Pad Thai with Tofu | Easy vegetarian Thai noodle dish with tofu. This a simple recipe to make that tastes just like your favorite Thai restaurant, making it the perfect takeout at-home dish.
All of the best dishes are noodle dishes. There I said it. I love noodles. You just can't go wrong with noodles if you're in the mood for something outstanding.
Just check out my Pasta + Noodles category here on my blog, I've got some great recipes. I love this Vegetarian Chow Mein, and this One-Pot Chipotle Pumpkin Pasta gives me such cozy fall vibes. Savory Sesame Noodles are fun to slurp up, and homemade ravioli is a total game-changer! Fun to make and so so tasty.
But these Pad Thai noodles hold a special place in my little foodie heart. Why?
- they are so easy to make with totally accessible ingredients
- you can skip the tofu and make it with chicken or shrimp
- tastes great and has a little bit of spice
- topped with cilantro (YUMMM), lime juice, and the humble peanut (this is not about you fancy almond and cashew!)
Here are a few notes for you. I usually use three red Thai chilies for this recipe (Bird's Eye Chili's like those ones). I love these chilies for Thai recipes. They are spicy though, so I wrote this recipe without them. I'll continue to make them for myself with the Thai chilies and extra Sriracha on top, but you can decide for yourself. Try some red pepper flakes maybe.
I also always top my pad thai with cilantro. I top a lot of things with cilantro because I love it so. And I never use bean sprouts. I read an article once about how dirty they are and haven't eaten them since. But if you love them, go for it, I'm not your mother. You're the boss of your kitchen!
Want to top this with crispy breaded tofu instead? Try this Panko Tofu recipe.
Let's Make Pad Thai
Ok so this whole dish comes together really quickly BUT you need to pre-soak the noodles. You need to soak them, not pre-cook them, otherwise, they'll just get mushy and break into a million pieces. We want nice long noodles. So soak your rice sticks in warmish water for 30-45 minutes, or until they are nice and soft and pliable and then drain them. Then make the rest of this dish.
Make the pad thai sauce by combining tamarind sauce, brown sugar, and fish sauce. Slice a shallot, mince the garlic, cut the tofu into little slices, and get two eggs out. Chop the peanuts and cilantro. Get the sriracha out if you're using that. (If you want some heat here, slice three Bird's Eye Chilis or use some red pepper flakes but I didn't add these into the ingredients for this recipe.)
To start, heat some oil in a very large frying pan. Fry the shallot for a few minutes, until softened. Add the garlic (and the chilis if using). Cook for about a minute. Add the tofu and cook for a few minutes, stirring.
Add the noodles and sauce and cook for about 5 minutes, adding a little extra water if needed - if the noodles become too dry. Cook just until the noodles are done - taste them periodically to check. Stir constantly with tongs.
When the noodles are done, push them to the side of the pan and add the two eggs. Swirl them around and then let them cook a minute or so and then mix them in with the noodles. Use the tongs to mix everything together while cooking until the eggs are done - about a minute or so.
Remove from heat.
Plate some noodles in a bowl. Garnish with fresh lime juice, cilantro, chopped peanuts, and sriracha.
What is Pad Thai?
Pad Thai is a stir-fried noodle dish, made with rice noodles. I use these rice noodles (For photo reference, I've never shopped at this store.)
Pad Thai with Tofu
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 medium shallot (sliced)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 12 oz firm tofu (cut into small slices)
- 16 oz rice stick noodles
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup fish sauce
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup tamarind concentrate
- ¼ cup chopped peanuts
- 1 small handful cilantro (chopped)
- Sriracha Hot Sauce
- 1 medium lime (cut into wedges)
- Soak noodles in warmish water for 30-45 minutes, until softer and pliable.
- Mix sauce ingredients.
- Heat a pan over medium heat and add oil. Cook the shallots for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tofu and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the rice noodles and the pad thai sauce. Cook for 5-6 minutes or until the noodles are done, stirring constantly and tasting to check. Add water as necessary if the noodles are too dry.
- Push noodles to the side of the pan and add the eggs. Swirl them around and cook for about a minute. Mix everything together and cook for a minute or so, until the eggs are done.
- To serve, plate the noodles and then garnish with lime juice, chopped peanuts and cilantro, and sriracha sauce.
- For some heat, add 3 bird's eye chilis or some red pepper flakes.
- Feel free to substitute the tofu with chicken.
Nutritional information is an estimate. Values vary based on products used.
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