Easy Vegan Pad Thai
Here’s the popular Thai noodle dish in a version that’s easy to re-create at home in a vegan version, with ingredients you can get at the supermarket. Serve pad thai with broccoli or green beans (steamed or stir-fried) and a simple cabbage-based salad like those you’ll find in A Slew of Slaws.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 15- ounce can light coconut milk
- 1/4 cup good-quality ketchup
- 2 tablespoons natural granulated sugar
- Juice of 1 lime
- 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
- 8 ounces flat rice noodles
- 1 1/2 tablespoons peanut or safflower oil
- 8 ounces extra-firm tofu, blotted and cut into short, narrow strips
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 ounces fresh mung bean sprouts
- 4 to 6 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon Thai red chili paste (dissolved in a little water),
or dried hot red pepper flakes, to taste (see note)
- 2 stalks lemongrass, cut into large segments and scored here
and there to release flavor, optional
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped peanuts
- Lime wedges for garnish
Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and set aside until needed.
Cook the noodles according to package directions. Follow carefully! This usually entails soaking in cold water for 30 minutes, then cooking briefly, rather than the rapid-boil method of standard pastas.
When the noodles have finished soaking and starting to cook, heat the oil in a wide skillet or stir-fry pan. Add the tofu and garlic and sauté over medium heat until both are golden. Add the sprouts, scallions, chili paste, and lemongrass. Cover and steam for 3 minutes, or until the sprouts are just wilted.
Add the cooked noodles and sauce and stir gently but thoroughly. Taste and see if you’d like to add more spice or soy sauce. Serve at once, garnishing each portion with cilantro, chopped peanuts and lime wedges.
Note: Thai red chili paste is available in the Asian foods section of well-stocked supermarkets as well as natural foods stores.
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