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The world’s best and only vegetarian Pad Thai recipe you have to know! Pad Thai Noodles with fried eggs, umami sauce, and peanut sprinkle!

vegetarian pad thai served in a skillet

This vegetarian Pad Thai recipe is very similar to the authentic one, yet it’s prepared with vegetarian ingredients and thus a little different.

Authentic Pad Thai is made with fish sauce, dried shrimps, and chicken or shrimps. Of course, we can’t use those ingredients in a vegetarian recipe.

Therefore, I’ve been testing this recipe for over a year to create truly the world’s best vegetarian version, which is very close to the authentic one, without suffering on taste and using ingredients you can get at the supermarket.

vegetarian pad thai noodles in a bowl topped with bean sprouts, lime, and peanuts

If you have ever been to Thailand, you know how authentic Pad Thai tastes. Yet most recipes you can get online are far from that.

I highly recommend watching the recipe video with super helpful tips from Hot Thai Kitchen on how to make Classic Pad Thai! She explains it on the spot and was a significant influence and inspiration when creating this vegetarian version. Her recipe is made with fish, so only suitable if you are not vegetarian. However, you can get some great tips from the video!

What is Pad Thai?

One of the most beloved Thai noodle dishes. It is a kind of stir-fry made with rice noodles, firm tofu, bean sprouts, and eggs.

The best part is the Pad Thai sauce, made with tamarind paste, soy sauce, and brown sugar. It is salty, sour, and sweet simultaneously, which makes for a beautiful umami taste.

Sprinkle it with chopped peanuts, raw bean sprouts, lime wedges, and if you like, a pinch of red pepper flakes!

pad thai noodles served in a skillet

Let me show you how you, too, can prepare these popular Pad Thai noodles at home! It is one of my favorite recipes, and very easy to cook.

A good preparation is key, and I highly recommend preparing all ingredients in bowls before you start cooking.

Pad Thai Ingredients

It’s crucial to use the right ingredients to make it taste outstanding. Here are some of the most important ingredients explained. 

pad thai ingredients

Tamarind Paste

The heart and soul of Pad Thai!

Tamarind paste is made from tamarinds and tastes quite sour and a little sweet. This ingredient is the most important one and is responsible for the authentic Pad Thai taste. It cannot be replaced or omitted!

You can find tamarind paste in every Asian market. I always use the “Concentrate Cooking Tamarind” from Cock Brand. → Available only in Asian markets or online. If you are lucky, you can find tamarind paste within the Asian aisle in major supermarkets. Go, whenever possible, for the product produced in Thailand.

Rice Noodles

You can get rice noodles (~ 3mm thick) from any supermarket. Rice noodles must always be soaked in boiling water first.

How I soak them: Place rice noodles in a deep dish, pour over with boiling water, let them soak for 8-10 minutes (check what the label says), drain, wash with cold water, and let the excess water drain over a sieve. Keep in mind that the cooking time/method can vary between brands.

Tofu

Firm or extra firm tofu is what you want!

Make sure to wrap it in some kitchen paper first and squeeze out as much liquid as possible to soak up the Pad Thai sauce later thoroughly. Works too with a tofu press.

Bean Sprouts

Always go for the fresh bean sprouts, not the canned version.

How To Make This Vegetarian Pad Thai Recipe

Read through this visual step-by-step guide with lots of extra tips! The exact quantities and everything else you need to know for the recipe can be found in the recipe card below.

Preparation

  • Mix all ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl. Prepare all other ingredients in bowls before cooking as you can see in the last image (under the title Pad Thai ingredients).

Cooking

  • Heat a large skillet or wok with 1 tbsp of oil. Add tofu, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stir-fry for 5 minutes.
pad thai recipe step 1
  • Add in soaked noodles and sauce.
recipe step 2
  • Cook until almost all liquid is absorbed. Transfer into a bowl.
recipe step 3
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil and the eggs into the same skillet. Scramble slightly and let them cook until almost through (approx. 3-5 minutes).
recipe step 4
  • Add back in the bowl with noodles on top of the eggs! → Before you totally scramble the eggs!
recipe step 5
  • Add bean sprouts and scallion.
recipe step 6
  • Toss vigorously and let it cook for another few minutes until the bean sprouts and scallions are soft.
recipe step 7
  • Serve in bowls. Decorate with chopped peanuts, lime wedges, red chili flakes, and more bean sprouts (optional).

Recipe FAQ & Tips

How long does it stay fresh? Leftovers can be stored for up to 2 days in the refrigerator.

Do you prefer a vegan Pad Thai? Skip the eggs!

Gluten-Free Version? Use gluten-free soy sauce, also known as Tamari. All other ingredients are gluten-free.

Tamarind Paste: Is an essential ingredient for authentic Pad Thai. Don’t skip! You can buy it online, in every Asian market, or within the Asian aisle in major supermarkets.

Garlic Chives: Is what’s used in the authentic recipe. If there is any chance you can get them, use garlic chives. Otherwise, green onions will do too!

More Recipes You’ll Love:

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📖 Recipe

pad thai noodles served in a skillet

Vegetarian Pad Thai

The world's best and only vegetarian Pad Thai recipe you have to know! Pad Thai Noodles with fried eggs, umami sauce, and peanut sprinkle!
Author : Aline Cueni
5 from 3 votes

Click on the stars to leave a vote!

Prep Time :15 minutes
Cook Time :10 minutes
Total Time :25 minutes
Servings : 2
Calories : 669kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) rice noodles
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) firm tofu in cubes
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 eggs use organic eggs whenever possible
  • 3.5 oz (100 g) fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 scallion only green part, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • ¼ cup (30 g) unsalted peanuts chopped
  • lime wedges & red pepper flakes for serving
  • more bean sprouts for serving optional

Sauce

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Soak rice noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and wash under running cold water. How I soak them: Place rice noodles in a deep dish, pour over with boiling water, let them soak for 8-10 minutes (check what the label says), drain, wash with cold water, and let the excess water drain over a sieve. Keep in mind that the cooking time/method can vary between brands.
  • Mix sauce ingredients in a small bowl.

Cooking

  • Heat a large skillet or wok with 1 tbsp of oil. Add tofu, onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes, stir-fry for 5 minutes.
  • Add in noodles and sauce, cook until almost all liquid is absorbed. Transfer into a bowl.
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil and the eggs into the same skillet. Scramble slightly and let them cook until almost through (approx. 3-5 minutes). Add back in the bowl with noodles, bean sprouts, and scallion. Toss vigorously and let it cook for another few minutes until the bean sprouts and scallions are soft.
  • Serve in bowls. Decorate with chopped peanuts, lime wedges, red chili flakes, and more bean sprouts (optional).

Notes

Tamarind Paste: Is an essential ingredient for authentic Pad Thai. Don’t skip! You can buy it online, in every Asian market, or at the Asian aisle in major supermarkets.
Vegan: Skip the eggs!
Gluten-Free: Use gluten-free soy sauce, also known as Tamari. All other ingredients are gluten-free.
Leftovers can be stored for up to two days in the refrigerator.

Nutrition

Calories: 669kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 164mg | Sodium: 1692mg | Potassium: 559mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 446IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 173mg | Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Let me know by leaving a recipe rating below, or by tagging @aline_made on Instagram. I love seeing your beautiful creations!

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