This Vegan Pad Thai with tofu makes a satisfying, flavorful weeknight dinner. It's quick and easy (ready in about 45 minutes) and tastes even better the next day as leftovers!
- 15 oz firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 4 tbsp sesame oil (divided)
- 12 oz Pad Thai rice noodles
- 1 cup diced scallions
- 1 tbsp minced garlic (~2 cloves)
- 3 cups thinly sliced mushrooms (cremini or shiitake)
- 1/2 cup low sodium tamari or soy sauce, divided
- 2 tbsp creamy peanut butter
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or brown sugar)
- 2 tsp sriracha
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice, divided
- 1/3 cup finely chopped chives
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- 4 cups fresh spinach
- Optional: 1/2 cup bean sprouts
- For garnish: cilantro, scallions, thinly sliced radish, peanuts, red pepper flakes
- Drain tofu and wrap in a clean tea towel (or several paper towels). Set something heavy on top (like a cookbook or pan) and let sit for 20 minutes. Once the tofu is pressed, dice into small cubes.
- Heat a skillet to medium and add 1 tbsp sesame oil. Add tofu and cook until slightly crispy on all sides, stirring often. Don't worry if it starts to break up a bit – the key part here is getting those crispy brown bits to add texture. Remove from pan and set aside.
- Cook rice noodles according to package directions and drain as soon as they are al dente. Set aside.
- Heat the remaining sesame oil in a large pot. Add the scallions and garlic and sauté until tender and fragrant (about 5 minutes).
- Add the mushrooms and sauté until they cook down and start to brown. This takes about 5-8 minutes.
- Add 1/4 cup of the tamari, 2 tbsp of lime juice, coriander, red pepper flakes, coconut sugar, sriracha and peanut butter. Stir well to make sure there are no clumps of peanut butter. You can also whisk together all of those ingredients before adding into the pad thai.
- Add in the cooked rice noodles, the remaining tamari and lime, chopped peanuts, cilantro, chives, spinach and sprouts (if using). Use tongs to coat the noodles with the sauce.
- Let cook on low for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the rice noodles have mostly absorbed the sauce. Add back in the tofu and stir.
- Taste and add more sriracha and/or red pepper flakes if you prefer spicier. Top with more crushed peanuts, fresh herbs, thinly sliced radish and/or sprouts and a wedge of lime.
Please note that this recipe calls for low sodium tamari or soy sauce. If you are using regular tamari (not low sodium), cut the amount in half and taste before adding more.
Family members that aren't vegan? Same here. You can easily add in 1 lb. of shredded chicken or cooked shrimp to this recipe. You can also add in 4 finely scrambled eggs.
Sensitive to spice? Cut back on the sriracha and red pepper flakes. You can always add more later.
Not a fan of tofu (or allergic to soy)? Leave out the tofu and double the quantity of mushrooms.
Storage: Pad Thai stores wonderfully in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in the microwave or in a pan on the stovetop. You may want to add a bit more sesame oil to loosen up the rice noodles. You can also freeze it. Let cool to room temperature, then freeze in a freezer-safe container for up to 3 months. Let defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then reheat.
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Thai
Keywords: vegan pad thai