Vegan Pad Thai with Veggies and Crispy Tofu
This is the ULTIMATE vegan Pad Thai. It is one of my favorite stir-fry dishes made with rice noodles, a sweet, savory, and tangy sauce, veggies, and crispy tofu. It is easy to make, full of flavor, and ultra comforting. I cannot WAIT for you to try it!
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a stir-fry dish typically consisting of rice noodles, vegetables, scrambled eggs, shrimp, chicken, or tofu, and a sweet, savory, and tangy sauce, then garnished with bean sprouts and peanuts. It is a trendy street food served in Thailand.
My Vegan Pad Thai
This dish is one of my all-time favorites. It’s my order when I eat at Thai restaurants, my go-to pre-made frozen meal that I can microwave(don’t judge me!), and now a favorite recipe to make at home. To keep it short, sweet, and simple, I boil rice noodles, combine all of the sauce ingredients in one bowl, sear tofu until crispy, and stir fry everything I mentioned above with vegetables. This recipe takes some time and effort, but it’s very easy to make nonetheless! This vegan Pad Thai is sweet, savory, tangy, chewy, crunchy and crispy, and OF COURSE, delicious. It is one of my favorite recipes, and I’m so excited to hear how you enjoy it!
*Check out my ‘tiparooskis,’ located below the written recipe, for some important tips, key notes, and ingredient substitute suggestions!
If you make any of my recipes, don’t forget to post a picture to Instagram, tag me @chefsummerstorm, and #gardengrub so I can see your recreation!
Vegan Pad Thai with Veggies and Crispy Tofu
- 8 ounce package Pad Thai rice noodles
- 1/3 cup organic brown sugar, packed
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp vegan fish sauce *See 'tiparooskis,' located below the recipe, for a substitution.
- 2 tbsp tamarind paste *See 'tiparooskis,' located below the recipe, for a substitution.
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- Vegan sriracha (Amount is personal preference depending on how spicy you want the Pad Thai. I add about 2 tablespoons.)
- One 14 ounce package firm tofu (I like A LOT of tofu, so I fry an entire 14 ounce package. If you want an equal amount of tofu compared to veggies, I suggest cutting this 'Crispy Tofu' recipe in half.)
- 1/2 cup cornstarch
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, bite-sized strips
- 1/2 cup carrots, peeled and cut into "chips"
- 1/2 cup snow peas
- 1 tbsp garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1/2 cup liquid Just Egg
- 1/2 cup fresh bean sprouts
- Dry roasted peanuts
- Fresh bean sprouts
- Fresh cilantro leaves
- Lime wedges
- First, prepare the rice noodles. Cook them according to the package instructions, except undercook them by about 2 minutes, as they will cook more in the sauce later. After you've boiled them, run them under cool water to stop them from cooking, and then hold them in cold water while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Add all ingredients to a small bowl and stir until evenly combined. Set aside and prepare the rest of the recipe.
- Drain and rinse off the tofu, then lay it down flat. Cut it into 1/2 inch thick rectangular slabs, cut the rectangular slabs into squares, and then in half to create triangles.
- Add the cornstarch, salt, and pepper to a plate or wide, shallow dish and whisk to combine evenly.
- Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add two tablespoons of the vegetable oil.
- Evenly toss half of the tofu in the cornstarch mixture and place it in the pan. Cook the first side for about 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crispy- do NOT stir them around. Once they're crispy, flip them over and cook the second side for the same amount of time.
- Place the tofu on a sheet pan lined with a wire rack. Prepare and cook the second half of the tofu the same way.
Veggies/How to Cook Pad Thai
- Place a large saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in the vegetable oil, bell peppers, carrots, and snow peas. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add the green onions and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Push all of the veggies to one side of the pan, and pour the liquid Just Egg to the other clean side of the pan. Scramble the egg mixture, which will take roughly 1 minute or so, breaking it up into small pieces. Then mix the scrambled egg bits into the veggies.
- Add the drained noodles and sauce into the pan and stir until well combined. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Once the sauce begins to boil, turn the heat down to medium/medium-low. Add the tofu and bean sprouts, stir well, and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until the majority of the sauce has cooked off. *Feel free to leave the tofu out of the pad Thai and serve it on top if you'd like the tofu to remain super crispy.
- Garnish with peanuts, more bean sprouts, and cilantro leaves, and a squeeze of lime if you want extra tang.
Welcome to my tip section of the vegan Pad Thai recipe! Here I provide my top tips and key notes to help you perfect the recipe. Sometimes, I also give substitute suggestions that I think you may find helpful.
- If you can’t find vegan fish sauce, or aren’t able to order it online, my best substitution would be additional soy sauce. So, the recipe originally calls for 3 tablespoons soy sauce and 3 tablespoons vegan fish sauce, so instead of those, use 6 tablespoons of soy sauce. Of course the final flavor of the Pad Thai will taste slightly different, but it will still be yummy.
- If you can’t find tamarind paste, or aren’t able to order it online, my best substitution would be rice vinegar. I have not tried this swap myself, but upon research and common sense, it is the best substitution in my opinion. With that being said, tamarind paste is a key ingredient in Pad Thai, so I highly recommend not skipping it if possible.
- If you can’t find liquid Just Egg, feel free to skip it. I do not have a substitution for you, and skipping it won’t make a huge negative difference.
- You may be wondering if the crispy tofu stays crispy once tossed in the saucy noodles. The tofu does stay somewhat crispy if eaten immediately. Of course, if eaten as leftovers, the tofu will be soft and chewy but still delicious. I love tossing the crispy tofu in the noodles because they get coated in sauce, making them more flavorful. With that being said, feel free to keep the tofu out and serve the pieces on top of the Pad Thai just before garnishing.