Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu, Peanuts and Cilantro! An amazingly tasty vegan main course that’s loaded with flavour, protein, vitamins and healthy fats. Quick, easy, and ready in about 30 minutes!
Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu, Peanuts and Cilantro
Welcome to one of your new favourite recipes! Seriously, dudette.
It’s another one that took some tweaking over time and now this vegan Pad Thai is one of our weeknight go-to recipes. You can make it as spicy or mild as you want (we like it spicy!), and it’s a great balance of protein, gluten-free carb, veggies, and healthy fats.
It’s also a convenient dish because it’s fairly quick prep and the ingredients are generally pantry/fridge staples, so you almost always have the ingredients on hand. It’s very filling and presents really nicely considering it’s a pretty simple recipe!
Look at that big ‘ol mountain of peanuts piled up there. Can’t wait to dig in, can you? 🙂
The ingredient and instruction lists make this vegan Pad Thai recipe look way more complicated than it is, but don’t worry! It’s still quick to prepare and a lot of the steps overlap. You just need to chop some veggies, whisk a sauce together, and do a bit of frying.
What you need:
1/2 block firm or extra-firm tofu -.65
2 medium white cooking onions, cut into long slices – .15
2 medium carrots, peeled and julienned – .30
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and cut into long slices – .85
1 small 8oz can matchstick-cut bamboo shoots (optional) – 1.10
½ of a 450g package wide rice noodles – .60
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (or more, if you love cilantro) – .15
¼ cup shelled peanuts, crushed – 1.20
Tofu marinade: *see note in instructions below
1/2 tbsp white miso paste – .15
2 tbsp cold water – free!
1 tbsp sesame oil – .15
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari – .05
Fresh ground pepper
Pad Thai Sauce:
½ cup ketchup – .25
½ cup Asian hot chili sauce – .85 (If you don’t want your Pad Thai too spicy, increase the ketchup to 3/4 cup and reduce the chili sauce to 1/4 cup)
1/3 cup soy sauce – .75
1 tbsp rice vinegar – .15
1 tbsp sesame oil – .15
Juice of 1 large lime – .30
What you do:
1) Cut up your tofu into bite-sized pieces and press it between some tea towels, placing something heavy on top (like a pot or stack of sturdy dishes). Mix the tofu marinade in a small shallow container and arrange the pressed tofu in a single layer. Spoon the marinade around to coat the tofu. Set aside. *If you are pressed for time, you can just skip the pressing and marinade and fry the tofu on its own in some oil. It won’t be quite as tasty, but it is faster.
2) Start a medium-sized pot of water boiling on the stove. While you wait for the water to boil, prepare the sauce. Chuck all the ingredients in a 2-cup measuring cup and whisk the sh*t out of it with a small whisk. Set aside.
3) When the pot of water has boiled, add the rice noodles and a touch of vegetable oil to prevent them from sticking together while they cook. Babysit these carefully – they don’t take long and you don’t want to overcook them. When they’re al dente, drain, rinse them, and return them to the pot. Pour a little bit of your sauce onto the noodles, mix gently to coat, cover and set aside.
4) In a small frying pan on medium heat, fry your tofu strips in their own marinade until crispy on the outside. If they do start to stick to the pan, add a touch of oil. Once they’re cooked, turn off the heat but leave them in the pan.
5) In a large pot or ideally a wok, stir fry the carrots on low-medium heat until they are just starting to get soft. Next, turn the heat to medium-high, add the onion, bamboo shoots and peppers (they don’t take as long to cook as the raw carrot) and continue to stir fry for a couple of minutes until the veggies are tender but not soft.
6) Add your tofu and most of your sauce to the wok, reserving a little bit of sauce to pour onto each dish. Turn off the heat and toss the veggies and tofu in the sauce until coated.
7) Fill a pasta bowl with the desired amount of rice noodles, then top with the veggie mix. Finish it off with a drizzle of the sauce, and top with the cilantro and crushed peanuts. Et voila! Vegan Pad Thai, baby.
Makes 2 hungry adult-sized dinner servings (or 4 more reasonable lunch-sized servings)
Total cost: $8.10
Cost per serving: $2.03 (4) or $4.05 (2)
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