Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (2024)

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Jump To Recipe 7 reviews posted Mar 6, 2024 by Jessica Hoffman

This Tofu Pad Thai recipe is made with fresh simple ingredients and comes together in just 20 minutes. It’s a healthy Thai noodle dish that is vegan-friendly and gluten-free.

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (1)

What is Pad Thai?

Pad Thai is a traditional stir-fried noodle dish served in Thailand. This dish features stir-fried rice noodles complemented by a choice of protein, such as tofu, shrimp, or chicken, all coated in a light and fresh Pad Thai sauce that is the perfect balance between sweet and tangy.

It’s commonly served as street food or in restaurants throughout Thailand. One of my favourite experiences was learning how to cook an authentic Pad Thai in Thailand.

To make this Tofu Pad Thai vegan-friendly it doesn’t use all the same ingredients as a traditional recipe. Here we’ll substitute fish sauce for soy sauce and omit the egg used in a traditional Pad Thai recipe.

Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Quick and easy: This Pad Thai recipe comes together in just 20 minutes!
  • Vibrant Flavor: combining sweet, salty, savoury and tangy flavors that will have you coming back for more.
  • Vegan and gluten-free friendly: this recipe uses ingredients suitable for a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet.
  • Versatile: customize this recipe with any vegetables or protein you love.

Tofu Pad Thai Ingredients

*The full ingredient measurements and instructions can be found below in the recipe card.

  • Rice Noodles: Provides a gluten-free base for the dish.
  • Extra-Firm Tofu: Adds a protein-packed element with a satisfying texture.
  • Garlic Clove: Infuses the dish with aromatic flavor.
  • Garlic Chives: Adds a mild onion flavor for depth.
  • Soy Sauce: Provides the savory umami flavor.
  • Coconut Sugar: Offers a touch of sweetness to balance the dish.
  • Lime: Adds a refreshing citrusy kick.
  • Bean Sprouts: Provides crunch and freshness.
  • Green Onion: Adds a pop of color and mild onion flavor.
  • Peanuts: Adds a delightful crunch and nutty flavor.

Vegan Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients

  • Soy Sauce: regular or gluten-free soy sauce if needed. You can also substitute it with tamari.
  • Coconut Sugar: traditionally Pad Thai is made with palm sugar, which you can use in place of coconut sugar. But coconut sugar is easier to find at most North American grocery stores. You can also substitute with brown sugar, agave or maple syrup.
  • Lime: for some acidity.

How to make a Pad Thai with Tofu

Step 1

Heat some oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Cut the tofu into cubes and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (2)

Step 2

Add the garlic and garlic sprouts and mix together for one minute. Then add the rice noodles, soy sauce, coconut sugar and lime juice and mix.

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (3)

Step 3

Slowly add some water, about 2 tablespoons at a time and continue to mix until the noodles are soft. Then add in the bean sprouts and mix again.

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (4)

Step 4

Serve immediately topped with some scallions and crushed peanuts on top.

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (5)

Recipe variation ideas

  • Swap tofu with tempeh or edamame for added protein variation.
  • Add your favorite vegetables such as bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli.
  • For a spicy kick, add some sriracha or chili flakes to the sauce.
  • Try using zucchini or sweet potato noodles for a low-carb option.

What to serve with Tofu Pad Thai

Tofu Pad Thai can be served on its own or as a side with other Thai dishes. Here are some great options to serve with this Pad Thai:

  • Thai Mango Salad
  • Thai Crunch Salad
  • Thai Peanut Cauliflower Wings
  • Thai Coconut Curry Tofu

How to Store and Reheat Pad Thai

Store leftovers of this Vegan Pad Thai in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply microwave until warmed through or gently reheat in a skillet on the stovetop.

Expert tips for making Tofu Pad Thai

  • Use extra-firm tofu: if you want crispy cubes of tofu, opt for extra-firm tofu in this recipe.
  • Use a large pan: Use a wok or large pan to ensure even cooking and proper mixing of ingredients.
  • Don’t overcook your rice noodles: Rice noodles cook quickly, so be careful not to overcook the noodles!
  • Adjust seasoning if needed: Adjust the sweetness and saltiness of the sauce to your taste preferences by adding more coconut sugar or soy sauce.
  • Add garnish: Garnish with fresh lime wedges and chopped peanuts just before serving for an extra burst of flavor and texture.
Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (6)

Vegan Pad Thai FAQs

Is Pad Thai gluten-free?

Yes! Traditionally Pad Thai is gluten-free. In this recipe as long as you use gluten-free soy sauce the Pad Thai will be gluten-free.

Is Pad Thai Vegan?

Traditionally, Pad Thai is not vegan since it’s made using fish sauce, egg, and often times in Thailand even find dried shrimp. This recipe however is vegan-friendly!

What kind of noodles are best for Pad Thai?

Flat dried rice noodles are best to use for Pad Thai. You can find these at most grocery stores or your local Asian supermarket.

Why do you soak Pad Thai noodles?

Since Pad Thai noodles cook very fast, they are traditionally soaked in water for a few minutes to make them more pliable and then added directly to the stir fry pan. Since the noodles will cook more in the pan, you’ll end up with perfectly cooked noodles. If you boil the noodles before adding them to the pan, they can become overcooked and start sticking together.

Can I make Pad Thai ahead of time?

While it’s best enjoyed fresh, you can prepare the sauce and chop the vegetables in advance for quicker assembly when ready to cook.

Can I make Pad Thai without peanuts?

Yes. Leave the peanuts out of this recipe for a peanut-free option.

Try these delicious noodle recipes next!

  • Vegan Pad See Ew
  • Thai Peanut Butter Ramen
  • 15-Minute Sesame Noodles
  • Pad Kee Mao [Drunken Noodles]
  • Yaki Udon

If you tried thisTofu Pad Thaior any other recipe on the blog let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment/rating below! Be sure to follow along onPinterest,Instagram,TiktokandFacebookfor even more deliciousness!

Print

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (7)

Tofu Pad Thai

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star5 from 7 reviews

  • Author: Jessica Hoffman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Thai
  • Diet: Vegan
Print Recipe

Description

A simple Tofu Pad Thai recipe that is easy to make and takes less than 20 minutes!

Ingredients

UnitsScale

  • 1/2 pack rice noodles (approx 7 oz)
  • 1/2 block of extra-firm tofu, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup-1/2 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 large handful garlic chives (can sub regular chives)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce (gluten-free if needed)
  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (can sub agave, maple syrup)
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • crushed peanuts and sliced scallion for serving

Instructions

  1. Boil water and pour it into a large bowl. Add the rice noodles to the bowl of water and soak until tender, but not too soft. (they should still be slightly undercooked and have some firmness to them.) Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick pan on medium-high heat then add the tofu and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side until golden brown.
  3. Push the tofu to the side of the pan, turn the heat to medium and add the garlic noodles, garlic chives, soy sauce, coconut sugar and lime juice to the pan.
  4. Slowly add some water to the pan, 1-2 tbsp at a time to prevent the noodles from sticking and allowing to cook fully through.
  5. Turn the heat to low, add the bean sprouts and mix together.
  6. Top with crushed peanuts and sliced scallions

Notes

Pad Thai is best enjoyed immediately.

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 days.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/3 recipe
  • Calories: 265
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Sodium: 600mg
  • Fat: 13g
  • Saturated Fat: 2g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 8g

This post contains affiliate links which means I will make a small commission if you purchase through those links. I only recommend products that I know, trust and love!

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posted by Jessica Hoffman on March 6, 2024

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30 comments on “Tofu Pad Thai”

  1. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (8)

    Anie Fong Reply

    Thank you for sharing this recipe! I have enjoyed it and will definitely cook this again! Thanks heaps!!!

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (9)

      Jessica Hoffman Reply

      Your welcome Anie!

  2. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (10)

    Bertille Reply

    Hi, Can I know the weight of your tofu block please? I noticed that we don’t have the same grammes of tofu pack in every countries.. Thank you very much!

  3. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (11)

    Gabriela Prisecaru Reply

    Excellent, tasty and easy to prepare. I just tried this recipe and it is definitely something I will try again!

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (12)

      Anna Oppermann Reply

      I’m so happy you enjoyed it!

  4. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (13)

    Brenda Crespo Reply

    Excellent my husband lick this plate

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (14)

      Jessica Hoffman Reply

      Thanks Brenda, glad you both enjoyed the recipe!

  5. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (15)

    Nikita Reply

    If a member in your family has issues with some of the veggies used in this recipe what other ones can you use. My dad can’t eat nuts the veggies that were used. So what cab I use to replace them?

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (16)

      Jess Reply

      Hi Nikita, you can use pretty much any veggies you love in a stir-fry. Broccoli, Chinese broccoli or bok choy would all work well!

      • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (17)

        Rachel Reply

        I add baby Bok Choy and mushrooms every time – SO GOOD

        • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (18)

          Jessica Hoffman Reply

          So happy you loved this rachel!

  6. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (19)

    Tori Reply

    Hi! Could you go without the tofu for this dish, or is it needed for the flavor?

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (20)

      Jess Reply

      Hi Tori, you can definitely leave it out it won’t alter the taste and is equally delicious without tofu!

  7. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (21)

    Roxanne Reply

    For years I’ve been looking for a Pad Thai that tasted like restaurant pad Thai to me. This was delicious. My family wanted more sauce on the noodles, so I doubled the sauce ingredients the second time I made the recipe. I also added 1 T. Tamarind Concentrate to the original recipe. It gave just the last little sweetness and tang I was looking for. Tamarind concentrates seem to come in different strengths. The one I used was pretty mild. Use less if you use a more concentrated one.

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (22)

      Jess Reply

      Hi Roxanne, thank you for the review! I actually learned how to make Pad Thai in Thailand, so I wanted to share a recipe that tasted authentic to there! (But using vegan friendly ingredients.) That sounds delicious with the addition of Tamarind!

  8. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (23)

    Gail Dunbar Reply

    Hi, what type of tofu did you use?

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (24)

      Jess Reply

      Hi Gail, you can use any type of tofu i personally use firm!

  9. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (25)

    Ben Reply

    I travelled to Thailand two times and this Pad Thai seriously reminds me of the ones I ate there! Really good!!

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (26)

      Jess Reply

      Thanks for the review Ben! That’s where I learned to make Pad Thai 😉

  10. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (27)

    Phi Reply

    loved it! would not change a thing! thanks soo much!

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (28)

      Jess Reply

      Thank you so much! Glad to hear you enjoyed the recipe 🙂

  11. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (29)

    Ana Reply

    Forgot to rate the recipe! 😀

  12. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (30)

    Ana Reply

    Pad Thai is also my all-time favorite dish in the world, I love Pad Thai ?. I also saw the recipe the Life Changing Peanut Butter Noodles and these look so good too, can’t wait to make them. Looking forward to following along and trying all these yummy recipes! Eating pad thai at a local restaurant in Thailand sounds so yum, gosh ?.

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (31)

      Jess Reply

      Hi Ana, that’s awesome! Isn’t bad just the best? I love how fast it is to make. Hope you get to experience eating some in Thailand as well:)

  13. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (32)

    Dee | Green Smoothie Gourmet Reply

    So delicious Jess! Such a comforting spicing creation. Amazing that your travels influence your recipes, so creative of you! Thanks for sharing! Dee xx

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (33)

      Jess Reply

      Thanks Dee! One of my favorite parts about traveling is all the amazing inspiration you can draw on for new dishes:)

  14. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (34)

    Nisha / @rainbowplantlife Reply

    You are making me so hungry with this Pad Thai! Love your vegan version of this dish. I could eat rice noodles all day long 🙂 Oh, and that plate is so beautiful!

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (35)

      Jess Reply

      Thanks Nisha! and same here! I could eat this every day!

  15. Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (36)

    Cassie Autumn Tran Reply

    Pad Thai is such a comforting and spicy dish, which I ADORE! This recipe does look beautiful. I am so jealous you went to Thailand! But I am most certain you had the time of your life there!

    • Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (37)

      Jess Reply

      Hi Cassie! Thank you so much! I totally agree comforting and spicy is the best! I hope you can make your way to Thailand one day:)

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Recipe w/ Sauce - Choosing Chia (2024)

FAQs

What makes Pad Thai different? ›

Tamarind concentrate: This is the starring ingredient in pad Thai that gives the sauce its signature tangy, sweet, and fruity flavor. Granted, some American Thai restaurants have switched to using ketchup in its place, which gives the dish a notably different and less-tangy flavor.

Is Pad Thai the same as stir-fry? ›

What is Pad Thai? Pad Thai is stir-fry dish made with rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, peanuts, a scrambled egg and bean sprouts.

What legume is pad thai often topped with? ›

Serve immediately with a lime wedge and extra peanuts on top. For a classic presentation you can add a little extra side of bean sprouts and some garlic chives garnish.

How to use Mae Ploy Pad Thai sauce? ›

Spicy Thai Sauce For Stir-Frying With Rice Noodles

Heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add 100g of shrimp or other kinds of meat and beancurd, stir-fry until cooked. Add 2-3 tablespoons of Pad Thai Sauce and soften rice noodles, mix together. Add 1 beaten egg, stir-fry until well cooked.

What is Pad Thai sauce made of? ›

Pad Thai Sauce is made with fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar and tamarind. Tamarind is the ingredient that is the heart and soul of Pad Thai sauce, giving the sauce the sour flavour that Pad Thai is known for. It's an ingredient used in South East Asian cooking, like this Malaysian Beef Rendang.

What are the 5 flavors of Pad Thai? ›

The name of this establishment refers to the five flavors (ha/ห้า=five, roat/รส=flavors) which are present in a good pad Thai: salty, sweet, sour, spicy, and savory.

What are the ingredients in a taste of Thai Pad Thai? ›

Ingredients : Rice Noddles (Rice Flour, Water, Modified Tapioca Starch), Pad Thai Sauce (Palm Sugar, Tamarind Juice(tamarind and Water), Water, Soy Sauce(soybean Extract, Salt, Sugar, Wheat), Sweet Radish, Shallot, Garlic, Soybean.

What is a substitute for tamarind paste in Pad Thai? ›

The vinegar-sugar mix works well in dishes like pad thai chicken. If your recipe calls for 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, substitute with 1 tablespoon vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon brown sugar. If using fresh lime juice, substitute 2 tablespoons lime juice for every 1 tablespoon tamarind paste.

Why does Pad Thai taste so good? ›

There is a scientific reason why Pad Thai is so delicious. It follows a Thai culinary tradition of using all five tastes which are salty, sour, sweet, spicy and bitter. That is why the dish is so tantalizingly tasty!… It hits all five flavor profiles in the mouth!

What does prik mean in Thai? ›

For Bonus Points:

SPICES: The fiery spice of many Thai dishes comes from peppers, known as “prik” in Thai. “Phet” is the Thai word for spicy.

Can Muslims eat Pad Thai? ›

Pad Thai – Thailand's Famous Stir-Fried Noodles

One of the most common Halal Thai dishes is pad thai. This dish is made with rice noodles, tofu, vegetables, and a variety of spices.

What is Chinese Pad Thai? ›

Pad thai is a popular Thai dish that combines stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, tofu, and chicken or another protein. Once you toss all of this delicious food with a sour, sweet, salty sauce, you are guaranteed to enjoy it.

How do you add flavor to bland Pad Thai? ›

Pile the noodles into bowls then top with more finely minced peanuts (the more the merrier!) plus lots of chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This exact combination – noodles, cilantro, peanuts, green onions, and like, 5 drops of lime juice – makes for the BEST Chicken Pad Thai!

What sauce does Thai Express use for Pad Thai? ›

Experience authentic Thaï flavours with our infamous and fan favourite Pad Thaï! Featuring thin rice noodles stir-fried with our sweet and sour sauce, eggs, bean sprouts, green onion, tofu and salted radish.

How do you make Pad Thai not sticky? ›

Toss with Oil: If you're not immediately using your noodles, toss them in a bowl with a drizzle of toasted sesame oil or another neutral oil. Toss with Sauce: Add your noodles to your sauce and toss quickly to let the noodles absorb the flavor and also be coated with the sauce to prevent sticking.

What is the difference between authentic and traditional Pad Thai? ›

A typical pad thai in Thailand contained only noodles, egg, garlic, bean sprouts, ground peanuts, chives, and a protein – the typical mix ins found in American pad thais such as baby corn, carrots, green beans, squash, and zucchini were nowhere to be found.

Why do people like Pad Thai so much? ›

In fact, Thai food consistently ranks among the top five most consumed and popular ethnic foods. What makes Pad Thai the most popular of all Thai dishes could be attributed to taste, ease of preparation, low cost, and high availability as street food.

What makes Pad Thai so orange? ›

When it's sold in restaurants outside Thailand, the noodles are sometimes bright orange – that's because sauces or spices, like paprika, have been used instead of tamarind. Authentic Pad Thai is a light reddish-brown colour.

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