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Pad Thai is a popular stir fried rice noodle dish from the cuisine of Thailand. This restaurant famous dish is so easy to make at home and is ready in under 30 minutes. This is the vegan version made with rice noodles, homemade sauce, tofu, bean sprouts and peanuts.
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a noodle dish made by stir frying cooked rice noodles with a protein ( I used tofu) and veggies and is tossed in a sauce flavored with tamarind paste, sugar, soy sauce and vinegar. Crushed Peanuts, scallions, bean sprouts and lime wedges finish of this dish.
It is one of the most popular noodle dishes in the restaurants. But you will be surprised how easy it is to make at home. You can easily make it in under 30 minutes, which is faster than getting a takeout order.
Why this recipe works?
- it is sweet, sour, salty and spicy
- full of flavors
- easily made at home in under 30 minutes
- plant based recipe- perfect for vegans and vegetarians
How to make the best pad thai?
There are two components in making a good pad thai. Getting the right texture of the noodle and making the best tasting sauce. Do follow my recipe to make this tasty pad thai.
Let’s dive into the ingredients and its procedure-
Ingredients for home made Pad Thai
- Rice noodles – you can find the rice noodles in the Asian isle of your grocery store or in any Asian groceries.
- Tofu– adds protein.Use extra firm tofu, which hold better in the dish.
- Vegan pad thai sauce – sauce made with tamarind paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili sauce and brown sugar
- Bean Sprouts – for crunch, these can be found in the same isle where they have tofu in the grocery store.
- Shallots, garlic, spring onion and vegetables (optional).
- Vegetable oil for sauteing
- Corn starch to coat the tofu, makes them extra crispy.
- Peanuts, lime wedges, green onion and coriander as garnish and toppings.
Vegan pad thai sauce recipe-
The secret to making a good pad thai lies in the sauce. The flavors of sweet, sour, salt and spice have to be perfectly balanced. Not using the right amount, will give you a bland tasting pad thai.
The ingredients needed to make the sauce are tamarind paste, brown sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, vegetable oil, chili sauce (or sriracha).
Mix all the ingredients with a whisk until sugar melts and everything is well incorporated. The sauce should be salty, sour, sweet and spicy. You can always adjust the ingredients according to your taste.
Step by Step method –
1)Add the noodles in the boiling water and cook for 6 to 7 minutes.
2) The noodles should be al dente but pliable.
3) Drain the noodles in a colander.
4) Rinse them with tap water to stop further cooking. Set a side.
5) Pat the tofu with few paper towels to remove excess moisture. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
6) Coat the tofu with corn starch and shake gently to remove the excess starch.
7) Heat oil in a non stick skillet and pan fry the tofu on both sides until light brown and crisp, turning them as needed. Set a side.
8) Make the pad thai sauce by mixing all the ingredients listed under the sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
9) Now that we have the cooked noodles, fried tofu and sauce ready- lets make the pad thai.
10) In a large wok heat the oil and add shallots and garlic.
11) Saute the onion and garlic till soft and light brown, about 2 minutes.
12) Keeping the flame in medium-high, add the cooked noodles and half of the sauce.
13) Toss the noodles with the sauce Now add the bean sprouts, tofu, spring onion and the rest of the sauce .
14) Gently toss all the ingredients and cook the noodles for two to three minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust it. Add salt if required and top it with crushed peanuts and coriander leaves.
Can I skip tamarind paste?
If tamarind is not available, add some lemon juice.
Can I add some veggies?
Yes.vegetables like colored peppers, carrots and broccoli go very well in the pad thai.
If you like tofu, do try this sweet and spicy tofu, can be served as an appetizer or side.
Vegan Pad Thai Recipe
To cook noodles
- 8 oz rice noodles 1/4 inch wide
- boiling water to cook noodles
For the tofu
- 10 ounce extra firm tofu cut to 3/4 inch cubes
- 1.5 table spoon of corn starch
- 1 table spoon of oil
Vegan Pad Thai Sauce
- 2 to 3 teaspoons of tamarind paste
- 3 teaspoons of chili garlic sauce ( or to taste) or sriracha hot sauce
- 3 teaspoons of light brown sugar
- 7 teaspoons soya suce light
- 2 tea spoons rice vinegar (or to taste)
- 1 tea spoon vegetable oil
- 4 tea spoons of water
- 1 table spoon oil
- 1 shallot finely chopped
- 3 garlic pods minced
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup peanuts slightly crushed
- 2 spring onion
- lemon wedges
Cooking the noodles-
- Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook for for 6-8 minutes, until al dente. They should be pliable but not very soft.
- Drain the noodles and set a side.
Cooking Tofu –
- Pat tofu with few paper towels and let drain for few minutes.
- Cut the tofu to 3/4 inch cubes.
- Toss the tofu pieces with corn starch and shake gently to remove the extra starch
- Heat a table spoon of oil on a non stick skillet. Add the tofu and pan fry them until crisp and browned on both sides. Set a side.
Making the pad thai sauce-
- Add the tamarind paste, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, oil, chili sauce and water in a bowl. Whsik until well combined. The sauce should be spicy, salt, sour and sweet.
Making pad thai –
- Heat a table spoon of oil in a large wok on medium heat.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook till soft, about 2 minutes.
- Now slightly increase the heat, and add the noodles and half of the sauce. Gently toss the noodles in the sauce.
- Now add the tofu, bean sprouts and spring onion.
- Add the rest of the sauce and toss gently until all the ingredients are well coated with the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Taste it and add some salt if required. Finally garnish with peanuts and cilantro.
- Serve with lemon wedges and hot sauce or chili flakes (optional).
- If tamarind paste is not available, add some lemon juice.
- Adjust the chili sauce according to how spicy you prefer your noodles.
- You can add vegetables like bell peppers, carrot and broccoli. Add them after sauteing the onion and cook for couple of minutes.
- Make extra sauce to add while eating.