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vegan pad thai

You might be tempted to just order thai food from your local joint, but you can make a fresh and fragrant version of pad thai at home with the help of a little unexpected ingredient.  Dates are a staple in my pantry; I use them for lots of raw desserts and in morning green smoothies, but when blended with savory flavors like miso, sesame, and lime, it tastes very similar to tamarind paste, which is the traditional base of pad thai sauce… not ketchup, as some restaurants would have you believe! Try this vegan pad thai and you’ll be convinced that healthy home style cooking is far better than soggy takeout.

 

vegan pad thai
5 from 1 vote
Print Recipe

vegan pad thai

You might be tempted to just order thai food from your local joint, but you can make a fresh and fragrant version of pad thai at home with the help of a little unexpected ingredient.  Dates are a staple in my pantry; I use them for lots of raw desserts and in morning green smoothies, but when blended with savoury flavours like miso, sesame, and lime, it tastes very similar to tamarind paste, which is the traditional base of pad thai sauce... not ketchup, as some restaurants would have you believe! Try this vegan pad thai and you’ll be convinced that healthy home style cooking is far better than soggy takeout.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Thai
Keyword asian, crispy tofu, pad thai, stir fry, vegan pad thai
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Lauren Toyota

Ingredients

pad thai sauce ingredients:

  • 10 medjool dates pitted
  • 1 cup fresh filtered water
  • 2 tbsp vegan oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 lime juiced (about 2 to 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp miso paste
  • 2 tsp sriracha more to taste for spicier
  • 1 red thai chili optional

pad thai ingredients:

  • 250 g flat rice noodles or brown rice fettuccine noodles
  • 1 brick approx. 350 g medium-firm or firm tofu
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil for frying
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrots
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic 2 to 3 cloves
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped green onion
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped roasted cashews or peanuts

Instructions

  1. Place dates in a bowl of warm water to soak for 10 minutes or until softened.
  2. Drain the water from the tofu and let it sit in paper towel for 10-15 minutes to get rid of excess moisture. Then cut into cubes.
  3. Drain and rinse dates from soaking water squeezing any excess moisture from them. Then place them in a high-powered blender with the 1 cup of fresh water and the rest of the sauce ingredients.  Blend until very smooth and set aside.
  4. If you want to replace the dates with tamarind paste, if you can find it, then start with 1 to 2 tbsp and add more to taste. You'll probably need to reduce the amount of lime juice in the sauce as well since tamarind has more of a sour note.
  5. FOR THE SPICE LEVEL: if you want to use fresh red thai chili you can blend 1 pepper with the sauce either to replace sriracha or in addition to. It all depends on how spicy you like your noodles! 1 pepper is a mild spice so add another half or whole pepper to your taste or adjust using sriracha once the entire dish is cooked and ready to be served. Just toss more sriracha into the noodles.
  6. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the noodles. Once the water is at a rolling boil, toss in the noodles and stir occasionally while they cook for approximately 10 minutes or until al dente! Drain and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile heat a large pan to medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and cubes of tofu. After 4-5 minutes flip the cubes to another side to crisp. Flip the cubes every 2 minutes to get the rest of the sides golden brown.
  8. When the tofu cubes are golden brown all around add ¼ cup of the sauce to the pan and coat the pieces evenly cooking over the heat for another minute or 2 until it looks more caramelized and dark. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside. You’ll toss tofu into the vegetables and noodles near end of cooking time.
  9. In the same pan over medium heat add another 1 tbsp of oil and the onions, carrots, and celery. Cook for about 3 minutes stirring frequently until softened. Then add in minced garlic and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  10. Then add in broccoli and sprouts (reserve a small amount of raw sprouts aside as a garnish on top of the finished pad thai), and cook for another 4-5 minutes stirring frequently. Then add in half the amount of sauce remaining, toss to coat all the veggies and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  11. Add in the cooked noodles and remaining sauce, turn the heat down to low, toss to coat everything in sauce, and cook for another 3-4 minutes. At this stage you can adjust the spice level if you desire by adding another 1-2 tsp of sriracha. Serve immediately and top with green onion, cilantro,  raw sprouts, and chopped cashews (or peanuts)

10 comments

  • *ᶨᵤ* 3 years ago

    Nom!!!

  • lu 3 years ago

    How long does this take?

    • Katie Polin 2 years ago

      Took me about 75 min start to finish

  • Cassie Tran 2 years ago

    GORGEOUS recipe! I cannot even begin to describe how talented you guys are!

  • Katie Polin 2 years ago

    Well, Phuket Thailand, Lauren! This recipe was AMAZING. My boyfriend and I just had it for dinner and we loved it. Thank you for sharing another delicious recipe with us!

  • Jodie Lynn 2 years ago

    PLEASE make this a video!!!!!! Also use the deep friend tofu squares! YUMMM

  • meghan 2 years ago

    sauce turned out watery but i added 1 tbsp of tapioca flour to it and cooked it on the stove over med high heat for about 7 mins whisking frequently and that fixed it

  • Athena Cole 1 year ago

    This came out spectacularly! I followed the recipe to a T and it was better than any restaurant pad thai I’ve ever had. Definitely time-consuming to make, but worth it 🙂

  • danielle ⓥ 1 year ago

    I wouldn’t make this recipe using the tamarind paste again. It ended up being very sour. I didn’t include any lime since I knew the tamarind would be sour, but it will still over powering. There also wasn’t instruction on how much sugar to add in place of the dates, I added about 4 tbsp of maple syrup to see if that would help and it didn’t. I’m sure this recipe is great with the dates and ends up being sweet like normal pad thai, but avoid the tamarind paste.

  • Nicole Felts 1 year ago

    I don’t have oyster sauce… can I just go without it? What sort of flavor does it add? I’ve never had it. TYIA.

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