How to Make a Vegan Pad Thai

This is Chef Philippa’s personal recipe for a vegan pad Thai that she used to teach students at her Thai cooking classes in Atlanta!

Ingredients – serves 4 people minimum:

  • 8 ozs / 225g rice noodles (medium)
  • 3 x garlic cloves, chopped/minced
  • 4 x shallots, finely sliced
  • 8 x spring onions, sliced diagonally
  • 1 x tablespoon Thai dried chili seeds
  • 4 x tablespoons sunflower oil
  • 3 – 4ozs / 100g tofu (firm)
  • 2 x tablespoons vegan egg (‘Follow Your Heart’ brand)
  • 2 x cups / 256g fresh bean sprouts
  • 1 x cup / 237ml tamarind water (see recipe for instructions)

For the sauce

  • 4 x tablespoons coconut aminos (‘Coconut Secret’ brand)
  • 4 x tablespoons soy sauce (‘Nama Shoyu’ brand)
  • 4 x tablespoons coconut palm sugar


  • 3 ozs / 85g vegan chicken (any brand you like)
  • 6 – 8  cooked chestnuts 

Thai Tip: Add chestnuts as a cool modern twist – they are great protein and very tasty!

For the garnish

  • 2 x tablespoons roasted unsalted peanuts (grind in a pestle & mortar, keep them crunchy)
  • 1 x cup / 128g fresh coriander leaves 
  • 5 fresh limes (quartered)


Prepare the tofu: Well in advance, remove the tofu from liquid. Wrap in paper towels/kitchen roll on a plate. Make sure there is no liquid as the tofu has to be dry before you fry it.  You will need to change the paper towels a few times. When it is fully dry cut into 1” square cubes. 

Make the sauce: In a mixing bowl, add the coconut aminos, soy sauce, and coconut palm sugar. Mix together and set aside.

Make the tamarind water – Buy a block of tamarind.  Pull a piece (around 2 inches) off the block. Put it into a bowl and pour hot water over it – approx 475ml or 2 cups. When it cools down pretend you are a child with Playdough! Squeeze out the liquid and stones then pour through a fine sieve, now you have tamarind water! The remaining block of tamarind can be wrapped up and stored in the vegetable compartment of your fridge. Measure 237ml or 1 cup of the tamarind Water, place in a bowl next to the blended coconut aminos, palm sugar, soy sauce.

Thai Tip: You can make up the tamarind water a few days in advance and keep it in the fridge.

Get slicing: Cut up the rest of the ingredients and put in separate bowls.

Thai Tip: Have all the ingredients cut, sliced and diced in separate bowls/plates in the order that you will be using them!

Noodle time! Put them in a large bowl, and pour over boiling water to cover. Use a fork to make sure the noodles are separated. Leave them for approx 10 mins or according to the instructions.

Thai Tip: Just before you want to cook, drain the noodles under cold water in a colander. This takes away excess starch. Put the colander on a flat plate and cover the colander with a cold, clammy, damp Tea Towel.  Do NOT use paper towels as they absorb water. If the noodles are exposed to the air they will get sticky and clump together.  This is a secret from Thai restaurants!

Prep those “eggs”: Measure out 2 tablespoons of vegan egg in a dish (2 Tablespoons equals 1 egg). Follow the directions on the carton. You will also need to have 118 ml or  ½ cup / 118ml water plus 70ml / 1/3 cup iced water on hand at the last moment. Make sure you have a small whisk.

Thai Tip: In the UK, ’Follow Your Heart’ Vegan Egg can be sourced at Whole Foods Market/Planet Organic/Amazon. Red Chili Seeds can be found at Thai markets or shops. 

Let’s get cooking:

Thai Tip: You have to work quickly when you are stir-frying noodles! You will need a wok, 2 x wok spatulas, plus good heat!

Heat up your wok. When it starts to smoke add the sunflower oil.

Add the garlic which flavours the oil, make sure it doesn’t burn.

Add the shallots and gently fry until golden.

Add the chilled water to the vegan Egg and mix with the whisk.

Add the tofu, vegan chicken, chestnuts to the wok – mix together.

When cooked, move the tofu, vegan chicken, chestnuts, shallots & garlic to the side of the wok. Add the vegan egg and scramble quickly.

Mix the scrambled vegan egg with the tofu, vegan chicken, chestnuts.

Thai Tip: You need to cook vegan pad Thai just before you want to serve and eat it!

Add the noodles, a handful at a time using two wok spatulas & stirring quickly

When each handful of noodles is mixed in. Add the tamarind water, blended mixture of soy  sauce, coconut aminos, palm sugar.  Mix well.  

Add the green onions, dried chili seeds & beansprouts.

Mix well and quickly as you don’t want the noodles to turn sticky and gunky!

How to serve your pad Thai:

Put the noodles onto a flat serving dish.  You can style the dish with the ground peanuts, and cilantro/coriander leaves.  Arrange the limes around the perimeter of the dish.

Each guest can squeeze the limes onto their own plate.

Include extra limes, cilantro/coriander & Thai red chili seeds for guests who want their vegan pad Thai “hot to trot!” 

Book an Thai experience with Philippa right here. Alternatively watch the recipe video on Instagram