Recipe: Ultimate Vegan Pad Thai Noodles

Ultimate Vegetarian Pad Thai

This is a sponsored post

Confession time… I’m a vegan food blogger who’s really not that into tofu.  I’ve never seen the appeal – it doesn’t taste of much, slightly soggy texture, a faff to cook.  Why bother?  That is, until I tried tofu cooked ‘properly’ at Thai restaurants and then at Wagamama – suddenly the texture was beautiful, a really crispy coating with the spongy insides, literally soaking up all the flavours of the dish.

I needed to re-create this incredible tofu at home, and read that the way to achieve this amazing texture was to press all the liquid out of it.  But oh, what a faff – the common method seemed to be squashing the tofu  between two plates, weighted down with pans, tins or heavy books.  I tried this once or twice, and the results were fairly good, but with water all over the worktop and tins falling off everywhere, this was never going to catch on.

Tofu Pressing

Then an e-mail pinged in to my inbox from Ben, the inventor and manufacturer of the EZ Tofu Press who have just started selling in the UK and wondered if I would like to test one.  Yes please!

You can see how I got on below – it is such a simple idea, just two sheets of tough food-safe plastic, with tough bolts which you tighten to increase the tension every few minutes, and simply squeeze the water out of your tofu, (which needs to be the firm or extra-firm variety, not silken).  You can stand it upright on a plate like I did, or even stand it in the sink so the water runs straight down the plughole as it drains out.  No mess, no spills, super easy and perfect crispy tofu!

EZ Tofu Press

Armed with my trusty tofu press, I was keen to re-create my all-time favourite tofu recipe, and the dish I order without fail every time I try a new Thai restaurant – vegan Pad Thai Noodles.  Flat rice noodles, stir fried with beansprouts, tofu, chilli, spring onions and shallots, topped with peanuts, radish, fresh coriander and lime juice, with a ‘sauce’ of tamarind paste, sugar and a splash of vinegar.  Sweet, sour and spicy – these are totally more-ish, tingling every single one of your taste buds with each forkful.

Ultimate Vegan Pad Thai

You can see above the really lovely texture of the tofu – crispy and spongy, soaking up all those lovely Thai flavours.

I’ve recommended in the recipe that you press and cook the tofu first, then prepare the vegetables and sauce whilst your noodles are soaking, so everything is ready to throw into the wok or pan for just a few minutes of fast and hot cooking time.  Make sure the table is set to eat these immediately – these vegan pad thai noodles are at their very best served straight from the pan, with a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

Ultimate Vegan Pad Thai Noodles #vegan #plantbased

Ultimate Vegan Pad Thai Noodles - spicy, sour and sweet with crispy tofu and crunchy peanuts #vegan #vegetarian #thai |’t forget to pin the recipe for later, or to share with friends → → → → →


.Do send me pictures of your very own vegan pad thai noodles on:

to show me how you got on!

Vegan Pad Thai: Shopping List

You will need:

  • Extra firm tofu
  • Flat rice noodles
  • Shallots
  • Red chillis
  • Beansprouts
  • Spring onions
  • Radishes
  • Fresh coriander
  • Limes
  • Tamarind paste
  • White wine vinegar
  • Dry roasted peanuts
4.77 from 21 votes
Ultimate Vegetarian Pad Thai
Ultimate Vegan Pad Thai
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
25 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Vegan Pad Thai
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 367 kcal
Author: Kate Ford | The Veg Space
  • 150 g extra firm tofu (usually found in the dairy aisle in supermarkets)
  • coconut or rapeseed oil for shallow frying
  • 200 g flat rice noodles
  • 2 shallots, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 red chillis, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 50 g beansprouts
  • 2 spring onions, diagonally sliced
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp boiling water
  • 2 radishes, grated or julienne chopped
  • 50 g dry roasted peanuts, roughly chopped
  • handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • juice of 2 limes
  1. Press and drain the tofu for 10-15 minutes until a good amount of liquid has been released. Slice into half-centimetre thick slices, then cut each slice in half diagonally to form triangles. Lay out on your chopping board and pat dry with kitchen paper.

  2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan or wok, (enough to completely cover the bottom of the pan), and when hot, add the tofu slices in batches and cook on both sides until crispy and golden brown. Remove onto a plate covered with kitchen paper, and set aside until needed.
  3. Cook the noodles according to packet instructions - usually soaking in boiling water for c.10 minutes. Whilst they are soaking, prepare all the vegetables.
  4. Prepare the sauce by whisking together the honey/sugar, tamarind paste, vinegar and boiling water in a small jug. Set aside.
  5. In the frying pan, heat a little oil and add the shallots and chillis, and cook for 2 minutes until starting to soften. Add the spring onions and beansprouts and cook for a further minute.
  6. Add the noodles and tofu to the pan and cook for a further minute or two until they are piping hot. Pour over the sauce and mix to completely coat the noodles.
  7. Divide the noodles between plates, and scatter with coriander, peanuts and radishes, then squeeze the juice of half a lime over each serving.


Vegan in 15 Cover | Kate FordThere are plenty of similarly quick and easy recipes in my new book, ‘Vegan in 15‘*. Hop over to Amazon for a look.  Thanks for your support!

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Ultimate Vegan Pad Thai

Ultimate Vegetarian & Vegan Pad Thai Noodles

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by EZ Tofu Press, who are also providing the giveaway prize.  All opinions are my own.  The EZ Tofu Press is available from Amazon UK for £35.00 (free delivery).


  1. Thank you so much for the great review and giveaway!

  2. I love Pad Thai from restaurants but I have never tried to make it at home. I will definitely be trying this recipe it looks amazing x

  3. I certainly could have used a Tofu Press instead of having a heavy Kilner full of lentils slip and break all over the floor! Thank you for the review and for the opportunity.

  4. Meal looks yummy

  5. That looks amazing, so fresh and bright with all of those colours! The tofu press looks great too – recipe now on my list for MeatFree Monday!
    Lucy @ BakingQueen74 recently posted…Creme Egg Chocolate Cookie BarsMy Profile

    1. Thanks Lucy! Hope you enjoy it x

  6. Have been looking for a vegetarian Pad Thai recipe for ages that isn’t over complicated with ingredients difficult to get hold of. This looks simple and delicious! Cant wait to try it out

    1. Thanks Lizanne – hope you enjoy it! x

  7. fantastic prize!

  8. what a fab gizmo

  9. The Tofu press looks great! And the recipes looks amazing too, very colourful and healthy 🙂 Pinned to try later!
    Diana recently posted…Double Beef Burgers with Corn RelishMy Profile

    1. Thanks Diana! x

  10. I didnt even know it existed!!

  11. i’d love this – can never get m tofu consistency right

  12. This is a great idea, amount of times I have had things unbalance whilst pressing tofu, bang crash stuff on kitchen floor. Love the idea of using tofu in a pad Thai too.

  13. Brilliant idea, much better than balancing weights and cans on top of tofu blocks!

  14. This looks like such a fresh and delicious recipe, I don’t often cook with tofu – need to try this out!
    Isabella recently posted…Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter CookiesMy Profile

  15. What a great giveaway, very useful.

  16. This is so unique!! Great idea though!
    Angela McDonald recently posted…Limited Edition Vanilla KitKat!My Profile

  17. Would love to try

  18. This is brilliant! I’ve recently become a vegan and am learning about new recipes including ones using tofu. This would be a great prize.


  20. I might try your pad Thai recipe. It sounds fab.

  21. I love tofu, what a fab little gadget which would make life a bit easier!

  22. Definitly going to try this recipe, looks delicious, and would love this press as well, fingers crossed

  23. I buy my tofu from a local Chinese supermarket – much less watery than the Cauldron type, so it’s easier to press (although I still use the plates-and-heavy-books method). I look forward to trying out this recipe for pad thai, my boyfriend hates peanuts so maybe this will be the magic recipe that convinces him otherwise! Wish me luck!

  24. This sounds gorgeous. I don’t think I’ve every actually had Pad Thai before, something that clearly needs to be remedied. Love the photo of the ingredients all spread out on the board. As for a tofu press, I only realised there was such a thing when I saw Cathy’s post the other day. It looks like something well worth having.
    Choclette recently posted…We Should Cocoa – The Butter Round-upMy Profile

  25. Lovely recipe, cant wait to try it. Lovely prize too.

  26. Great prize!

  27. I could seriously use one of those tofu presses! My plates don’t lend themselves that well to tofu squeezing ha! 😉

  28. I am a veggie and never gotten on with tofu either. I’d like to use this and try again.

  29. This would be so fantastic as since my son turned vegan we do a lot more cooking

  30. Looks fantastic!!

  31. Looking forward to trying this – love this site as I’m always searching for tasty, healthy & easy recipes!

  32. I love tofu. It’s so versatile!

  33. Big fan of tofu and tempeh, the press looks useful and the recipe delicious!

  34. I need one of these in my life!! Great review and will be trying that recipe too

  35. thanks im exited

  36. Thanks for a great review and fab giveaway x

  37. I’ve had a tofu press for a few weeks now and couldn’t be without it! I also end up ordering Pad Thai whenever I go to a Thai restaurant 🙂
    Cathy @ Planet Veggie recently posted…Vegan Pinto Bean Stuffed Peppers RecipeMy Profile

  38. Thai food is delicious.

  39. We’re trying to eat less meat in our house – I know, about time too! This would help.

  40. Please pick me

  41. Just love Pad Thai, especially sprinkled crushed peanuts on top 😀

  42. Fab prize, would really be useful in the kitchen!!

  43. looks fab fingers crossed x

  44. Boy, that press is a good idea. Bet I could make one quite easily out of two cutting boards and some bolts 🙂

  45. It makes me smile so much you used Mrs Beeton instead of the press! What a great idea, I love Tofu, but can never get it right… Maybe now! If not, Mrs Beeton may be more handy than I thought!
    Keep Calm and Fanny On recently posted…Beep, Beep, Fanny’s Supermarket SweepMy Profile

  46. fabulous prize fingers crossed

  47. I came across the idea of a Tofu Press last weekend at Veg Fest – and I am so excited by the idea! Had practically given up on tofu due to the faffing needed. But have yet to find a suitable replacement. Quite pleased it looks like I won’t have to 🙂

  48. Gosh this looks so wonderfully colourful! I love tofu scrambled egg – would have to give it a whirl with this press if I win!!

  49. My son likes to experiment with cooking so this would be useful for him

  50. I’ve been trying to track one of these down for ages! Would love to win one!

  51. This looks great!
    Jess Powell (Babi a Fi) recently posted…This Week #25My Profile

  52. Great gift idea

  53. Awesome prize

  54. I love tofu, can never make it right as it has too much water in, would love to win this 🙂

  55. i’d love this

  56. Looks amazing

  57. This looks really interesting, I haven’t seen one before! But I am trying to cook and eat more healthily these days and a couple of things that I was thinking to introduce are tofu and soya, so this could be handy!
    Anna recently posted…Drumond Park LOGO What Am I? Review and GiveawayMy Profile

  58. I would love to try making this with the ‘proper’ gadget

  59. I love this recipe and wish I had known about the EZ press before! Would defintely make my life easier instead of piling books on top of plates ;D

  60. Michelle O'Neill

    looks great x

  61. Great prize

  62. Like others, I’ve had numerous accidents with tins of beans toppling off plates (and cracking the floor tiles) whilst trying to press tofu. This would make life much easier, and tofu tastier!

  63. Simon Harrington

    Such a fantastic competition

  64. Awesome prize!!! Thank you so much for the chance 🙂 xx

  65. I can’t believe that this exists!!! What a great invention and so much easier than trying to balance things on top of the tofu !

  66. Such a useful item this would be

  67. Hi! I’m a vegetarian and love the tofu that I sometimes gets at a good Asian restaurant. However, I can never replicate it at home! It’s always turning out quite spongy or rubbery when I do. I’m really interested in trying the tofu press.

  68. I’ve never tried tofu – I’ve heard mixed reviews! I would love to try it though and this would help it be made the right way.

  69. great prize fingers crossed

  70. This sounds great, I’ve never come across a tofu press before! I’ve just started to experiment and tofu and actually ate it for the first time just a few weeks ago

  71. That is a great gadget, would love to win!

  72. Nicola McConnell

    I’m starting to explore a vegan diet and so a tofu press would be really useful for me right now!

  73. Great giveaway. As a veggie I use a lot of tofu.

  74. Emily Dorrington

    I’ve just recently started to play with using tofu in my food, and definitely find that getting the water out is the trickiest bit!

  75. this would be g8, instead of using a bread board to squish it down

  76. Fab prize would love to win 😀 fingers crossed.

  77. After 25 years of vegatarianism I have been a vegan for 6 months.

  78. After 25 years as a vegetarian I have been a vegan for 6 months

  79. I would love to win this

  80. this tofu press looks fab

  81. Rachel Butterworth

    Great prize. Fingers crossed.

  82. Thank you so much for the great giveaway

  83. Francesca Harrod

    I just ate my dinner, but now I want to eat again!! This is an awesome gadget – I have never been able to cook tofu well before – I would love to try again with the EZ Tofu Press 😀

  84. Looks nice for this bad cook

  85. Tofu press sounds great and the recipe looks delicious

  86. I’d love to win! This looks great!

  87. This is the coolest gadget ever. Thank you so much for the opportunity x

  88. This looks really great

  89. This looks great would love to try it

  90. This looks great – thank you!

  91. Looks like a great and handy gadget!

  92. This looks fab for my vegan niece 🙂
    ellie spider recently posted…Weeks 2 & 3My Profile

  93. great gadget for kitchen

  94. Richard Eldred Hawes

    I like Tofu and this press will make it easier to use

  95. Love this – would be so handy!

  96. love tofu and this would be a welcome addition to the kitchen

  97. This would be fab!!

  98. Great giveaway, thanks for the chance to win

  99. My hubby and me have been veggies for 25 years and I still have not mastered the art of Tofu, it falls apart 🙁 Maybe this would change my luck with it <3

  100. Useful, brilliant price

  101. Pam Francis Gregory

    Great recipe!

  102. Great prize!

  103. Pam Martin-Lawrence

    Like all the best ideas, it is really super simple, and might make my own tofo experience a happier place too!!

  104. Would love to win

  105. I would love to win one of these. I am vegetarian and dairy intolerant, so use a lot of tofu. I currently press tofu using a makeshift press from cans, but the results are never great, there are always some bits which are still too moist to fry properly.

  106. Lorna-Jane Holland

    Fab giveaway – would love to win! x

  107. Lovely giveaway!

  108. As l am a veggie this would be amazing to win.

  109. Marcello Marques Pinho

    Great give away ……..
    Bring it on!!

  110. Great prize, thanks for the chance 🙂

  111. I would love to win this so I could vary my diet.

  112. I’d love to win xx

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