Super Speedy & Easy Vegan Tofu Pad Thai
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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.
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!
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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 (vegan tofu dishes are a great way to get in the protein).
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!
- 5 oz rice noodles
- 2 tsp 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/ Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- Salt to taste
- 8 oz firm tofu (cut into 1 inch cubes)
- ¼ cup cilantro/coriander, fresh (packed)
- 2 tbsp peanuts (chopped)
- ½ lime
- 1 carrot peeled into long strips
- ½ bell pepper
- 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, carrot and bell pepper prepped and ready to use.2 spring onions, 2 clove garlic, ½ red or green chili, 5 oz bean sprouts, 8 oz firm tofu, ¼ cup cilantro/coriander, fresh, 2 tbsp peanuts, ½ lime, 1 carrot, ½ bell pepper
- 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.2 tsp 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.
- Add the bell pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Then, add the tamarind paste, the sugar and soy sauce. Mix and allow to cook for 1 minute.1 ½ tbsp tamarind paste/ Worcestershire sauce, 1 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, Salt to taste, ½ cup water
- Serve pad thai immediately with cilantro leaves, carrot strips, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.