Tofu Pad Thai (Vegan)

My plant-based version of classic Pad Thai — an incredibly flavorful dish with the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and citrus. Served with crunchy peanuts, crispy fried tofu, and a fresh squeeze of lime.

Pad Thai is easily one of my top two favorite Thai dishes (the contender being Pad Kee Mao, or Drunken Noodles). Traditionally, the dish is not vegan as it is made with fish sauce, dried shrimp, and eggs (excluding popular choices of protein which are beef, chicken, and shrimp).

For my plant-based version, I use a combination of miso and doubanjiang (spicy broad bean paste) to mimic that umami flavor and fermented “fishy” taste.


Protein of Choice: Tofu

Fried Tofu/Bean Curd. For this particular version, I used pre-fried bean curd that you can find in your local Asian grocery stores (this is a lazy hack). Alternatively, you can use firm tofu, which yields arguably better results. Cut the firm tofu (pressed of excess liquid) into cubes, lightly coat them in cornstarch, and pan fry them in some oil until crispy and golden-brown.


Note on Noodles

If you’re using dried rice noodles. Prior to cooking the rice noodles, you have to soften them with hot water first. Alternatively, you could soak them in room temperature water ahead of time and keep them in the fridge.

After soaking in hot water for around 4-5 minutes, the noodles should turn white (no longer translucent) like this.


Tofu Pad Thai (Vegan)

5 from 3 votes
Recipe by George L. Course: LunchCuisine: ThaiDifficulty: Medium
Servings

2

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

10

minutes

My plant-based version of classic Pad Thai — an incredibly flavorful dish with the perfect balance of sweet, salty, and citrus. Served with crunchy peanuts, crispy fried tofu, and a fresh squeeze of lime. Video tutorial available in my instagram post.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil (substitute: vegetable oil)

  • 150 grams rice noodles

  • 130 grams bean sprouts

  • 2 scallions, segmented

  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or cane sugar)

  • 1 shallot, finely minced

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 2 dried red chili peppers, deseeded & thinly sliced

  • 100 grams fried tofu, cubed

  • 2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts, for topping

  • Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (low sodium)

  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce (low sodium)

  • 2 tablespoons tamarind paste

  • 1 tablespoon light brown miso

  • 2 tablespoons sriracha

  • 1 teaspoon doubanjiang, or spicy broad bean paste

  • 2 tablespoons room temperature water

Directions

  • Prepare the Noodles. Soak the rice noodles in hot water for 4-5 minutes, or until the noodles are softened (but not completely cooked). Drain and set aside.
  • Make the Sauce. First, mix the miso with the water to loosen the paste. Then add all the rest of sauce ingredients. Mix and set aside.
  • Make the Pad Thai. Heat up peanut oil (or vegetable oil) in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat. Note: This may seem like a lot of oil but it is crucial if you don’t want the noodles to stick! First, fry the garlic, shallots, and dried chili peppers until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Then, add the brown sugar (or cane sugar) along with fried tofu cubes, and cook until the sugar caramelizes, around 1-2 minutes. Add in the prepared sauce, followed by rice noodles. Stir very well to combine, and make sure the rice noodles don’t stick together.
  • Finish the Pad Thai. Taste the noodles to see whether or not they are cooked — they should be soft but retain a bit of a chew. If they are not cooked yet, simply add some water (2 tablespoons at a time) and continue to cook until the water evaporates. When the noodles are cooked to your desired done-ness, take the pan off the heat and add bean sprouts and scallion segments. Toss and use residual heat to heat the vegetables through. Top Pad Thai with crushed peanuts to finish. Serve warm.

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lennard
lennard
2 months ago

dear chezjorge,

indeed a thai-mless classic

yUm,
leonard