Easy Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

by Sala @ Veggie Belly on October 9, 2013

I love Pad Thai and have been experimenting with a recipe that is easy, vegetarian and something you can make with just your pantry ingredients (no tamarind or palm sugar!). When I eat Pad Thai at restaurants I always have to ask for it vegetarian and without fish sauce, and even then sometimes they give it to me with the fish sauce! Probably because the pad thai sauce is pre-made.

My Pad Thai is totally vegan and vegetarian, and the Pad Thai sauce is very easy to make!

But before we get to this delicious home made Pad Thai recipe, here’s a story of how it happened..

Emilee is a Veggie Belly fan and has been following the blog for a few years. She, her husband and new baby recently moved back home to Portland after living in Beirut, Lebanon.

As a special surprise for Emilee, her family arranged a cooking session for her with me! How sweet is that?! Emilee had no idea what she was in for until she arrived at my door! Imagine her surprise!

We made this Pad Thai together, and had so much fun chatting and cooking! We talked about food in Lebanon, adjusting to life with a new baby, how awesome Portland, OR is (it really is, trust me!)…all while chopping garlic, squeezing lemons and soaking noodles. My kind of evening!

And the noodles turned out delicious! Below, Emilee squeezes a wedge of lime over her noodles because she likes it tangy.

Check out her nails, I love the color!
Thanks Emilee, for cooking with me!
I love hanging out with my readers!

Some tips for making veggie Pad Thai

- The Pad Thai sauce needs to have a balance of sweet, salty and sour. Everyone likes it a different way. Follow my sauce recipe to start with, and then feel free to adjust the sugar (for sweetness), soy sauce (for salt) and lime juice (for sourness)

- Pad Thai noodles are called Banh Pho. Look for the flat wide ones, sometimes labeled as size “XL”. The ingredients must only have rice or rice flour and water.

- Make sure you soak the noodles correctly (see package instructions). If they get too mushy, you’ve either soaked them too long or they’ve spent too much time in the wok. Or both. And if you don’t soak them long enough they will be crunchy.

- When you soak the noodles, they don’t have to soften all the way, but make sure they are soaked enough that they become pliable, and are no longer stiff.

- I like the boil the pad thai sauce. It gives it a deeper flavor, and caramelizes the sugar a bit. If you dont want to do this extra step, thats fine, simply whisk the sauce ingredients together and set aside.

Easy Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe

serves 2-3
Ingredients

for the sauce
3-4 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup water

for the noodles
8 oz wide Pad Thai rice noodles, also called Banh Pho
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
crushed red pepper, as much as you like
4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups of broccoli florets
2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
1 heaping cup of cubed fried tofu, available at Asian stores
a big hand full of bean sprouts
2 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons roasted, chopped peanuts
3-4 cilantro sprigs, chopped
1/2 lime, cut into wedges

Method
1. Place all the sauce ingredients in a non stick sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and simmer on low for about 2 minutes, or till the sauce has thickened just a little. Turn off heat and set aside.

2. Soak and drain the noodles according to package instructions. If the package does’nt have instructions, soak the noodles in warm water for about 15 minutes or till they become pliable. Then drain.

3. Heat the oil in a large wok. Add the crushed red pepper. As soon as they sizzle, add the garlic, broccoli and carrots. Toss on medium-high heat till the broccoli turns bright green and the garlic is fragrant, about 2 minutes.

4. Add the soaked noodles, tofu and the sauce. Toss on medium-high heat till everything is well combine and the noodles are cooked, but still a little chewy, and not mushy.

5. Turn off heat, and add the bean sprouts, and green onions and mix well.

6. Garnish with cilantro and peanuts. Serve with lime wedges on the side.

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Comments

comments

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa October 9, 2013 at 11:43 am

Perfect! This healthy and flavorful pad thai looks really appetizing.

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Laura @ KneadWhine October 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

I love the colours in this – vibrant!

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3 Nitya October 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Simple and easy. Looks fantastic!
Thanks!

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4 Sonia October 9, 2013 at 7:27 pm

How sweet of you and her family! Sala, you’re become a hero for many for sure :-) I sense the feeling when any reader through blog wanted to see you. How wonderful feeling!
On recipe part: I would try this for sure. btw, who did take these pics since your hands were busy :-)

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5 Gayathri October 9, 2013 at 7:42 pm

wow..vegetarian pad thai without fish sauce…..this recipe I was searching for a long time..pad thai looks so good and tempting…thanks for sharing….

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6 kitblu October 9, 2013 at 8:31 pm

I have copied this recipe for future use as it looks yummy. I will have to replace a couple ingredients (sugar and tofu) but that won’t be a problem.
Do you allow any form of sharing? I would love to Pin this recipe.

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7 Preveena October 10, 2013 at 12:16 am

Wow!! I wish i could meet you too…. I drop in everyday to see your post updates. You inspire me so much. Pad Thai looks delicious, i will definitely try this.

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8 Coco in the Kitchen October 10, 2013 at 3:00 am

This is lovely. Sauce looks much like hat my husband makes for us, except he uses tamarind paste instead of lime juice.
Y
U
M

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9 Pri October 10, 2013 at 8:42 am

This is so cute! And the recipe looks delicious, Sala. I also made pad thai last year and it came out soo good but my sauce had way more ingredients. http://www.recipris.com/2012/01/23/pad-thai/

I would love to try to make yours sometime. Everything looks so FRESH and not oily & greasy!

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10 Anu Menon October 10, 2013 at 4:21 pm

I was only just wondering where and how you have been since you hadnt blogged in a while (June thru Sep almost)
This post has such lovely pictures and if that is your home – can I please live with you?

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11 Merryn@merrynsmenu October 10, 2013 at 6:51 pm

What a brilliant Pad Thai recipe. Simple yet tasty and healthy, I love your version :D

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12 Deena Kakaya October 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Hello! I just found this recipe. I love pad thai, it’s one of my classic and all time faves. I do find that when I eat it out, I can taste a fair bit of palm sugar or tamarind and I’m not too keen on too much sweetness in savoury dishes. It’s intesting to see that you use brown sugar, I bet that gives a lovelycolourand caramel taste. X

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13 Jamie Lee October 18, 2013 at 1:51 pm

This looks delish. Being a vegetarian myself, I’m definitely going to give it a try this weekend.
Thanks for sharing!

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14 kum October 23, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Pad thai looks so YUM!
You are so sweet. Thank you so much for inspiring people to try plant-based fare, good for our health and our beautiful planet.

Blog : global vegan fare

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15 The Gilded Sprout November 9, 2013 at 11:18 pm

Great post, it looks delicious.

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16 christina January 12, 2014 at 3:37 pm

I made this recipe for supper tonight…I am kind of a “beginner”in vegan cooking. This recipe was very easy to follow.AMAZING flavor thank you so much for posting this recipe!!!

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17 Laura March 4, 2014 at 3:37 am

I have just made this for dinner tonight after stumbling upon your blog while looking for healthy pad Thai recipies. The sauce you have made is delicious! A lovely mix of flavours – I will definitely be making again!

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Sala @ Veggie Belly Reply:

Thats wonderful! Happy you enjoyed your Pad Thai!

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18 Gayathri Bhandarkar March 25, 2014 at 4:49 pm

Just made this to pack for tomorrow’s lunch! Loving your recipes!! Thanks for the awesomeness.

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