Somebody Feed Seb

Vegan Yasai Pad Thai

Vegan Yasai Pad Thai in a shallow white bowl garnihced with a wedge of lime.
Jump to Recipe

We are on a mission to recreate as many restaurant/ takeaway favourites of ours this winter! This time, we are sharing a delicious Vegan Yasai Pad Thai recipe that is both 100% plant-based and gluten-free (if you check the labels carefully). It is all about the flavour balance of the sauce, and the contrasting textures of the noodles, vegetables and garnish!

In the year 2020, we weren’t able to go out and eat out much. So we were on a mission to recreate most of our favourites at home. We love Wagamamas! My personal favourites are Itame and, of course, Vegan Tofu Pad Thai! It’s such a good dish with a perfect balance of all the flavours and textures that go in it!

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, at no extra cost for you! Thank you!

Todu Pad Thai with chilli, peanuts and lime on top served on a bamboo mat.

What Makes A Great Tofu Pad Thai?

Wagamama Pad Thai wasn’t very difficult to replicate. There were three small challenges though.

Finding the right noodles to use

We used rice ribbon noodles. However, some brands were not the right texture. Some were too gloopy, mushy and stodgy and were very difficult to distribute the vegetables through. Others were very sturdy and wouldn’t absorb the sauce at all.

So after some experimenting and trying a few different brands we found that Mama Instant Noodles worked best. You can get them on Amazon or large Sainsbury’s usually stock them too. The key is not to overcook the noodles. You will stir fry them after soaking (or boiling, depending on the brand you use), so it’s important to keep them al dente to start with.

Flat ribbon rice noodles.

Cooking the Tofu The Right Way

Making Tofu a perfect ‘crispy-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside’ texture. There is nothing like the texture of the perfectly fried tofu. Most of you have probably had a bad experience with mushy tofu that may have put you off for life.

This recipe doesn’t use any cornflour to make tofu crispy. Instead, we pressed the tofu to remove excess moisture, cut it into relatively large chunks, and then fried it on medium-high heat for 10 minutes. It takes a while to crisp up, but it works! Keep the tofu cubes quite chunky, so the inside is still soft. It’s also important not to overcrowd the pan, so the tofu doesn’t stew: simply make sure to use a large enough wok or frying pan.

Making The Perfect Vegan Pad Thai Sauce

The Amai Sauce is what makes Pad Thai a Pad Thai, isn’t it? Traditionally Pad Thai Sauce is made with Fish Sauce (which is, of course, not vegetarian or vegan). In contrast, Wagamama-style Amai sauce makes a perfect alternative to use in your Yasai Pad Thai. We used sugar, vinegar, tomato ketchup, Organic Tamari, light soy sauce and tamarind paste to create ours. (If you’re cooking for celiacs, make sure your soy sauce and tamari are gluten-free!)

Organic gluten-free tamari sauce being poured into a small copper pan.

Method

Step 1: Press The Tofu

Half an hour before you start cooking, take your tofu out of the fridge and drain it. If you want your tofu crispy, you will need to press it first. Wrap in a clean tea towel and place something heavy on top: you can use a heavy pan, a chopping board with lots of cans on top or a bunch of books. Doing this ensures all extra liquid is pressed out. If you make tofu dishes a lot, there are lots of Tofu Presses out there that you may want to invest in – saves washing the tea towels!

Tofu wrapped in a clean teatowel with a heavy cast iron pan on top.

Step 2: Make the Vegan Amai Sauce

Start by making your Amai sauce. In a small saucepan, mix malt vinegar, tamari and light soy sauce with sugar. Place on low heat and stir until sugar dissolves completely. Then take off the heat. Stir in the tomato ketchup and tamarind paste. Leave to cool.

Step 3: Fry the Tofu

To make crispy tofu, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil (or other odourless oil) in a large wok or frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and fry for approx 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Your tofu should be crispy on the outside and browned. Set the tofu aside for later.

Step 4: Cook The Noodles

In the meantime, prepare the noodles following packet instructions. Most of them have instructions for making the noodles ready to stir-fry after. Otherwise, cook your noodles for 1 minute less than the stated time. It’s important not to overcook and keep the noodles slightly al-dente, as they will be stir-fried afterwards.

Step 5: Prep The Vegetables and Garnishes

Chop and slice all the ingredients for the Yasai Pad Thai and garnish, so you have everything ready.

In a large bowl, combine the leeks, red onion, spring onion, bean sprouts, garlic, ginger and prepared noodles. Mix well to distribute the veg. It’s easier to do it at this stage, rather than in a pan later on.

Step 6: Assemble It All Together

Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a frying pan or a wok. When hot, add the contents of the bowl and toss to coat in oil. Add the fried tofu and keep tossing for 2 minutes. It really helps if you have a LARGE pan or a wok!

Pour the Amai sauce all over and mix well. Then toss for another minute to warm the sauce through.

Divide the Yasai Pad Thai between two bowls. Garnish with spring onion, crushed peanuts, rounds of chilli and lime wedges. Squeeze the lime over the noodles and dig in!

Garnishes for Pad Thai on a small wooden chopping board.
Garnishes for Pad Thai

Recipe FAQs

What To Do With Leftover Vegan Pad Thai Sauce?

If you have any leftover sauce you can keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 10 days. It’s perfect for dipping Chinese-style dumplings or spring rolls in.

Is Pad Thai Gluten-Free?

It absolutely can be! Choose GF rice noodles and soy sauce (tamari) and you have yourself a gluten-free meal suitable for celiacs!

Vegan Tofu Pad Thai in a white bowl with black chopsticks resting on the rim.

Other Restaurant Replica Recipes

If you like our Yasai Pad Thai, have a look at the other recipes we created to make delicious restaurant/ takeaway dishes:

Vegan Yasai Pad Thai in a shallow white bowl garnihced with a wedge of lime.

Vegan Yasai Pad Thai

We are on a mission to recreate as many restaurant/ takeaway favourites of ours this winter! This time, we are sharing a delicious Vegan Yasai Pad Thai recipe that is both 100% plant-based and gluten-free (if you check the labels carefully). It is all about the flavour balance of the sauce, and the contrasting textures of the noodles, vegetables and garnish!
4.77 from 13 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Thai, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings 2 portions
Calories 572 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • 130 g dried ribbon rice noodles
  • 1 small leek, approx. 130g thinly sliced
  • 1 small red onion thinly sliced
  • 200 g firm tofu pressed and cut into cubes
  • 100 g beansprouts
  • 1 spring onion sliced
  • 15 g ginger grated or very finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic crushed or very finely chopped

For the Amai Sauce:

  • 1 tbsp malt vinegar
  • tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp tamari gluten-free if needed
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce gluten-free if needed
  • tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tsp tamarind paste

To Garnish:

  • ½ red chilli sliced into rounds
  • 20 g roasted salted peanuts chopped finely
  • 1 spring onion sliced
  • ½ lime cut into wedges

Instructions
 

To Make Amai Sauce:

  • In a small saucepan, mix malt vinegar, tamari and light soy sauce with sugar. Place on low heat and stir until sugar dissolves completely. Then take off the heat.
  • Stir in the tomato ketchup and tamarind paste. Then leave to cool.

For the Pad Thai:

  • Heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large wok or frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the tofu cubes and fry for approx 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Your tofu should be crispy on the outside and browned. Then set aside.
  • In the meantime, prepare the noodles following packet instructions (most of them have instructions for making the noodles ready to stir-fry) Make sure not to overcook and keep them slightly al-dente, as they will be stir-fried afterwards.
  • Chop and slice all the ingredients for the Yasai Pad Thai and garnish.
  • In a large bowl, combine the leeks, red onion, spring onion, bean sprouts, garlic, ginger and prepared noodles. Mix well to distribute the veg.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan or a wok. When hot, add the contents of the bowl and toss to coat in oil. Add the fried tofu and keep tossing for 2 minutes.
  • Pour the Amai sauce all over and mix well. Then toss for another minute to warm through.
  • Divide the Yasai Pad Thai between two bowls. Garnish with spring onion, crushed peanuts, rounds of chilli and lime wedges. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 572kcalCarbohydrates: 105gProtein: 19gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 5gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 793mgPotassium: 591mgFiber: 7gSugar: 31gVitamin A: 1051IUVitamin C: 41mgCalcium: 224mgIron: 4mg
Keyword How to Make Pad Thai, How to Make Vegan Pad Thai, Pad Thai, Pad Thai Recipe, Plant Based Pad Tahi Recipe, Plant Based Pad Thai, Thai Recipes, Vegan Pad Thai, Vegan Pad Thai Recipe, Vegan Recipes, Vegan Thai Recipes, Vegan Yasai Pad Thai, Veganuary Recipes, Yasai Pad Thai, Yasai Pad Thai From Scratch, Yasai Pad Thai Recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Pin for Pinterest.

21 Replies to “Vegan Yasai Pad Thai”

  1. 5 stars
    Amazing recipe! Made this for dinner and it was perfect. Just like served at Wagamamas. The only thing I changed was honey instead of sugar. Thanks! Will make this again soon!

    1. Thanks, Laura! Glad you enjoyed it! It’s great being able to cook your restaurant favourites at home, isn’t it? 😉

  2. 5 stars
    Everyone loved this Pad Thai recipe! Thanks for making a vegan one so everyone could enjoy it!

    1. Thanks, Emily! It’s one of those dishes that’s so full of flavour that no animal products are required! So glad everyone enjoyed it! 🙂

  3. 5 stars
    What a delicious dish! It’s always fun to replicate a restaurant dish!

  4. 5 stars
    This is so perfect! Such a filling and satisfying meal!

    1. Thanks, Toni! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    Oooh yum! I love all the great bold flavors in this!

    1. Definitely a flavourful dish! I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love Pad Thai!

  6. Oh yum.. looks and sounds super delicious and flavorful… Can’t wait to make it

    1. Thanks! Really hope you like it! 🙂

  7. 5 stars
    Everyone loves Pad Thai & love that it is vegan. Looks super!

  8. 5 stars
    My family loves to try new Asian dishes and they really love noodles so I had to try this recipe. So easy to follow and I really loved the sauce, so easy and tasty.

    1. Thanks for trying this recipe! Really glad you enjoyed it! That sauce is one of our favourites 🙂

  9. 5 stars
    I always enjoy the diversity of your recipes, this was delicious. And thank you for cooking tofu tips, they are very helpful!

    1. Glad you found it helpful!

  10. 5 stars
    This was super tasty! Can’t wait to make again! 🙂

    1. This makes me very happy! 🙂

  11. Jacqueline Meldrum says: Reply

    5 stars
    That looks amazing. It’s breakfast time here in Scotland but I am still drooling

    1. Nothing wrong with having pad thai for breakfast, right? 😀

Leave a Reply

Recipe Rating