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This restaurant-style Thai inspired vegan Pad Thai recipe is so easy and quick to make and also customizable! In addition, it is homemade, gluten-free, healthy, uses pantry staples and is perfect for weeknight dinners or a great lunch!
This recipe uses tofu but you can easily swap it for more veggies. Also, the Pad Thai sauce is very simple to make so this dish comes together in no time.
My go-to order when I am at a Thai restaurant is always Pad Thai but it can get expensive to eat out. Also, you don't know what kind of ingredients they use so I love making it at home.
Before we jump into the recipe, let's talk more about Pad Thai and how you can customize it and learn some tips.
Is Pad Thai Vegan
Traditional Pad Thai is not vegan because it is usually made using fish sauce, eggs, and oftentimes dried shrimp. Luckily, it is very easy to make it vegan so I'll show you how.
What is Pad Thai
So, Pad Thai is a stir-fried rice noodle dish commonly served as street food and at most restaurants in Thailand. Also, it is typically made with rice noodles, shrimp, chicken, beef or tofu, peanuts, a scrambled egg, and bean sprouts, among other vegetables.
Everything is tossed together in a delicious Pad Thai sauce so it makes a great combination of sweet, savory, tangy and spicy. We'll achieve some of these great flavors in this recipe with simple and accessible ingredients.
Is Pad Thai Gluten-free
Rice noodles are usually gluten-free but soy sauce isn't. I used coconut aminos or you can use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce to keep it gluten-free!
How to make homemade Vegan Pad Thai step by step
I always get these brown rice noodles but you can also use white rice noodles.
We will be using half a block of tofu (about 7 oz) and also I suggest getting organic tofu that is extra firm. You can also use more vegetables instead of tofu if you want to avoid soy.
Fresh Green Beans
I used fresh green beans but feel free to change up the vegetables or add your favorites.
Coconut aminos work great in this recipe because it's not as salty and has a little sweetness. But you can use soy sauce or tamari, just keep in mind it will be saltier.
Onion and garlic
Sliced onions work great but you can also use green onions (scallions) as well. Garlic adds great aromatic taste but you can omit if you don't like it.
Just a little maple syrup gives a hint of sweetness, you can also use coconut sugar instead! You can always add more or less maple syrup if you prefer.
Tamarind Concentrate (Sub for Rice Vinegar)
Tamarind concentrate really gives that tangy flavor to this homemade dish but you can sub it for rice vinegar.
I added peanut butter for creaminess but you can add crushed peanuts for some crunch! You can also use another nut butter such as almond butter.
Fresh Lime Juice
I love adding lime juice for that fresh taste and also tanginess. You can also sub for lemon juice instead.
How to make Pad Thai sauce
It is very easy to make the Pad Thai sauce so just mix coconut aminos, minced garlic, tamarind concentrate, peanut butter, maple syrup, and lime juice.
How to make vegan pad thai
- Place the rice noodles into a large bowl and then add hot water to cover completely, let it soak for 10 minutes. When the noodles are al dente, you can drain them and set aside.
- In the meantime, cube the tofu, slice the onions and trim the green beans. Start with heating a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and tofu into the pan, sauté for about 4 minutes. Turning occasionally so it browns on all sides. Add a tablespoon of coconut aminos into the pan with the tofu, toss gently to combine for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
- Add the sliced onions and green beans into the same pan, saute for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Tip: If the green beans are not getting softer, add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover so green beans can steam.
- Now you can add the noodles, tofu and Pad Thai sauce into the pan with green beans and onions, cook over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally for about 4 minutes until the sauce has coated everything.
Tips & Variations
- Add different vegetables such as bell peppers or bean sprouts.
- If you like spicy Pad Thai, add sriracha or chili garlic sauce into the Pad Thai sauce.
- Use extra-firm tofu and dry it well so it can crisp up when you add it to a non-stick pan.
- Make sure you are not soaking the noodles too long so they should be al dente. If they start sticking together, add some oil.
- Use sesame oil to give more flavor to this recipe.
- Always adjust to taste so you might need to add some salt or more lime juice.
- Even though you can keep leftovers for 3 to 4 days, Pad Thai is best when served immediately.
- Garnish with lime wedges, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, and cilantro.
This homemade vegan Pad Thai comes together so quickly and it is very versatile. It is also:
- Sweet, savory and tangy
- Easy and healthy to make
- Also delicious!
More easy plant-based recipes to try
- VEGAN MAC AND CHEESE RECIPE (EASY & GLUTEN-FREE)
- LO MEIN
- VEGETABLE PAELLA
- GARLIC SESAME NOODLES
- VEGAN THAI COCONUT SOUP
- VEGAN CURRY RAMEN
So, did you make this recipe? I’d love for you to leave a comment and rate the recipe. You can also share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest and tag me on Instagram using @avocadocentric or #avocadocentric! xo, SelinPrint
This restaurant-style Thai inspired vegan Pad Thai recipe is so easy and quick to make and customizable! It's also is homemade, gluten-free, healthy, uses pantry staples and is perfect for weeknight dinners or a great lunch!
- 1 package rice noodles (about 8 oz)
- ½ block of tofu (about 7 oz) - cubed
- 2 handfuls of fresh green beans (trimmed)
- ½ cup plus 1tbs coconut aminos (sub for tamari or soy sauce)
- ½ onion - sliced (sub for green onions)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 2 tbs maple syrup (sub for coconut sugar)
- 1 tbs tamarind concentrate (sub for rice vinegar)
- 1 tbs peanut butter
- 1 tbs fresh lime juice
- 1 tbs sesame oil or avocado oil
Pad Thai Sauce
- Mix coconut aminos, minced garlic, tamarind concentrate, peanut butter, maple syrup, and lime juice in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- Place the rice noodles into a large bowl. Add hot water to cover completely. Let it soak for 10 minutes.
- When the noodles are al dente, drain and set aside.
- In the meantime, cube the tofu, slice the onions and trim the green beans.
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add oil and tofu into the pan. Sauté for about 4 minutes. Turning occasionally to brown on all sides.
- Add a tablespoon of coconut aminos into the pan with the tofu, toss gently to combine for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
- Add the sliced onions and green beans into the same pan, saute for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. Tip: If the green beans are not getting softer, add a couple of tablespoons of water and cover to steam the green beans.
- Add the noodles, tofu and Pad Thai sauce into the pan with green beans and onion. Cook over medium-high heat, tossing occasionally for about 4 minutes until the sauce has coated everything.
- Garnish with lime wedges, crushed peanuts, bean sprouts, and cilantro. Serve immediately.
Do not soak the noodles too long, they should be al dente.
If you sub coconut aminos for soy sauce or tamari, it will be saltier so keep that in mind.
Make it spicy by adding sriracha or chili garlic sauce.
- Serving Size: 4
- Calories: 407
- Sugar: 13.1g
- Sodium: 612mg
- Fat: 9.4g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 74.3g
- Fiber: 3.4g
- Protein: 7g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: vegan pad thai, how to make vegan pad thai, tofu pad thai