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Vegan Pad Thai

Yield3 Servings

It’s hard to find a vegan version of Pad Thai, but look no further because we’ve got you covered. We present to you: Vegan Pad Thai! When making this dish, feel free to add or subtract vegetables to suit your palate. A generous amount of garlic plays a key role in the delectable sauce. 

vegan pad thai recipe

 8 ounces dried Pad Thai rice noodles (linguini-width), or enough for 2 people
 3 tablespoons vegetable oil for stir-frying
 3 tablespoons vegetable or faux chicken stock
 4 green onions, sliced; keep white part separate from the green
 4 cloves garlic, minced
 1 teaspoon grated galangal or fresh ginger
 1 fresh red or green chili, sliced
 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
 ½ chopped carrot
 1 cup thinly sliced zucchini in the shape of half moons
 ½ cup soft tofu
 2 cups of bean sprouts
  cup fresh cilantro
 ¼ cup chopped, unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts or cashews
 Lime wedges for serving
 ¾ tablespoon tamarind paste, to taste (available at Asian/East Indian food stores)
 ¼ cup vegetable (or faux chicken) stock
 2 ½ tablespoons soy sauce or gluten-free soy sauce
 1 tablespoon ume plum vinegar
 ½ teaspoon chili sauce (to taste), or 1/3 to 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
 3 tablespoons coconut palm sugar, or more to taste
  teaspoon ground white pepper

Bring a pot of water to boil and turn off the heat. Soak noodles in hot water for 4-6 minutes, or until limp but still too firm to eat. Drain and then rinse well with cold water. Tip: Noodles must be under-cooked at this stage in order to come out right. They will finish cooking later when they are stir-fried.


Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl. Stir well to dissolve the paste and sugar. (Note: If your tamarind paste is very thick, add 1 tablespoon of water at a time until the mixture is the consistency of a thick sauce. Note that this sauce should have a very strong flavor that tastes sour-sweet at first, followed by a salty and spicy taste. Set aside after mixing it thoroughly.


Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1-2 Tbsp oil plus the white parts of the green onion (reserve the green for garnish), garlic, galangal or ginger, and sliced chili. Stir-fry for 1 minute to release the fragrance.


Add the broccoli, carrots, and 3 tablespoons stock to the wok. Stir-fry for 2 minutes, or until the broccoli is bright green and slightly softened. If the pan seems dry, push ingredients aside and add a little more oil in the middle; stir.


Add drained noodles, 1/3 of the sauce, and zucchini. Stir-fry everything together for 1-2 minutes using 2 utensils and a gently-tossing motion (like tossing a salad). Keep the heat between medium-high and high, reducing if noodles begin to stick or burn. Keep adding sauce a little at a time, and continue stir-frying for 3-6 minutes, or until noodles are soft but still chewy (al dente) and a little sticky.


Stir in tofu and any remaining sauce. Turn off heat. Add the bean sprouts, folding them into the hot noodles. Taste-test. Add more soy sauce for more salt/flavor. If it’s too salty or sweet for your taste, add a squeeze of lime juice. If too sour, sprinkle in a little more sugar.


Scoop noodles onto a serving platter. Sprinkle with reserved green onion, cilantro, and ground nuts. Add wedges of fresh-cut lime on the side. Serve immediately.

(Thai chili sauce can be served on the side for those who like their noodles extra spicy.)

Nutrition Facts

Servings 3