Pad Thai is something that I routinely order at Thai restaurants because if you ask them to omit the egg it’s vegan and gluten-free. Tofu or tempeh also makes a nice addition to the meal. If you’re on a budget or want to make this classic a little healthier you should make it at home. Brent and I took some tips from Vegan Black Metal Chef and made this our own with some substitutions. To prepare this dish we assembled the following ingredients.
1 package of brown rice noodles (use 8oz for 3 people)
1 bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1/3 head of cabbage cut into ribbons (we couldn’t find mung bean sprouts)
1 tomato, diced
1 package of Chinese style water packed tofu
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
6 cloves of garlic, minced
ginger, we used a piece about the size of half a big toe
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
1-2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (or to taste)
3-4oz. tamarind (frozen, soup base, or powdered)
2-4 tbsp molasses
1 lime, sliced for a garnish
salt to taste
Before you do anything, break the noodles in half and place them in a large bowl of warm water to soak.
Cut the tofu into bite sized pieces. Place the tofu on a paper towel and stack 2 paper towels on top and put a pan or a bowl on top to help drain the moisture from the tofu. This will help keep it from falling apart when you cook it later.
Also cut your veggies into bite sized pieces and set them aside.
Put the peanuts, garlic, ginger, crushed pepper, peanut butter, and most of the cilantro (save some for a garnish) into a bowl and cover with 1-2 cups of water. This next part is tricky because it’s about your taste and type of ingredients. I add 3-4 ounces of frozen tamarind paste.
You can also use 1 tbsp tamarind paste or soup base. This is what gives the dish it’s tartness so add it slowly, tasting it until it’s ‘right’. I add about 2 tablespoons of molasses but I don’t like it particularly sweet. Stir it all together and just keep tasting it until you like the flavor of the sauce.
Put a little olive oil, maybe a teaspoon or two, in a large pan and add the tomato. Heat it for about a minute.
Then add the shredded cabbage or bean sprouts and stir the for 3-4 minutes. Drain the water from and add the noodles, they don’t have to be too dry. A little liquid is fine.
Add the tofu, broccoli, bell pepper and the sauce and stir it all together. Keep stirring on medium high heat for another 6-10 minutes or until the noodles are soft and have absorbed the sauce.
Serve sprinkled with fresh cilantro, crushed peanuts and a lime wedge.
Extra vegetables you can add: 1 bunch scallions cut into 1 inch pieces, broccoli florets, 1 small head of bok choy chopped into ribbons instead of or in addition to bean sprouts or cabbage. I hope you get to try this delicious dish.
Until then, this is Christie and Brent, signing off.
Pad Thai is just about my absolute favorite dish (tho’ when it’s made badly, it’s really bad). I’ve never tried it at home – but this gives me the courage to try.
It’s very doable. It’ll probably join your regular line-up once you discover how easy it actually is.
This looks like an awesome recipe!! Thanks Christie and Brent!
Your Pad Thai looks amazingly delicious! N makes Pad Thai for the two of us quite often and he has it quite down to a science which is slightly embarrassing for me b/c I’m part Thai and don’t know how to make it *hangs head down in shame*. Be careful when ordering Pad Thai at restaurants b/c traditional Pad Thai uses fish sauce.
PS Vegan black metal chef rules!
WTF! Thanks for the tip on fish sauce. Why oh why does fish sauce have to *contain* fish instead of just being a seasoning *for* fish?
Is it acceptable to ask for no fish sauce or does that screw up their recipe entirely? I worry that there is fish sauce in most all of the thai dishes I enjoy…but I’m too chicken to ask them to leave it out. I’m a wuss!
Do it! I’ll show up and jiu jitsu anyone who gives you a hard time over it.
Most recipes can be made without the fish sauce. My mom owns a Thai restaurant in NC and when people order the dish vegetarian-style she knows to take the fish sauce out. Some places think vegetarians eat fish (??), so it’s best just to request the dish be made without fish sauce to be on the safe side. This is perfectly acceptable for most dishes. My mom just subs in thin soy sauce and the dishes come out splendidly. Some curries, if they use a curry paste, have shrimp paste already in it and in that case, they physically can’t take it out.
Ummm, NOM! I’ve never had pad thai before and when I discovered there are eggs in it, I was all “aw man, I guess that’s out forever.” This looks super good though. Will definitely have to try this! The noodles you used here look far more appetizing than the noodles they serve at the Thai place I frequent most. Their noodles are slimey and icky looking…probably another reason I’ve avoided pad thai.