Veggie Pad Thai
Often times the best plant-based foods are the ones that are already "accidentally" vegan.
Pad Thai has been a long-time favorite dish of mine but was a dish that I only ate when dining out at restaurants. And then I realized it was SO easy to make.
This colorful, flavorful meal is perfect for weeknight dinners as it takes less than 30 minutes to make! Pad Thai is also super customizable. Don't like red peppers? No problem, throw something else in instead! Like your pad Thai with a kick? Double up on the red pepper flakes.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
- 4 oz pad Thai rice noodles (I used brown rice noodles)
- 2 cups water
- ½ block extra firm tofu, pressed (7.5 oz)
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
- ⅓ cup green onions, finely chopped (keep white "bulbs" and green stems apart)
- ½ medium carrot, shredded or finely sliced
- ½ red bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 tbsp. water
- ½ cup bean sprouts (optional)
- ¼ lime
- ¼ cup peanuts, chopped
- Handful fresh cilantro, de-stemmed and roughly chopped
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp salt
Thai Peanut Sauce:
- 2 tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 tbsp soy sauce (Gluten free, if necessary)
- 1 tbsp. water
1. Press your tofu*. Cut tofu into 1 cm squares. Rinse and chop your veggies.
2. In a medium sauce pan heat water until boiling. Remove from heat and add in noodles. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until tender.** Drain noodles.
3. Heat a sauce pan over medium heat. Add in cubed tofu, gently stirring to cook sides evenly. When the tofu has reached a light golden color (about 3-5 minutes), add in the minced garlic, the white section of the green onions, carrot and bell pepper with 1 tbsp. water. Season with salt and pepper and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. Add bean sprouts and remove from heat.
4. To make the pad Thai sauce, combine the peanut butter, soy sauce and water in a small bowl. Mix well until you have a smooth sauce.
5. In sauce pan, combined drained noodles, cooked tofu and vegetables. Season with salt and red pepper flakes (if desired). Add in Thai peanut sauce and stir well to coat.
6. Transfer into two bowls or plates (or save some for later!) and top your pad Thai with chopped peanuts and fresh cilantro. Squeeze ¼ lime juice over the pad Thai and enjoy!
Tips and Tricks:
*Pressing the tofu removed excess moisture and leaves you with a sturdier end result. It also helps to the tofu absorb more flavors when cooking. I cut my tofu block in half and press between paper towels with a heavy object cutting board, baking pan, etc. Pressing your tofu for 30 minutes should be sufficient, but you can press it for up to a few hours depending on your time and preference.
**If, after ten minutes, you find your noodles are not tender, return your sauce pan to the heat and bring the water to a boil. It shouldn't take you noodles more than a couple minutes to fully cook.