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. Note that this addition is not traditional, and can be omitted if desired.
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.