Tofu Pad Thai

Tofu Pad Thai
Prep Time: 13 hours (includes pressing and marinating time)
Author: Vegan Lass


For the tofu and marinade:

160g tofu, extra-firm
1 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice (ground)

Everything else:

2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground nori (or other seaweed)
1 tablespoons date syrup (or agave syrup)
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
120g wholegrain udon or rice noodles, cooked
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 tablespoon peanut butter
4-5 spring onions, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon sauerkraut
84g bean sprouts
1 bunch or packet of asparagus tips (c. 100g), julienned
1/2 cup roasted and salted peanuts, roughly crushed
Fresh chillies, minced and/or tabasco (to taste)
1 lime, quartered
1/2 cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped
Extra soy sauce, to serve (optional)
Sriracha, to serve (optional)


For the tofu:

  1. The night before you make the pad thai, take your block of tofu and wrap it up tightly in a clean tea towel. In a large, strong dish, place a wad of kitchen roll (5-6 sheets). On top of the kitchen roll, place the wrapped tofu. Put something flat on top of the tofu (like a cake tin or strong plate), and on top of that place your weights. Refrigerate the whole construction overnight, or for at least 12 hours.
  2. Once the tofu is pressed, unwrap it and pour out any residual liquid from the pressing dish. Then, add to the same dish your marinade ingredients: the soy sauce, five-spice powder, and rice wine vinegar. Slice or cube your tofu as desired (I like big cubes in my pad thai), then add it to the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for about 40 minutes.

Now to make the dish itself:

  1. Mix the soy sauce, syrup, powdered nori, and vinegar in a small bowl. Take your tofu chunks out of the fridge, and make sure you have the rest of the ingredients laid out and on hand for when you need them. The cooking should happen quickly, so you won’t have time to measure things out once the heat’s on.
  2. Put a wok over a high heat and add to it 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. When the oil is hot, add your tofu chunks and fry them quickly. When the tofu is golden-brown, remove it from the pan and put it aside for later.
  3. Return the wok to the heat and briefly fry the garlic and most of the spring onions, stirring constantly. Then add the peanut butter, then the noodles, then the sauce mixture you made earlier, then the sauerkraut, then the asparagus, then the bean sprouts. Keep moving the pan constantly while you’re doing this. When everything is mixed up and heated through, take the wok off the heat. This whole step should take about 4-5 minutes max.
  4. Loosely stir in the tofu, peanuts, and whatever amount of chilli you want. I normally add 1-2 small, chopped chilli peppers, or a good sprinkling of tabasco.
  5. Place the pad thai into serving dishes and top with the extra spring onions, lime quarters, soy sauce and sriracha (if using), and fresh coriander.
  6. Eat and be sated!