Pad Thai is a delicious and popular Thai dish that is a staple in many Asian restaurants throughout the world. This stir-fried noodle dish is made with thin, flat rice noodles that are stir-fried with a variety of ingredients.The cooking method involves stir-frying the noodles with vegetables and protein, such as chicken lo mein or pan-fried tofu.
For those who are gluten-free, Pad Thai can be an excellent option as it is typically made without wheat flour.
Traditionally, Pad Thai is made with chicken or shrimp, along with some common ingredients like sweet and sour tamarind sauce, fish sauce, and bean sprouts. However we can easily substitute chicken and shrimp with Tofu or any soy products.
Thai cuisine has a lot of followers world wide. I love the hawker style restaurants of South east Asia. Food is cooked fresh and quick. It is light on tummy and has a lot of vegetables in it. I love noodles and Pad Thai is one of the dishes which offers you so much flavor.
Although predominantly you can find seafood and meat in Asian cooking. Their vegan dishes are amazing too. If you like your curries and soup, you must try Khao soi or vegan Northern Thai curry. Recent mother's day lunch at a local restaurant inspired us to recreate it at home. We had an amazing Pad Thai and vegan Tom Yum fried rice here at Richmond and instantly wanted to recreate the Thai magic at home.
Note: Pad Thai paste generally has shrimp paste in it so always check the ingredients if you want a market based paste.
- What are Pad Thai Noodles?
- What is Lo Mein Noodle?
- Lo Mein vs. Pad Thai
- Where to Find Lo Mein and Pad Thai Noodles?
- How to make vegan pad Thai paste ?
- How to make Pad Thai Noodles?
- How to make Pad Thai?
- Related links
- Easy vegan pad thai
- Different types of Asian noodles
What are Pad Thai Noodles?
Pad Thai's a classic Thai recipe that uses stir-fried rice noodles. Get the noodles nice and soft by soaking them in warm water, then stir-fry with garlic chives, bean sprouts, snow peas, and some crispy tofu. The sauce that finishes off this dish is a mix of tamarind paste, palm sugar, and fish sauce(or a vegan replacement), plus more. Pad thai noodles are flat rice noodles, they're not as thick as lo mein noodles. They've got a chewy texture and are a popular part of noodle dishes and noodle soups in Thai cooking.
Pad See Ew is a stir-fried noodle dish is made with chewy rice noodles that are similar to those used in Pad Thai. However, unlike Pad Thai, Pad See Ew is not made with tamarind sauce, and instead, it features a savory sauce made with soy sauce, oyster sauce(or a vegan replacement) , and brown sugar.
What is Lo Mein Noodle?
Lo mein’s a Chinese stir-fried noodles made with wheat flour noodles. The noodles are boiled until they're soft, then stir-fried with bok choy, snow peas, bean sprouts, bell pepper and firm tofu. This dish is topped off with a delicious sauce made of soy sauce, oyster sauce, and dark soy sauce, plus more. Lo mein noodles are long &thick. They're a staple in Chinese noodles, like chow mein noodles and veg lo mein. You can also stir fry fresh noodles for lo mein.
Lo Mein vs. Pad Thai
The main difference between Lo mein and pad thai is type of noodle and sauce. Lo mein has thick wheat noodles and a soy sauce, oyster sauce sauce(or vegan replacement), while pad thai has flat rice noodles and a tamarind paste, palm sugar sauce. Plus, lo mein is Chinese noodle dishg and pad thai is Thai glass noodles .
Lo mein and pad thai have similar main ingredients like bean sprouts, snow peas, and firm tofu. Lo mein usually has green onions, and pad thai usually comes with lime wedges, red chili peppers, and garlic chives.
Rice flour pad thai noodles are a better gluten-free choice than wheat flour lo mein noodles. Plus, some kinds of lo mein noodles have egg, which won't work for vegans.
Where to Find Lo Mein and Pad Thai Noodles?
Lo mein and pad thai noodles are available from Asian stores, asian market and Chinese/Thai restaurants in the united states .With the increase in popularity of these cuisines, you can also find these noodles at the local grocery store. There's chow mein, ramen, somen, and mei fun noodles.
- Pad Thai noodles
- Firm Tofu
- Green onions
- Snap peas
- Pad Thai paste (store bought or make you own, refer steps below)
- Crushed peanuts for garnish
- Salt and pepper as per taste
How to make vegan pad Thai paste ?
I like to make these paste as home as the store bought pad Thai pasta is not VEGAN by default. The 2 options that I found in my local supermarket had shrimp paste. Hence, I made a mix of the below ingredients to get a simple flavor that is similar to the pad Thai. I have used the red curry paste here as it already has the basic Thai flavors.
The ingredients include
- Red Thai curry paste
- Chilli oil
- Soy sauce
- Tamarind paste
Mix all these ingredients. We will use them later in the cook.
How to make Pad Thai Noodles?
Follow the instructions on the packet. I would suggest to cook for 1-2 minutes less than what is mentioned in the packet.
The noodles that I have used are flat rice noodles. However, the noodles sold as 'pad Thai rice noodles were very broad ,so I bought this variety. Please note that once they are cooked, they will get thick and broad.
The packet mentions to cook for 6-8 minutes. However, I cooked it for 5 minutes in boiling water.
Then I passed it through cold water. Transfer it to a bowl of cold water so that they do not cook any further.
We will cook them for few minutes in pan with the pad Thai paste. Hence, it should be cooked for few minutes lesser in the beginning.
How to make Pad Thai?
- Heat oil in a fry pan. Add the broccoli and tofu pieces with little salt. Let it cook for few minutes.
- Add the remaining veggies and continue to cook for few minutes.
- Add half of the sauce mix and cook for few minutes.
- Once the veggies have cooked, take the veggies out of the pan.
- Add the remaining sauce and green onions.
- Add the cooked noodles to the pan.
- Mix them slowly in the pan and let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
Add the veggies mix to the noodles. Garnish with bean sprouts and crushed peanuts.
You may use any fresh veggies of your choice such as bok choy, chinese broccoli ,bamboo shoots
There are some different noodles that do not require any cooking ,the cooking method involves soaking the rice noodles in hot water for some time. (refer to the pack for instructions)
You may substitute the sauce mix with the store bought pad Thai paste.
There are different types of rice noodles that can be used, you can use rice vermicelli as well
If you are not vegan/vegetarian you can use few tablespoons of fish sauce in this recipe.
If you get a take away, then you can store this in an air tight container. To reheat there are multiple options.
1. Use a microwave to reheat
2. Use a steamer to reheat (this is my preferred option)
3. Heat a pan, add the noodles with few tablespoons of water and cook on low heat.
If you are preparing this at home and have not mixed the noodles with the veggies, then I would suggest to store the noodles and veggies seperately. Mix them in the pan and add the sauce when you are ready to serve them.
Easy vegan pad thai
- 1 frying pan or wok if you like
- 1 saucepan for boiling noodles
- 150 gm rice noodles / Pad Thai noodles
- 2-3 tablespoon sesame oil or any vegetable oil
- 100 gms tofu extra firm tofu,cut in cubes
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- ½ cup carrot sliced
- 8-10 snap peas or beans
- ½ cup bean sprouts
- 2-3 stalks green onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup crushed peanuts
Pad thai sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon red curry paste
- ½ tablespoon tamarind paste
- ½ tablespoon chilli oil
Pad thai paste
- Mix all sauces including the Thai curry paste. Keep it aside.
Pad thai Noodles
- Cook the noodles for 1-2 minutes less than the packet timings.
- Pass it through cold water and transfer it later to a bowl of cold water so that they do not cook any further.
Vegan pad thai
- Heat oil in a fry pan. Add the broccoli and tofu pieces with little salt. Let it cook for few minutes.
- Add remaining veggies and continue to cook for few minutes over medium heat. Add half of the sauce mix and cook for few minutes.
- Take the veggies out of the pan. Add remaining sauce and green onions. Add the cooked noodles to the pan.
- Mix them slowly in the pan, let it cook for 2-3 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Add the veggie mix to the noodles. Garnish with bean sprouts and crushed peanuts.
Different types of Asian noodles
There are many different types of Asian noodles, each with their own unique texture, shape, and flavor. Here are some of the most common types of Asian noodles:
- Rice noodles: These thin and flat noodles are created using a mixture of rice flour and water, giving them the name rice noodles. This ingredient is commonly found in dishes like Pad Thai and Vietnamese pho.
- Egg noodles are a staple in Chinese cuisine, often used in dishes like lo mein and chow mein, and are made with a combination of wheat flour, eggs, and water.
- Udon noodles: They are a popular traditional Japanese noodle dish made of wheat flour, water, and salt, which have a thick and chewy texture. They are often used in soups and stir-fries.
- Soba noodles : These thin, brown Japanese noodles, known as soba noodles, are made from buckwheat flour and typically served cold accompanied with a dipping sauce.
- Ramen noodles is a Japanese delicacy made from wheat flour, water, and kansui, which is a type of alkaline water with a higher pH level. Generally, these dishes are served with a hearty broth, accompanied by toppings such as pork, egg, and scallions.
- Cellophane noodles: more commonly referred to as glass noodles, are a type of thin and transparent noodle made from either mung bean starch or sweet potato starch. They are commonly used in soups and stir-fries.
- Wonton noodles: These thin, curly Chinese noodles made from wheat flour and eggs are known as wonton noodles and they are commonly served in a soup along with wontons.
- Rice sticks: also known as rice noodles, are a type of noodle made with rice flour and water that are usually very thin and flat. They are a common ingredient in dishes like Pad See Ew and Vietnamese pho.
- Somen noodles: These light and delicate Japanese noodles are composed of wheat flour, water, and salt and are a favorite among noodle lovers. They are often served cold with a dipping sauce.
- Pan fried noodles : Experience the contrast of crunchy exterior and soft interior in these pan-fried noodles that are thick and chewy. A variety of stir-fried vegetables and protein is frequently served alongside this dish.
Many different types of Asian noodles can be found, they can be used to make a wide assortment of dishes from different Asian cultures.
All in all, lo mein and pad thai are two popular stir-fried dishes in Chinese and Thai food. The type of noodle and sauce set them apart, and they have some differences in ingredients and cooking techniques. If you're gluten-free, go for pad thai noodles. Both dishes are tasty and worth a try, and you can find them in Chinese and Thai restaurants or you can try making your own pad thai or lomein noodles.
No, it does not contain dairy at all.
Rice noodles, meat, veggies, peanuts, scrambled egg and bean sprouts. Traditionally paste also contains shrimp paste, fish paste.