Vegan tofu pad Thai is a quick, tasty version of everyone’s favorite takeout dish. This recipe features rice noodles in a slightly sweet and spicy sauce. This wholesome dish packs tons of flavor, for a dinner you and your family will love. Make this yummy plant based recipe the next time you have a craving for takeout!
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Note : This post was first published on Oct 23, 2018 and has been updated on Jul 28, 2020 with new content and images.
This Recipe's Index
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a yummy rice noodle recipe that’s very popular in Thai restaurants. This sweet and spicy main dish is perfect for lunch or dinner. Traditional versions often have eggs and may use fish sauce or other animal based products to make the sauce. Our vegan version eliminates these ingredients without sacrificing taste for a meal you can feel good about eating.
Is Pad Thai Healthy?
It has a healthy dose of protein and plenty of nutrients from the veggies and good fats. And you can also add additional veggies if you want to fit your taste and add additional health benefits.
How to make Pad Thai Sauce?
Making the sauce is very easy. First just gather the ingredients:
- tamarind paste
- chili garlic sauce
- lime juice
- coconut sugar
When you have the ingredients, pour them into a medium sized bowl. Finally, give them a whisk so that all the ingredients are well incorporated. Set the sauce aside and add it to the cooking pad Thai.
How to make Vegan Pad Thai in Instant Pot?
In a medium bowl, add in the tamari, tamarind paste, chili garlic sauce, lime juice, and coconut sugar and whisk it all together.
Turn the Instant Pot onto saute function and heat the oil in the inner pot. When the oil is hot, add in the garlic and green onions and cook for about a minute or until they are fragrant.
When they are fragrant, pour in the sauce and 2 cups of water. Place half the rice noodles on top and then place the other half on top of the first half in a criss cross pattern. Lightly submerge the noodles under the liquid.
When the noodles are slightly submerged, place the lid on the Instant Pot with the vent set to sealing. Pressure cook for 3 minutes followed and then manually release the pressure.
Carefully remove the lid and add in the bell peppers, carrots, bean sprouts, and pan fried tofu. Gently fold the veggies into the noodles and cover with the Instant Pot lid again for 5 mins. No cooking time is needed. The steam will cook the vegetables and allow them to retain the crunch.
After 5 mins, open the lid, give the Pad Thai a gentle stir. Use tongs to plate the noodles. Garnish with a lime wedge, roasted salted peanuts, and green onions. Serve immediately and enjoy!
Can I make Instant Pot Pad Thai on the stove top?
Yes, you can definitely make this Vegan Pad Thai recipe on the stove top. Here is how.
Start by preparing the noodles according to the box’s directions. These can vary between brands so make sure you follow the instructions.
In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients for the sauce. In a wok or large pan, heat the oil and then add the garlic and green onions. Cook them until they are fragrant.
When the garlic and onions become aromatic, add in the bell pepper, carrots, bean sprouts, and tofu. Stir fry for 4 to 5 minutes or until the tofu is heated through.
Pour the sauce into the wok and stir it all together. Allow the sauce to heat through.
Finally, add in the noodles as soon as they are ready to go. Top it with roasted peanuts, cilantro, and green onions. Serve it immediately.
Tips and Tricks to make the best Vegan Pad Thai
- Don’t use spaghetti or other non-rice noodles for the dish. They don’t taste the same and have a different texture that doesn’t work well for pad thai.
- Don’t overcook the noodles. Most rice noodles are not boiled. If you boil them, you will likely create a mushy ball.
- Add additional veggies if you want. Some good choices include zucchini, mushrooms, thai basil, peas and broccoli.
Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?
This recipe is gluten-free as it uses Tamari. It can be easily made gluten-free. Soy sauce has gluten in it, so you should substitute tamari for the soy sauce. Tamari tastes similar to soy sauce but it does not contain gluten.
What Noodles to use to make Pad Thai?
We use either wide or regular rice noodles. You can find them in most grocery stores or order them online.
Can I store or freeze this Vegan Pad Thai recipe?
Yes, you can store it in the fridge for 3 to 5 days. Allow the noodles to cool and then place the left overs in an airtight container.
We don’t recommend freezing because it tastes better fresh. But if you want to make a freezer meal, you can. Just let it cool and scoop it into a freezer safe container or freezer bag. When you are ready to serve it, allow it to thaw in the fridge. When it is thawed, use a pan to heat it back up.
How to reheat Tofu Pad Thai?
When you store any noodle dish in the fridge, it can get a bit dry. To reheat it, take these steps:
- Warm a tablespoon or two of oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
- Add the pad Thai and toss to coat the noodles. This helps to revitalize the noodles and give them a fresher flavor.
- Sauté in the pan for about 8 to 10 minutes. You should stir it frequently.
- Serve warm and enjoy!
Do I add any salt?
It depends on how much you like salt. Soy and tamari sauce both have sodium. If you are on a low sodium diet, you should definitely avoid adding salt. But if you like a lot of salt, then we suggest adding only a small amount at a time. I personally don't add salt but you can always work your way up.
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Make this vegan pad thai recipe the next time you are craving Thai! Then take a picture of it and tag us on Instagram @dbellyrulesdmind.
More Noodle Recipes
- Instant Pot Ramen Thai Noodle Bowl
- Garlic Noodles
- Vegetable Chow Mein
- Thai peanut noodles
- Instant Pot Vegan Spaghetti Noodles
Vegan Tofu Pad Thai Recipe
Pad Thai Sauce
- tamarind paste 1/2 teaspoon or 1 teaspoon lime juice
- tamari (for gluten-free) or soy sauce 3 tbsp
- chili garlic sauce 1 ½ tsp
- lime juice 1 ½ tsp
- coconut sugar 3 tbsp
- sesame oil 1 tbsp
- garlic cloves minced, 3
- green onions, chopped 3
- Pad Thai Rice Noodles 8 ounces
- water 2 cups
Vegetables & Protein
- Carrots 3, shredded or cut into matchsticks
- bean sprouts 1 cup
- green bell pepper 1/2 julienne
- red pepper 1/2 julienne
- cubed pan fried extra firm tofu, 1 cup
- Cilantro, 3-4 springs, chopped
- Green onions, 1
- Roasted salted peanuts, as per taste
- Lime wedge, 1
Instant Pot Vegan Tofu Pad Thai Instructions
- Make the sauce - In a medium sized bowl, add the tamari, tamarind paste, chili garlic sauce, lime juice and coconut sugar. Whisk it.
- Using the saute function, heat the oil in the inner pot. Add the garlic and green onions and cook for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the prepared sauce to the pot followed by 2 cups of water. Place the rice noodles on top half going north and south, half east and west in a criss-cross pattern. Lightly submerge the noodles under the liquid.
- Cover and secure the Instant Pot Lid with venting on seal.
- Pressure cook for 3 minutes followed by manually releasing the pressure.
- Next add in the veggies - bell peppers, carrots, mung sprouts and pan fried tofu,gently fold in the veggies into the noodles and cover the Instant Pot lid again for
5 mins. This time no cooking is required. The steam within the cooker will cook the vegetable retaining the crunch.
- After 5 mins, open the lid, give the Pad Thai a gentle stir and using tongs plate the noodles. Garnish with a lime wedge, roasted salted peanuts, and green onions. For best results serve immediately. Feel free to tweak the taste with the different sauces as per your liking.
Stove Top Vegan Pad Thai instructions
- Cook the noodles according to the instructions on the package
- Meanwhile prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl.
- Heat oil in a wok, add the garlic and green onions and cook for a minute until fragrant.
- Throw in the bell peppers, carrots mung bean sprouts and pan fried tofu into the wok and stir fry for a couple minutes.
- Pour in the sauce into the wok.and give it a stir.
- Add the noodles to the stir fry mix as soon as the noodles are ready.
- Garnish with roasted salted peanuts, cilantro and green onions and serve immediately.For best results serve immediately. Feel free to tweak the taste with
the different sauces as per your liking.
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Kadoya Pure Sesame
Huy Fong Sriracha Chili Hot Sauce, 28 Ounce Bottle (Pack of 2) (1 Pack)
San-J Tamari Gluten Free Sauce Reduced Sodium,
Tamicon Tamarind Paste
Mealthy MultiPot 9-in-1 Programmable Slow and Pressure Cooker
Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer
Instant Pot Ultra 6 Qt 10-in-1