Friday, May 13, 2011

Thai Week: Vegan Pad Thai

Breakfast: Oatmeal with blueberries - I have to get more inventive

Lunch: Sandwich of the expensive bread (woo hoo!) with home made baba ganoush, peppers, cucumbers and salad

Dinner: Vegan Pad Thai

One of the (many) advantages of living with a total food fiend is that they’ll happily spend $6 on a gourmet loaf that you then get to eat half of because if you don’t it will go stale. I am of the opinion that $6 will get me a lot more food and that I can make bread myself, so I never quite make that investment. Never quite make the bread, either.

So you know how when you go for an Indian someone always orders a korma and everyone else rolls their eyes because that’s such an obvious choice? I feel like Pad Thai often suffers from being “the obvious choice” in a Thai restaurant too, as if it always comes at the end of an order when everyone is sharing. “We’ll get this, this and this, and yeah obviously we’ll have the Pad Thai too.”

In actuality, this just means that it’s ridiculously popular – and it’s easy to see why. No matter when you get it from, it’s always good, and the noodles themselves feel like the main taste focus rather than the meat, or lack thereof.

This Pad Thai recipe dispenses with any fish sauce or egg while retaining that familiar taste, making it suitable for vegans as well as vegetarians. Hooray!

Youll need:
(Feeds 2)
            2 small carrots, grated
            2 small onions, chopped
            100 grams tofu, fried in chunks
            1 large tomato, chopped
            2 spring onions, chopped
            1 large handful of beansprouts
2 nests of flat noodles, ready cooked (boil for 5 mins then drain and rinse with cold water)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
            2 tsp brown sugar
            1 tbsp lime juice
            2 tbsp soy sauce
            chili flakes
            extra lime to garnish
sunflower oil / extra virgin olive oil

            Fry the onion, carrots and garlic in the oil til the onion is starting to brown
            Add the tofu, tomato and noodles
            Mix well and add the soy sauce and sugar
            Add lime juice, a sprinkling of chili flakes, spring onion and beansprouts
            Serve with crushed peanuts, another sprinkling of chili flakes and half a lime
You can easily roast the peanuts yourself by laying them on a baking tray and putting them in a 150 degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, then crushing them after they’ve cooled. Keep an eye on them though as they do love to burn.

This feels a bit like cheating because it’s so easy to make and yet so amazing tasting, but there are no cheats involved. If you like you can grow your own tomatoes, just so you feel like you’ve put enough effort in to deserve the final reward. 


  1. I am kicking myself for not having made this before as it's ridiculously easy. Thanks!

    Just wondering what level you grate your carrots at? Thinking my tofu balls may have been a bit rubbish due to too big bits when grating.

    Also in this when you say fried tofu I'm assuming you mean you fried it yourself before adding it to this dish?

  2. Sorry Tom I missed this comment until now! I am using the Ikea graters at the moment, the ones with the bowl with the lid which is a grater, and I'm using the larger of the two graters that come with it. I don't think the size of the grater should affect the tofu balls too much though!

    Yep indeed, chop up the tofu and then fry it before you throw it in. You could also marinade it before frying for some extra flavour!