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). Needless to say, they all became a part of our family, and we’re so glad we’ve kept in touch over the years. (3 of them even made it to my wedding this summer! For the delicious cocktails we enjoyed together at that celebration, see here.
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 from 2002-2003 (17 years ago!!). Although she didn’t particularly enjoy cooking all that much, she did introduce us to the diverse and rich flavors of her home country. We’ve been making some version of this Pad Thai ever since she lived with us.
Our vegan version strays a bit from Nicky’s more traditional recipe. Classic Pad Thai recipes call for quite a few animal products. To please everyone at our table, vegan and otherwise, we usually divide the batch in half and add scrambled eggs and shredded chicken or shrimp to one half (for the guys). This version is for us, and we wouldn’t change anything! We hope you give it a try this winter!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 15 oz package pad thai rice noodles
- 4 tbsp vegetable or sesame oil
- 1 cup diced green onion
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 4 well packed cups spinach
- 3 cups sliced mushrooms (button or shiitake work fine)
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 1 12 oz package firm tofu, drained, patted dry and diced
- 1/2 cup low sodium tamari** or soy sauce, divided (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 1/2–2 1/2 tsp sriracha (more if desired)
- 4–5 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1/3 cup chopped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped basil (Thai basil if you can find)
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- 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, 1/4 cup of low sodium tamari, 2 tblsp lime juice, coriander, red pepper flakes, sugar, sriracha, peanut butter, cilantro and basil. Stir well to combine all ingredients and continue cooking for a few minutes, until tamari reduces. Turn heat to low.
- Add in cooked rice noodles, rest of tamari and 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!).
-If we are adding meat or shrimp for the rest of the family, we typically divide all ingredients in half and cook in two smaller pots.
**Make sure you are using low sodium Tamari or soy sauce. If not, use less, taste and adjust.