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Super Speedy & Easy Vegan Tofu Pad Thai

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Vegan pad thai with tofu served with a pair of chopsticks and a lime to the right hand side of the dish. | Hurry The Food Up

We’d venture that this is one of the best vegan pad thai recipes out there: soft rice noodles with a kick of sweet, tart tamarind and soy sauce, topped with peanuts and blocks of protein packed tofu.

The origin of pad thai is somewhat disputed; some argue that it was created by Thailand’s prime minister in the 1930s to develop a sense of national unity, while others suggest it was developed due to a shortage of rice during the Second World War.

Either way, it remains Thailand’s national dish, and has been voted one of the world’s tastiest foods – compelling reasons to give this tofu pad thai recipe a spin!

Vegan pad thai ingredients are laid out on a white background, including fresh cilantro, tofu. rice noodles, beansprouts and peanuts. | Hurry The Food Up

Health benefits of this easy vegan pad thai

Tofu has been shown to help lower levels of LDL (or ‘bad’) cholesterol, making it a great food for keeping your heart healthy and aiding weight loss.

Tofu has a protein content ranging between 4.8 g to 17.3 g per 100 grams serving and is a complete protein because it contains all nine essential amino acids.

Feel free to use your favourite type of tofu in this pad thai recipe, but remember the firmer the tofu, the more protein it contains as the soy is more densely packed.

On top of this, the spring onions and garlic in this vegan pad thai recipe help to support a strong immune system, and have a similar effect as tofu in lowering high levels of LDL cholesterol.

The numerous health benefits of this vegan pad thai make it a great segue to our vegetarian weight loss meal plans!

A close up shot of the vegan pad thai in progress, as tofu is stirred through the rice noodles. | Hurry The Food Up
An overhead shot of a vegan pad thai with tofu, around which are chopsticks and ingredients from the recipe on a white background. | Hurry The Food Up

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How we veganised this easy, authentic pad thai recipe

Vegan pad thai recipes are so popular and simple that you would be forgiven for thinking the dish is naturally vegan. But this isn’t the case.

Traditional pad thai noodles are usually fried with egg to bind them and add protein. Instead, for this easy vegan pad thai, we’ve added cubes of delicious tofu for protein and cornstarch for that hearty texture.

Most non-vegan pad thai recipes also contain fish sauce and dried shrimp, but we’ve added tamarind paste to our vegan pad thai and find that it gives the same sweet and tart flavour without any of the animal product!

For more vegan noodle recipes, try this easy, creamy peanut sauce stir fry, or this vegan lo mein.

Vegan pad thai with tofu served on a green plate with ingredients such as peanuts and cilantro surrounding it. | Hurry The Food Up
Vegan Pad Thai
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Searching for a sweet, spicy and simple vegan noodle dish for dinner? This tofu vegan pad thai hits the mark every time!
Cuisine:Thai
Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time:15 minutes
Total Time:30 minutes
Servings:2
Calories:578kcal
Author: Abril Macías

Ingredients

  • 5 oz rice noodles
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 spring onions (chopped)
  • 2 clove garlic (chopped)
  • ½ red or green chili (1 whole if you’d like your dish spicy)
  • 5 oz bean sprouts
  • 1 ½ tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 oz firm tofu (cut into 1 inch cubes)
  • ¼ cup cilantro/coriander, fresh (packed)
  • 2 tbsp peanuts (chopped)
  • ½ lime

Instructions

  • Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions.
    5 oz rice noodles
  • Have your spring onions, garlic cloves, red chili, bean sprouts, tofu, cilantro leaves, chopped peanuts and lime wedges prepped and ready to use.
    2 spring onions, 2 clove garlic, ½ red or green chili, 5 oz bean sprouts, 6 oz firm tofu, ¼ cup cilantro/coriander, fresh, 2 tbsp peanuts, ½ lime
  • Heat the oil in a large wok or saucepan over high heat. Working quickly, add the chopped spring onions, garlic cloves and chili. Cook, stirring often, until the ingredients have softened and released their aroma, 2 minutes approximately.
    1 tbsp olive oil
  • Now add the bean sprouts and saute them (at the beginning it seems like a lot but after 2-3 minutes they will reduce), keep the heat high and move the ingredients around the pan.
  • Then, add the tamarind paste, the sugar and soy sauce. Mix and allow to cook for 1 minute.
    1 ½ tbsp tamarind paste, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and add to the pan along with the salt and tofu. Once the sauce has boiled and thickened, add the noodles and fold into the sauce until they are evenly coated. Take the pan out of the stove.
    1 tsp cornstarch, ½ tsp salt, ½ cup water
  • Now add the bean sprouts and saute them (at the beginning it seems like a lot but after 2-3 minutes they will reduce), keep the heat high and move the ingredients around the pan.
  • Serve pad thai immediately with cilantro leaves, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.

NOTES

Craving more speedy and simple noodle recipes?
Delicious Vegetable Lo Mein
Spicy Vegetarian Dragon Noodles
Creamy Peanut Sauce Stir Fry
Super Veggie Fried Rice
Tasty Tofu Salad

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Vegan Pad Thai
Amount per Serving
Calories
578
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
16
g
25
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
9
g
Sodium
 
1737
mg
76
%
Potassium
 
424
mg
12
%
Carbohydrates
 
93
g
31
%
Fiber
 
6
g
25
%
Sugar
 
24
g
27
%
Protein
 
18
g
36
%
Vitamin A
 
389
IU
8
%
Vitamin C
 
35
mg
42
%
Calcium
 
176
mg
18
%
Iron
 
4
mg
22
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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