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Simple recipe for vegetarian Pad Thai fried noodles

Simple recipe for vegetarian Pad Thai fried noodles

Pad Thai is the national dish of Thailand and you will never get bored of it.

It’s so simple to make and is a common street food snack in Thailand. It was popularised during the Second World War and has become one of Thailand’s national dishes.

We learnt this recipe from our cooking class with the excellent Thai Farm Cooking School during our press trip in Chiang Mai. It is vegetarian using tofu, but chicken or pork can also be used instead.

Cooking class Chiang Mai vegetarian pad thai recipe

Food fight at our cooking class in Chiang Mai – our teacher Garnet feigns mock horror

Ingredients for vegetarian Pad Thai

  • 80g of rice noodles
  • 1 carrot grated
  • 50g bean sprouts
  • 100g tofu cut into small cubes (chicken or pork can also be used as an alternative)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons of crushed roasted peanuts
  • 2 teaspoons of tamarind paste (alternatively 1.5 teaspoons of white vinegar)
  • 1.5 teaspoons of palm sugar (alternatively use brown sugar)
  • 1 tablespoon of fish sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives (or spring onions)
  • pinch of chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • pinch of salt
  • 40ml of water
  • 1 teaspoon of molasses (thick, dark brown juice obtained from raw sugar during the refining process)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 chopped shallots
Vegetarian pad Thai recipe cooking class in Chiang Mai

Stefan with the ingredients for vegetarian pad Thai

How to make Pad Thai

1. Soak the rice noodles in water for 30 minutes until soft.

2. Put the water in a bowl and mix in the tamarind paste, palm sugar, fish sauce, molasses and chilli powder.

3. Heat up the oil in a wok on a low heat and add the tofu, shallots, pinch of salt and fry on a low heat until the shallots brown and tofu starts to change colour. Move it to one side of the wok.

Pad Thai cooking egg with tofu and shallots

After cooking the tofu and shallots, move to one side to scramble cook the egg

4. Crack the egg and scramble on one side of the wok then mix it together with the already fried shallot/tofu mix. Move this to one side of the wok.

5. Add the noodles and fish sauce and cook them on medium heat for 2 minutes until they soften.

Vegetarian pad Thai cooking noodles

Pad Thai noodles cooking with egg/tofu/shallots mixture on the side

6. Mix everything together and also mix in the bean sprouts, grated carrot and chives, cooking on medium heat for 1 minute then remove the pan from the heat.

7. Serve with crushed peanuts on top and a lime sliced in half.

Vegetarian pad Thai recipe cooking class Chiang Mai

A finished pad Thai ready for consumption!


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Sebastien is the co-founder, editor and author of He is a tech geek, a total travel nerd and a food enthusiast. He spends the majority of his time planning Nomadic Boys' travels meticulously right down to the minute details. Sebastien has travelled to over 80 countries with his partner in crime and the love of his life, Stefan. He regularly shares his expertise of what it’s like travelling as a gay couple both on Nomadic Boys and on prominent publications ranging from Pink News, Matador, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian and many more. Originally from France, Sebastien moved to London in the early 2000s where he pursued a career as a computer programmer for Thompson Reuters and Bloomberg. He subsequently left it all to explore his passion for travelling around the world with Stefan to hand, and thus Nomadic Boys was born.

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