Tofu Pad Thai Recipe

Pad Thai is a popular takeout order, but if you're a vegetarian, you can't always be sure that what you're getting is going to be made with the type of ingredients you'd approve of. This tofu-based pad Thai, however, is something recipe developer Miriam Hahn says "is so delicious and you can have so much fun changing up the veggies," plus you can make sure that everything in the sauce fit your dietary requirements. Although this recipe is not 100% plant-based as written, Hahn notes that "it is easy to make this completely vegan by just leaving out the fish sauce and the eggs" or by using plant-based substitutes.

What makes this pad Thai a little different than standard versions is the double dose of noodles, or rather the zoodle/noodle combo. As Hahn explains, "I love pairing [zucchini noodles] with the rice noodles because the combination gives you a great mix of textures." While zucchini noodles on their own have plenty of fiber and vitamins, she does admit that they "can get a little watery" without the starchier rice noodles to help adsorb the liquid from the sauce. As an additional note, the rice noodles themselves are a great gluten-free alternative to pasta, while zoodles bulk up the dish without adding much to the overall carb count.

Gather the ingredients for the tofu pad Thai

There's a fairly long list of ingredients you'll need to make this pad Thai, although nothing too hard to source, and there are substitutions you can make if need be. The base of the dish is super firm tofu (the kind that doesn't need to be pressed), while the vegetables involved are zucchini (in spiral form), carrots, and scallions. Rice noodles round out the body of the dish, while other ingredients include avocado oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, coconut sugar, garlic, cilantro, and peanuts.

As for the substitutions, Hahn says that olive or sesame would work in place of avocado oil, while regular sugar can be used in place of the coconut sugar (although she's a fan of the latter's flavor). She also tells us, "If there is a nut allergy, you can use sunflower seed butter in the sauce and top [the pad Thai] with sunflower seeds instead of peanuts."

Prepare the tofu and vegetables

Before you get started with the cooking, you'll need to prep a few ingredients. The carrots will need to be peeled and shredded, the scallions and cilantro chopped, and the lime juiced. You can also make your own "zoodles" if you happen to own a spiralizer (this recipe takes about 1 zucchini's worth), but if not, you can go with the pre-packaged kind.

You'll also need to chop the tofu into ½-inch cubes, but before you do so, you really should dry it off first. Tofu comes out of the package wet, so it's best to wrap it in paper towels to soak up some of the moisture before you start slicing and dicing.

Cook the noodles and tofu

Boil a pot of water, then add the rice noodles and cook them for 7 minutes. Drain them and let them cool.

Heat a tablespoon of oil over a stove burner set to medium, then add the tofu. Put a lid on the pan, then leave it alone for 10 minutes — no stirring needed. After 10 minutes, mix in the soy sauce, then put the lid back on the pan and let the tofu cook for 10 more minutes.

Cook the vegetables and eggs

Once the tofu is done, take it out of the pan, swapping it for the rest of the oil. Add the carrots, scallions, and garlic, as well, and stir-fry them in the oil for 3 minutes. Add the zoodles and fry them for a minute.

Beat the eggs, cracking them first, of course. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan and pour in the eggs. Scramble them along with the vegetables.

Mix all of the ingredients together

Combine the peanut butter with the fish sauce, lime juice, sugar, and vinegar as well as the remaining soy sauce, then add this mixture to the pan along with the noodles. Cook everything for a minute more, stirring all the while, then add the tofu. Finish the dish off with the cilantro.

As this dish has plenty of vegetables, filling starch from the rice noodles, and protein from the tofu, Hahn tells is it's "pretty much complete as is." This means your entire dinner should be all set to go, so grab a fork or chopsticks and dig in.

Tofu Pad Thai Recipe
5 from 26 ratings
Give traditional pad Thai a vegetarian twist with this tofu-based recipe.
Prep Time
10
minutes
Cook Time
28
minutes
Servings
4
Servings
tofu with vegetables and noodles
Total time: 38 minutes
Ingredients
  • 1 block (16 ounces) super firm tofu
  • 8 ounces rice noodles
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • ¼ cup peanut butter
  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon coconut sugar
  • 1 zucchini or 4 cups spiralized zucchini noodles
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 4 scallions, chopped, plus more for topping
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
  • ¼ cup peanuts
Directions
  1. Remove the wrapper from the tofu, and wrap the block in paper towels to remove any water. Cut the tofu into ½-inch cubes
  2. Bring a large pot of water to boil and add the rice noodles. Cook for 7 minutes, then drain.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a frying pan over medium heat and add the tofu. Put the lid on the pan and let it cook, undisturbed, for 10 minutes.
  4. While that is cooking, whisk up the sauce. Combine the peanut butter, ¼ cup soy sauce, fish sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice and coconut sugar. Set aside
  5. Using a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini. If you don't have a spiralizer, you can buy these pre-packaged zucchini noodles.
  6. When the 10 minutes is up on the tofu, add the 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to the pan and stir the tofu well. Put the cover back on and cook for 10 more minutes.
  7. Now remove the tofu from the pan and add the remaining oil, carrots, scallions, and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.
  8. Add the zucchini noodles and stir for 1 minute.
  9. In a small bowl, beat the eggs then scoot the vegetable mixture in the frying pan off to the side and add the eggs. Scramble them, then combine everything together in the pan.
  10. Add the rice noodles and sauce and stir for 1 more minute. Add the tofu back in and stir to combine.
  11. Top with cilantro, extra scallions, and peanuts and serve.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 669
Total Fat 32.4 g
Saturated Fat 5.3 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 80.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 66.4 g
Dietary Fiber 7.1 g
Total Sugars 8.8 g
Sodium 2,205.3 mg
Protein 33.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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