Vegan Pad Thai (any way you want)

This pad thai dish is versatile – you can use any veggies you think make a pad thai a pad thai, or just use your favorite stir fry staples. I’m borrowing this recipe from Ohsheglows, but I’d like to think I strayed enough from the original that this is my variation with my personal twists. I’ve always thrown together teriyaki or peanut sauces to stir fry on a whim, and it’s time to put one of the recipes to writing.

If you haven’t done it before – making your own healthy MSG-free, fish sauce-free version of your favorite Asian sauces is easier than you’d think!

Bonus tip 1: You don’t need to have all the ingredients to make this sauce – they are not all required for it to be delicious – certain ingredients are just enhancers, like the miso and chili paste. You can always improvise by adding things like chili, onion powder or red pepper flakes instead. If you don’t have vinegar, you can use lime or lemon juice. You can also play with these sauces by adding nutritional yeast or minced ginger. It’s hard to mess these things up!

Super Bonus tip 2: when making sauces that are traditionally sweet and savory, like teriyaki and pad thai sauce,  just be sure you have enough sweetness to balance out the salt (about a 3:2 ratio of soy sauce or liquid aminos to maple syrup or honey).

Ingredients

  • One cup pad thai rice noodles
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 5 green onion stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 tablespoons oil (sesame oil is best if you have it)
  • 1 egg
  • Optional garnish: Crushed peanuts, cilantro, fresh green onions, thai basil, sesame seeds, bean sprouts

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth (water works as well)
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1 tsp miso
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  1. Start by heating up boiling water to make your rice noodles. They do not need to boil as long as regular noodles. Boil, add the noodles, and then turn off heat and let them soak until soft.
  2. Slice the zucchini, red pepper and carrots into thin julienne slices, and chop the green onion. Crush the peanuts and chop garnish ingredients, if using.
  3. Make the sauce: Put all ingredients in a small jar, seal tightly and shake until mixed. Break up any chunks with a fork if they haven’t been incorporated.
  4. Heat the sesame oil for about a minute in a wok or large non-stick frying pan, and sauté  the carrots, zucchini, red pepper and green onion (in that order) until slightly tender. Don’t overcook – they get soft quickly.  Add the cooked rice noodles and then the sauce, and mix all to incorporate.
  5. Push all ingredients to the side of the pan to make room for the egg. While pan is on medium heat, add egg and whisk inside the pan until scrambled (add a bit more oil in order to fry the egg if pan has dried out)
  6. Make sure sauce is incorporated and all ingredients are heated throughout. And you’re done! Garnish and serve.

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