2024

Vegan Pad Thai is one of the classic Thai dishes that has taken the world by storm. Our plant-based alternative boasts vibrant flavors, fresh ingredients, and simple preparation steps.

This dish includes slippery rice noodles, tangy sweet and tangy vegan pad Thai sauce, crushed nuts, and fresh bean sprouts. This dish will soon become your new favorite for good reason!

You won’t believe how easy it is to make this Tofu Pad Thai at home. The perfect dish for adding variety to your busy weeknight menu.

Why You’ll Love This Vegan Pad Thai Recipe

You’ll love this recipe because…

  • This is a vegan version of the popular Thai dish. It is made with noodles, tofu, or vegetables, and a flavorful sauce that typically includes garlic, scallion, and either a sweet and salty or sweet and sour taste.
  • You can customize your version by switching up ingredients such as vegetables or noodles varieties. Plus, try experimenting with different sauces for different flavor profiles.

30-minute Vegan Pad Thai (Tofu Pad Thai) – Ingredients

A vegan version of the popular Thai dish, made with rice noodles, tofu, or vegetables, and a flavorful sauce that typically includes garlic, shallots, scallion, and either a sweet and salty or sweet and sour taste. For this easy vegan pad Thai noodles, you’ll need:

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • 7 oz dried rice sticks, aka Pad Thai noodles (200g)
  • Half yellow onion (sliced)
  • 5 oz firm or extra firm tofu (150g)
  • 6 pc mushrooms (sliced)
  • Half red bell pepper (sliced)
  • Half green bell pepper (sliced)

Toppings

Vegan Pad Thai Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce (you can substitute soy sauce with vegan fish sauce.)
  • 3 tbsp tamarind paste (if you can’t find tamarind paste, you can use tamarind concentrate)
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp vegan oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar (you can use palm sugar or brown sugar)
  • 1/2 cup water 

How To Make Vegan Pad Thai

  • 1. Firstly, gather all your ingredients. Pour boiling water over the rice noodles in a large bowl. After 5 minutes, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water quickly. The key is to soak the dried noodles in hot water until “half-cooked”. Don’t leave them sitting around for more than 5 minutes, otherwise, the noodles will break into small pieces when stir-frying. 
  • 2. Mix the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until well combined and set aside.
  • 3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large carbon steel wok or non-stick pan (or cast-iron skillet) over high heat. Add tofu and cook until golden brown.
  • 4. Add bell peppers and sliced mushrooms. Cook for 2-3 minutes until mostly cooked through.
  • 5. Turn the heat down to medium heat and add the half-cooked noodles to the wok.
  • 6. Followed by our vegan pad Thai sauce mixture.
  • 7. Toss the noodles gently for 2-3 minutes until the sauce is absorbed. If you find the noodles are not cooked through, you can add a tablespoon of water at a time until cooked.
  • 8. Serve with crushed nuts, fresh bean sprouts, cilantro, and lime wedges. Squeeze lime juice over the noodles before eating. Don’t be afraid to get creative with toppings and garnishes such as crispy fried shallots. Enjoy!

Different Variations When Making This Recipe

This dish is not only easy but also customizable to your taste preferences. You can play around with the ingredients and create a dish that suits your palate.

🍲 Switching up the vegetables 

Besides, there are plenty of other vegetable options that work well with this recipe — some popular ones include carrots, snow peas, snap peas, oyster mushrooms, and kale.

Try adding extra vegetables like baby corn for added texture and nutrition or swap out tofu for sliced mushrooms or even tempeh.

🍲 Experimenting with different noodles

You could also swap out traditional rice noodles with brown rice noodles, quinoa noodles, or zucchini Noodles if you like.

Experiment with different noodle varieties like buckwheat soba noodles or spiraled carrot noodles for a low-carb option.

🍲 Tweaking the sauce according to your liking

Some people prefer their pad thai spicy while others prefer it sweet and tangy. It’s all about personal preference and experimentation!

🍲 Turn it into Peanut Pad Thai

Peanut Pad Thai is a delicious variation.

The sauce is made with peanut sauce as the base ingredient along with garlic, shallots, green onions, chili flakes or paste for heat, soy sauce for saltiness, and palm sugar for sweetness. 

🍲 Different garnishes

As for garnishes, there are plenty of options to choose from.

You can add some crunch with bean sprouts, garlic chives, or fried shallots, a burst of freshness with cilantro and lime wedges, and spiciness with chili flakes or hot sauce.

Beverage Pairing Suggestions

To complement the rich flavors, pair it with crisp white wine or a refreshing summer cocktail like a mojito.

When it comes to pairing beverages, there are plenty of options to choose from. If you’re looking for something refreshing, a cold glass of iced tea or lemonade is perfect for cooling down after a spicy dish.

For those who enjoy alcoholic drinks, beer and wine work well. A light beer such as Pilsner or Lager can balance out the heat and spiciness in the dish without being too overpowering.

For wine lovers, try pairing with a crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc.

Overall, when choosing a beverage to pair, consider its flavor profile and aim for something that will complement rather than clash with the dish’s complex flavors!

This is one of my favorite Thai noodle dishes (the other one is pad see ew), Vegan pad thai is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional pad Thai.

Making the perfect vegan pad thai requires just a few key ingredients like rice noodles, tofu, vegetables, garlic, shallots, and green onions cooked in peanut oil and topped off with a simple salty-sweet, and sour sauce.

It’s no surprise that Thai food has found its way into our hearts (and stomachs😁).

I hope this recipe will soon become your weeknight (or weekend) go-to. 

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FAQS:

Q: What is vegan Pad Thai made of?


Vegan Pad Thai is a meat-free version of the popular Thai dish that typically includes stir-fried rice noodles, tofu, and vegetables or other plant-based protein such as tempeh or seitan, and a sauce made from soy sauce, tamarind paste, sugar, and lime juice.

Q: Can vegans eat pad thai?


No. Because traditional pad Thai is not vegan and contains meat and eggs.

Q: How can I make my own vegan Pad Thai at home?


To make your own vegan Pad Thai at home, you’ll need rice noodles, protein (like tofu or tempeh), chopped vegetables, bean sprouts, and a homemade sauce that includes ingredients like soy sauce or tamari for saltiness.

Coconut sugar for sweetness; sriracha hot chili sauce/bird eye chilies for spiciness (optional); tamarind paste for sourness; fresh lime juice to balance everything out.

Q: What are some good alternatives to traditional shrimp used in non-vegan recipes?


For those who want to enjoy the taste and texture of shrimp in their vegan pad thai without using actual animal products, there are several good alternatives available such as:

1. Oyster mushrooms – which have a similar texture to shrimp when cooked.
2. Marinated baked/cooked tofu with smoked paprika powder which can add depth of flavor.
3. Another option could be tempeh marinated in flavorsome sauces/seasonings before pan frying.

Q: Is it possible to find vegan pad thai at restaurants?


It’s certainly possible! Many restaurants now offer various vegetarian options including specifically labeled “vegan” items on their menu – check websites beforehand if unsure of availability.

There may also be lesser-known eateries specializing entirely in plant-based cuisine that definitely include authentic versions of this tasty Asian classic dish amongst other amazing menu choices suitable for vegans.

More Vegan Recipes (Thai)

Tofu pad Thai

Vegan Pad Thai (Tofu Pad Thai)

This Vegan Pad Thai is an easy and healthy recipe that is perfect for a weeknight meal. Made with rice noodles, tofu, vegetables, and a homemade vegan pad thai sauce, this dish is sure to please everyone.
5 from 18 votes
Print Rate
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 343kcal
Author: SHU-CHUN

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp cooking oil 30ml, neutral flavor and suitable for high heat
  • 7 oz dried rice sticks 200g, aka Pad Thai noodles
  • ½ pc yellow onion sliced