Vegan Pad Thai Noodles

4.75 from 4 votes

Made using simple ingredients, these easy Vegan Pad Thai Noodles come together in under 30 minutes. You can customize this recipe and add your choice of protein to suit your preference.

Vegan Pad Thai noodles served in a bowl.
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About Pad Thai Noodles

Pad Thai Noodles is a popular Thai stir-fry dish made using flat rice noodles, various vegetables, meat or seafood, garlic, bean sprouts, and crushed peanuts.

These ingredients are sauteed in a wok over high heat and tossed in a spicy, sweet, tangy sauce with an umami kick.

Also known as Phad Thai Noodles, this dish is commonly sold on the streets of Thailand and in Thai restaurants worldwide.

Pad Thai noodles are super easy and flavorsome, taking 30 minutes to come together.

The homemade version of these noodles is as good as the ones you might have tasted on the streets of Thailand. And the best part about making these at home is that you can customize them per your taste preferences and dietary regulations.

In this post, I am sharing a vegan version of these noodles, but you can add your choice of protein, like cooked chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, etc, and make a non-vegetarian version.

Serve these super comforting Thai noodles for brunches, get-togethers, and potlucks, or enjoy it on a lazy weekday night with your favorite glass of wine.

Here are a few more Thai recipes lined up for you

Ingredients

Pad thai noodles ingredients 1
Pad thai noodles ingredients 2
Pad thai noodles ingredients 3

You will get all the ingredients to make this noodle recipe at regular grocery stores or in an Asian market.

Noodles – Pad Thai is traditionally made with ¼-inch wide rice noodles (rice sticks). You will find these in the Asian section of grocery stores or online.

Vegetables – Vegetables add a nice crunch to these noodles. I like to use red bell peppers, yellow bell peppers, onions, and bean sprouts, but other veggies such as napa cabbage, snow peas, mushrooms, broccoli, carrot, zucchini, etc can also be added.

I made the vegan version of these noodles but you can add cooked chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, eggs, or tofu for variations.

Pad Thai Sauce – To make this spicy, sweet, and tangy sauce, you will need dark soy sauce, vegetable stock, brown sugar, red chili paste, tamarind paste (tamarind pulp), salt, and water.

You can replace vegetable stock with chicken stock and add a little fish sauce if you are okay with these ingredients.

Tamarind pulp is the star ingredient here, so do not miss it.

Traditionally, palm sugar is added to this Thai stir-fried noodle dish, but I replaced it with brown sugar. You can also use coconut sugar or maple syrup.

Oil – Use toasted sesame oil for an authentic taste. If not, then use any cooking oil.

Others – You will also need garlic, Thai red chilies, cilantro, green onions, and lime. Thai red chilies add a spicy kick to these noodles. Adjust the chilies as per your liking.

Peanuts – Crushed peanuts give a lovely crunch to these noodles.

How To Make Pad Thai Noodles

Prepare The Noodles

Soak 10 oz (300 g) flat rice noodles in boiling hot water for 10-12 minutes until tender, or cook them according to the package instructions.

Noodles soaked in hot water.

Drain the water and toss the noodles with a few drops of oil. Set aside.

Cooked noodles tossed with oil.

Make The Pad Thai Sauce

In a saucepan, stir together

  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water.
Pad thai sauce ingredients added to a small pan.

Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times.

Remove the pan from heat and set it aside.

Ready pad thai sauce.

Make The Noodles

Heat 2 tablespoon sesame oil in a wok over high heat.

Once the oil is hot, add 2 teaspoon chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon chopped Thai red chili and saute for 4-5 seconds.

Garlic and red chilli added to hot oil.

Add

  • ¼ cup sliced onions
  • ½ cup sliced red bell pepper
  • ½ cup sliced yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup mung bean sprouts

and saute for a minute.

Onions and veggies added to hot oil.

Now add the cooked noodles and the sauce to the wok and toss well to coat the noodles. Cook for a minute, and then switch off the heat.

The noodles will be watery at this stage but will soak up the sauce in another 3-4 minutes and become darker in color.

Cooked noodles and pad thai sauce added to the wok.

Transfer the noodles to the serving bowls and top with

  • ¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions
  • 5-6 lime wedges

Serve hot.

Ready pad thai noodles.

Pro Tips By Neha

Rice noodles are very delicate and get overcooked and mushy very soon, so keep checking them while soaking or cooking.

The best way to cook the rice noodles is by pouring boiling water over them and letting the noodles cook in the heat of the water.

If you feel they are not cooked perfectly, keep them on heat and cook until they are just cooked (Al Dente).

If you like the noodles saucy, double the sauce ingredients.

Add some creamy peanut butter to the sauce for creamier noodles.

Replace tamarind paste with rice vinegar and lime juice, but only if it is not easily available.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to make a healthier homemade Pad Thai recipe?

To make this dish healthier, reduce the quantity of noodles and add more veggies. Use brown rice noodles instead of white rice noodles. Use low-sodium soy sauce and replace brown sugar with honey.

Can I use zucchini noodles to make Pad Thai?

You can give this recipe a healthy twist by adding zucchini noodles (zoodles) instead of rice noodles.

You can make zucchini noodles using a spiralizer, a julienne peeler, or a mandoline slicer. Either use raw zucchini noodles or boil them in water for 1 to 2 minutes.

Are Pad Thai Noodles and Drunken Noodles the same?

Pad Thai Noodles are different from Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao). The noodles used in Drunken Noodles are thick, creating a rubbery, chewy texture, whereas Phad Thai Noodles use flattened, thin rice noodles. Pad Thai also has fewer calories than Drunken Noodles. 

What is the difference between Pad Thai and Pad See Ew?

Flat rice noodles are also used to make Pad See Ew, another popular dish in Thailand. While Pad Thai is nutty and sweet, Pad See Ew is sour and has a fantastic char-grilled flavor.

Variations

Add in Preferred Protein – Vegetarians can go for tofu, and non-vegetarians can choose from egg, chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, etc. Make sure to cook the protein separately before adding it to the noodles.

Make it mild/spicy – If you want it to be spicier, increase the quantity of red chili paste, or add an extra red chili and vice versa.

Veggie Loaded – Add in as many veggies as you want. It is a great way to use up all the leftover vegetables.

Vegan – This recipe is vegan-friendly.

Gluten-Free – Use gluten-free tamari instead of soy sauce. All the other ingredients are gluten-free.

Serving Suggestions

This recipe is a meal on its own. However, these Thai noodles can be enjoyed with Thai Red Chicken Curry and Thai Green Papaya Salad on the side. 

You can also serve some Momos, Dimsums, or Potstickers on the side with these spicy yummy Noodles.

Storage Suggestions

These noodles will last in the fridge for 3 to 4 days when stored in a clean, dry air-tight container. Reheat it in a pan or microwave before serving.

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Made using simple ingredients, these easy Vegan Pad Thai Noodles come together in under 30 minutes. You can customize this recipe and add your choice of protein to suit your preference.
4.75 from 4 votes

Easy Vegan Pad Thai Noodles Recipe

Made using simple ingredients, these easy Vegan Pad Thai Noodles come together in under 30 minutes. You can customize this recipe and add your choice of protein to suit your preference.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients 

For The Stir Fry

  • 10 ounces uncooked Pad Thai noodles (300 g)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (or any other oil that you prefer)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped Thai red chilies
  • ¼ cup sliced onions
  • ½ cup sliced red bell peppers
  • ½ cup sliced yellow bell peppers
  • ½ cup mung bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup crushed roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 5-6 lime wedges
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onions

For The Pad Thai Sauce

  • ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons dark soy sauce (replace soy sauce with tamari for a gluten-free recipe)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste (tamarind pulp)
  • 1 teaspoon red chili paste (or as per taste)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup water
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Instructions 

Prepare The Noodles

  • Soak noodles in boiling hot water for 10-12 minutes until they are tender or cook them according to the package instructions.
  • Drain the water and toss the noodles with a few drops of oil. Set aside.

Make The Pad Thai Sauce

  • In a saucepan, stir together vegetable stock, soy sauce, brown sugar, tamarind paste, chili paste, salt, and water.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook for 3-4 minutes stirring a few times in between.
  • Remove the pan from heat and set it aside.

Make The Noodles

  • Heat sesame oil in a wok over high heat.
  • Once the oil is hot, add garlic and red chilies and saute for 4-5 seconds.
  • Add onions, red bell pepper, yellow bell pepper, and bean sprouts, and saute for a minute.
  • Now add the cooked noodles and the sauce to the wok and toss well to coat the noodles. Cook for a minute and then switch off the heat.
  • The noodles will be watery at this stage but they will soak up the sauce in another 3-4 minutes and also become darker in color.
  • Transfer the noodles to the serving bowls and top with crushed roasted peanuts, cilantro, and lime wedges. Serve hot.

Video

YouTube video

Notes

These rice noodles are delicate and get overcooked and mushy soon, so keep checking them.
The best way to cook them is by pouring boiling water over the noodles and letting the noodles cook in the heat of the water. If you feel they are not cooked perfectly, keep them on heat and cook until they are just cooked (Al Dente).
If you like the noodles saucy, double the sauce ingredients.
Add tofu, eggs, chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, etc. to this recipe for added protein. Make sure to cook the protein separately before adding it to the noodles.

Nutrition

Calories: 381kcal, Carbohydrates: 73g, Protein: 5g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Sodium: 1654mg, Potassium: 138mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 11g, Vitamin A: 59IU, Vitamin C: 8mg, Calcium: 40mg, Iron: 1mg
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