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June 10, 2020 6 min read

If you're craving the exotic tastes and smells of Thailand, then why not give our quick and easy veggie pad Thai recipe a go?

Packed with flavor, steaming with spicy goodness, and packed full of delicious, healthy vegetables, our meat-free, vegetarian-friendly pad Thai recipe will bring those colorful memories of your last Thai vacation back to your home kitchen.

To get started with this fantastic, Thai inspired recipe, all you need are lots of vegetables, your noodles of choice, and a trusty cast iron wok with the heat turned up to full!

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How to make Vegetable Pad Thai

Ingredients

Makes 4 servings

Main vegetable pad Thai ingredients

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 medium-sized yellow onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1/2 cup of chopped up peanuts
  • 1/2 cup of tasty herbs for flavor (we love adding in cilantro, basil, and green onions!)
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 oz of pad Thai noodles* 

*Check out our veggie pad Thai FAQ at the end of the article for more info on what noodles are best for pad Thai!

Vegetable pad Thai sauce ingredients

  • 3 tbs of fish sauce (you can replace this with more soy sauce if you don't eat fish)
  • 3 tbs of brown sugar
  • 3 tbs of vegetable broth
  • 2 tbs of white vinegar
  • 1 tbs of soy sauce
  • 1 tsp of sambal oelek (spicy sauce)

Mix all of the above pad Thai sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Stir vigorously until all of the brown sugar has dissolved into the mixture. To make the sauce spicier, you can add in more sambal oelek or even a few chilis.

Alternatively, if you're feeling super lazy (we know, it happens!), then you can easily pick up a pre-made pad Thai sauce at the store!

Instructions

  1. First, you need to start cooking the noodles. Bring a lightly salted pan of water to the boil on the stovetop. Add in your pad Thai noodles and leave them to cook as per the instructions on the packet or until you believe they are soft enough. Set the noodles aside once they are ready. (You need to add the noodles to the stir fry, later on, so try to keep them slightly undercooked for the time being.)
  2. While your noodles are boiling, you can prepare your pad Thai vegetables. Gather your veggies and chop them up into small, bite-sized chunks. You will want to slice the peppers thinly, while you need to chop the carrots into little pieces.
  3. Place your wok onto the stovetop and turn up the heat. You need this to be adequately preheated before you add any oil. (Leave it to heat for a few minutes, and then check the temperature by adding a drop of water. If the water steams instantly, you're good to go!)
  4. When the pan is hot, add in your oil to the bottom.
  5. Throw in the vegetables and stir fry them for at least 2 min in the oil. You need them to soften and, ideally, to start to crisp. Then, take the veggies out and place them in a separate bowl.
  6. Drain your noodles, and add these to the oil in the bottom of the wok. Stir fry lightly for 1 min before pouring in your mixed pad Thai sauce. Stir fry for another minute or two.
  7. Add the beaten egg to the noodles and sauce, allowing it to stick to the mixture.
  8. Add in your vegetables again, and stir fry everything together briefly (30 seconds should do the trick!) before turning off the heat completely.
  9. Make sure all your ingredients have mixed together, then add the final touch by sprinkling peanuts and herbs over the top.
  10. Add any extra herbs, garnish, or spicy sauce, and then serve up your ready-to-eat veggie pad Thai!

Veggie pad Thai FAQ

Your veggie pad Thai recipe is ready to be put into action. But we know you might still have a question or two you would like answered before you start stir frying all your ingredients and mixing your sauce together.

We've put together a quick FAQ below to shine a little more light on the most commonly asked questions we receive about veggie pad Thai. Once you've read through them, the only question you will have left to answer is, what does pad Thai taste like? And there's only one way to find that out!

What noodles are best for pad Thai?

Traditionally, pad Thai recipes call for dried rice noodles to be used. We'd highly recommend these, as they are the perfect texture and consistency for stir frying.

But you can also use many other types of noodles that you might have in the kitchen if you can't get hold of rice noodles. Thin egg noodles make for a tasty addition to the recipe, or you could even clear out that old packet of dried fettuccine that's been stashed in the cupboard for months.

If you're feeling particularly adventurous, you could learn to make your own noodles from scratch (but trust us, it takes a lot of patience to master the art of noodle-making)!

What other vegetables can I add to the recipe?

Be as creative as you can! You don't need to stick to zucchinis, carrots, and bell peppers, because there are so many more great vegetables that go so well in a veggie pad Thai!

A few of our favorite additions include mushrooms, cabbage, beansprouts, or broccoli. You can even use up cans of corn kernels or a bag of frozen peas in this recipe.

As this is essentially a stir fry dish, make sure you don't overload the pan you're cooking everything in. The ingredients need an even application of heat for them to cook properly. The veggies need to be able to cook fast, and at high heat, to keep them crisp and delicious.

Add in too many vegetables, and things can quickly start to get soggy and messy in the bottom of your pan!

What can I serve with my veggie pad thai?

You can serve our healthy veggie pad Thai on its own, and it will be more than delicious enough to satisfy those pad Thai cravings.

If you'd like to serve up a few dishes to complement the veggie pad Thai, then we can suggest a few tasty options too!

You can't go wrong with Thai style spring rolls, and you can keep these healthy by stuffing them with vegetables and baking rather than deep frying.

You could serve a few prawn or rice crackers on the side, with some spicy sweet chili dipping sauce, or you could go all out and prepare Thai fried rice too!

Is pad Thai healthy?

If you're conscious about what you're eating, then you'll be asking the question, what is in pad Thai that actually makes it healthy? If you're following the recipe we've laid out above, then you'll have seen the pleasant number of vegetables present in our veggie pad Thai, for a start!

The vegetables give a good pad Thai a fantastic array of nutrients, while the noodles are going to keep you energized all through the day.

If you're trying to lose weight, you'll need to cut back on the weight of noodles you use in the dish, as admittedly, there are many carbs present. Instead, add in more zucchini and peppers - you could even make a carb-free pad Thai by entirely replacing the noodles with spiralized zucchini!

You also need to be careful which oils you are using, as these can contain unhealthy fats. Don't overdo it when you're stir frying and try to use healthier vegetable or olive oils.

Is veggie pad Thai spicy?

Our veggie pad Thai recipe uses sambal oelek, which is a popular spicy sauce. If you're afraid of spicy food, you could substitute this for a tomato paste, but it won't be as flavorful!

On the other hand, you can make this dish much spicier by chopping up a few chilis and stir trying them with your vegetables. The more chilis you add, the spicier you can make the pad Thai.

When it's ready, you can keep some spicy sauce close to hand if you want to add an extra layer of heat while you're eating!

Can I turn veggie pad Thai into a vegan pad Thai?

You'll have noticed that our pad Thai recipe is vegetarian, but it isn't vegan. There are eggs and fish sauce in the recipe. Many vegetarians may also want to remove the fish sauce from the recipe if they don't eat fish.

You can make our recipe vegan in a few simple steps, though. Simply replace the fish sauce with more soy sauce, and instead of using egg in the stir fry, you can scramble up tofu. Vegans will need to be careful about which type of noodles they choose, as many are egg-based. A good option for vegans will be vermicelli noodles (also known as glass noodles).

There it is, our fabulous recipe for pad Thai veggies! This is our all-time favorite vegetarian Thai dish, and it's incredible how easy it is to cook once you get into the swing of things. Bookmark this recipe for later, and bring the taste of Thailand back into your home!



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