This vegan twist on pad thai is a satisfying, flavorful dinner for any time of year, but we especially love making a big batch on a cold winter night! It’s surprisingly quick and easy, and it’s even better as leftovers the next day.
Fun fact: over the years, our family has hosted a total of eight exchange students from around the world. Each of them lived with our family for a full school year (about 10 months), so needless to say, they all became a part of our family, and we’re so fortunate that we’ve been able to keep in touch over the years. (3 of them even made it to my wedding this summer!)
I have “sisters” in Finland (2), Switzerland, Spain, Germany, Chile, Latvia, and yep, you guessed it – Thailand! Nicky, our second exchange student, stayed with us in 2002-03 (17 whole years ago!!), and although she didn’t particularly enjoy cooking herself, she introduced us to Thai flavors, and we’ve been making some version of this Pad Thai ever since.
Our vegan version strays a bit from a more traditional recipe, as there are typically quite a few animal products involved. We often divide the batch in two and add scrambled eggs + shredded chicken or shrimp to one half (for the guys) – this version is for us! We hope you give it a try this winter – we promise you’ll love it!Print
This vegan twist on pad thai is a satisfying, flavorful dinner for any time of year, but we especially love making a big batch on a cold winter night! It’s quick and east, and it’s even better as leftovers the next day.
- 1 package pad thai rice noodles
- 4 tbsp vegetable or sesame oil
- 1 cup diced green onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms (button or shiitake work fine)
- 3/4 cup shredded carrot
- 1 package firm tofu, drained, patted dry and diced
- 1/2 cup tamari or soy sauce (plus more as needed for taste)
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp cane sugar
- 1 tsp sriracha (more if desired)
- 3–4 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped thai basil (regular is fine too)
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- Optional: 3 cups spinach
- For garnish: cilantro, radish, more peanuts, red pepper flakes
Optional: for non-vegan version, add in 1 lb. shredded chicken breast or 1 lb. cooked shrimp and 3 eggs, scrambled.
- Add rice noodles to a large bowl and cover with very hot water. Let sit until al dente, then drain and rinse in cold water. Set aside.
- Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add green onion and garlic and sauté, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes.
- Add mushrooms and carrots and continue to cook until vegetables are softened.
- Add tofu, tamari, coriander, red pepper flakes, sugar, sriracha, peanut butter, cilantro and basil. Stir well to combine all ingredients and continue cooking for a few minutes. Turn heat to low.
- Add in cooked rice noodles, lime juice, chopped peanuts, spinach (if using) and bean sprouts. Use tongs to coat noodles well. Let sit for 15 minutes, stirring frequently, until noodles are fully cooked.
- Taste and add more lime and/or tamari if needed. You can also add more sriracha or red pepper flakes if you like it extra spicy.
- Top with more chopped peanuts, cilantro & basil, radish and more sprouts. Enjoy hot (but it’s also great straight from the fridge the next day!).
-When we make pad thai, we typically divide all ingredients in half and cook in two smaller pots, adding non-vegan ingredients (chicken or shrimp and eggs) to one for the boys.