A vegetarian Tofu Pad Thai Recipe with extra vegetables, crunchy peanuts, and fresh herbs. This Pad Thai sauce is sweet and savory and packed with Thai flavors.
TOFU PAD THAI RECIPE
This post is sponsored by the EZ Tofu Press!
This Tofu Pad Thai recipe is the easiest!
I've recreated my favorite dish using vegetarian ingredients. Traditional pad Thai recipes use fish sauce to create the sauce. Fish sauce has a very specific flavor that is not easy to reproduce in a vegan way, but I'm really happy with how I've done it here!
Tamarind is another traditional ingredient, but it is not very easy to find in a regular grocery store, and for that reason I've left it out. I want this recipe to be easy!
Try my other Asian take out inspired tofu dishes, like Tofu Fried Rice or Air Fryer Fried Rice, and Sesame Tofu.
To create a complex Asian-inspired vegan pad Thai sauce, we'll combine sweet, sour, salty, spicy, and acid flavor notes in a way that works perfectly to flavor lightly fried tofu pieces and rice noodles.
INGREDIENTS IN TOFU PAD THAI
Tofu - One block of either firm or extra firm tofu, whichever you prefer. Read below to learn more about how to press the tofu to get the liquid out of it.
Zucchini - Diced veggies add bulk and nutrition to this dish, and zucchini is one of my favorites.
Onion - For lots of flavor, onion is traditional and delicious.
Carrot - Not only are carrots an excellent vegetable add in, but they add great color to the dish.
Eggs - We add scrambled egg to pad Thai for more protein and texture. Leave the eggs out to make this recipe vegan.
Peanuts - Chop your peanuts into smaller pieces to use as a crunchy garnish.
Cilantro - You might know that I love cilantro on just about anything, but in Thai cooking, it's traditional. Fresh herbs add tons of color and a clean flavor.
Brown Sugar - To make this vegan pad thai sauce, we'll start with some sweetness.
White Vinegar - Vinegar balances out the sugar. I like white vinegar because it's easy to find, but rice vinegar can be used too.
Soy Sauce - This sauce ingredient is salty, and umami. Substitute with Tamari to make this gluten free.
Sesame Oil - I just love the flavor of this toasty, warm seed oil. It's must for Asian inspired dishes.
Sweet Thai Chili Sauce - Look for this in a small jar in the Asian section of your supermarket. It's sweet, savory, and mildly spicy.
Lime - The juice from one lime goes into the sauce to add additional acid and freshness. Cut up a second lime to serve on the side of your plates.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment and I will get back to you ASAP!
HOW TO MAKE TOFU PAD THAI
- Press the Tofu using the EZ Tofu Press. Read below for more details on that process. While the tofu is being pressed, cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. When cooked, rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Fry Tofu. Cut tofu into bite size pieces, and fry in oil in a skillet over medium heat until golden brown. Set aside.
- Cook Vegetables. Warm the rest of the oil in the skillet and sauté the onion, zucchini, and carrots until softened.
- Scramble Eggs. Move the veggies to one side of the skillet, and cook the eggs on the other side.
- Make the Sauce. Mix together the sauce ingredients with a whisk, set aside
- Make the Pad Thai. Add the cooked tofu, sauce, and noodles to the skillet with the eggs and veggies. Mix to combine and warm through. Top with cilantro and peanuts.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
HOW TO PRESS TOFU
There are two ways to press tofu. You can use a Tofu Press or you can press your tofu by balancing heavy objects on top of it.
I prefer the tofu press method. It has been almost a decade that I have been using the EZ Tofu Press. I use it weekly and it continues to do an amazing job!
The EZ Tofu Press takes the liquid out of your firm or extra firm tofu easily, quickly, and with less mess than using plates and cans. This press utilizes simple mechanics and quality materials to ensure that it’s long-lasting and easy to use.
HOW LONG TO PRESS TOFU
I press my tofu (using the EZ Tofu Press) for 10-12 minutes. I turn the knobs tighter on the press every 3-4 minutes.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH TOFU PAD THAI
With More Vegetables. There are plenty of veggies in this vegan pad Thai dish, but some more on the side will make it a super filling meal. Try making Air Fryer Green Beans, Steamed Broccoli, or Edamame.
Swap the Protein. If you're serving meat eaters, or otherwise want to add meat, try making Air Fryer Sticky Ginger Chicken or Air Fryer Salmon.
With Asian Inspired Appetizers. Vegetarian Thai Lettuce Wraps are totally delicious, and Honey Sriracha Cauliflower is crispy, sweet, and crunchy.
DON'T YOU NEED TAMARIND FOR PAD THAI?
Traditional pad Thai uses tamarind paste, which is a sour, citrusy flavor made from the seeds of a tamarind tree. While you can buy this in specialty stores or online, it's not regularly available in American grocery stores, so I've left it out of this recipe for simplicity.
IS PAD THAI TRADITIONALLY MADE WITH TOFU?
Yes! Tofu is a very common ingredient in Thai cuisine, and any original pad Thai recipe would have had tofu in it, rather than chicken or beef like we see today.
CAN YOU BUY PAD THAI SAUCE?
You can buy versions of pad Thai sauce in specialty stores or online, but I find it easier and better to make my own. If you eat gluten-free, be sure that any pre-made sauce you buy is also gluten-free.
MORE SIMPLE TOFU RECIPES
Honey Sriracha Tofu is spicy and tangy and delicious served over rice.
Looking for a Tex-Mex inspired dinner? Air Fryer Tofu Tacos are a super easy meal to make for the family. Try Tofu Sofritas for tacos too, just like Chipotle!
Lunch Prep with Tofu Buddha Bowls or Tofu Bacon for sandwiches.
Have you made this recipe? Please leave a comment AND rating below! It helps other readers!
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Tofu Pad Thai
Pad Thai Sauce Ingredients
- 3 tbsp. Brown sugar
- 2 tbsp. White vinegar
- 1 tbsp. Soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tbsp. Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp Sweet thai chili sauce
- 2 tbsp Water
- Juice from one lime
- Press the tofu using the EZ Tofu Press. Gently tighten the knobs every 3-4 minutes and press the tofu for 10-12 minute total.
- Cut the tofu into bite size pieces. Warm 1 T of the oil in skillet over medium heat. Sauté tofu cubes until golden brown (Usually about 8-12 minutes) Then set aside.
- Boil the rice noodles according to package directions, when cooked rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Warm the rest of the oil in the skillet and sauté the zucchini, onion and carrots (about 5-7 minutes) until softened.
- Mix together sauce ingredients, set aside.
- Then move the veggies to one side of the skillet, pour in beaten eggs. Scramble cook the eggs in the pan with the veggies.
- When eggs are cooked add in the cooked tofu, sauce and noodles. Mix to combine. Top with cilantro and peanuts.
- Either brown rice noodles or regular rice noodles can be used, cook according to the package instructions, as they are all slightly different.
- To make this recipe vegan, leave out the eggs.
All though this website attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, the information should only be considered an estimate. Varying factors such as different product types, different brands, etc. can change nutritional information. It is your responsibility as a consumer to read all labels to make sure the ingredients fit your dietary needs as well as calculate your own nutritional information as a double check.
This looks SO good! I love that you added zucchini and carrots. Making for dinner this weekend because Pad Thai is my favorite.