Vegan Pad Thai Recipe

Here’s my version of Tofu Pad Thai.

1 block (12-14 oz.) extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
3 Tablespoons fish sauce*, or 2 teaspoons kelp powder*
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 Cup fresh lime juice
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 Tablespoon Thai chili and garlic sauce
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 12 oz package “Pad Thai” brown rice noodles
Hot water
2-3 Tablespoons canola, or peanut oil
1 Onion, chopped coarsely
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 Red bell pepper, chopped coarsely
1/2 crown of broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 carrot, sliced thinly
1/4 Cup scallions, chopped medium-fine
1 Cup mushrooms, chopped coarsely
2 Cups mung bean sprouts
1/2 Cup chopped peanuts, plain, unsalted
1/4 Cup cilantro, chopped
soy sauce and pepper to taste

In a medium-size bowl, combine fish sauce*, or kelp powder*, soy sauce, fresh lime juice, sugar, and Thai chili and garlic sauce. Stir with a whisk until blended. Cut the drained tofu into 1/2″ cubes and add to the bowl. Lightly toss tofu to coat with the sauce. Set aside to marinate for about 10 minutes, then drain well, reserving the marinade sauce. Heat up 1 Tablespoon of oil in a wok, or skillet until sizzling. Carefully add tofu only, (do not add sauce at this point) to the hot oil and saute over high heat until tofu cubes are lightly browned and have developed a skin. Remove tofu from oil, drain on a towel and set aside.

Place the rice noodles in a separate bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to soak for at least 10 minutes, until soft and pliable. Drain and set aside.

In a large wok, or skillet, heat up remaining oil over high heat until it sizzles when a drop of water is added. Add onions and stir fry until soft, add garlic and ginger and cook for another 10 seconds. Stir in the sauce from the tofu marinade, bell pepper, broccoli, carrot, scallions and mushrooms. Cook over high heat until vegetables are just starting to get soft. Add browned tofu cubes and bean sprouts and stir lightly. Add rice noodles and toss. Season to taste. Remove from heat and put in a large serving dish. Garnish with peanuts and cilantro. (Sriracha is always nice on it to if you like things spicy.)

* Fish sauce is not always to everyone’s liking, nor is it always easy to find. However, it does give that authentic taste. If you want fish sauce in your Pad Thai and can’t find it in your local store, try ordering it online. I’m sure Amazon would carry it.

If you are vegan, or vegetarian, you may not want to go with fish sauce. I recently found ground kelp powder in my local food co-op It has a similar, “oceany,” taste, which I really like. I’ve never seen kelp powder anywhere else. If you are interested in it, again, try online, or you could probably grind up a sheet of nori, or kombu for that unique flavor. If you do try this option, please let me know how that works for you.

(Pix coming soon!)

~ C

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