Pad Thai – one of our absolute favorite dishes that never seems to be just right at home. And while there are tons of great recipes out there, this is the one we keep coming back to time and time again. The last time we made it, I remembered to snap some pictures of the process and share it here. Because it’s amazing. Simple, sweet, salty, delicious. My kind of comfort food.
This version of pad thai uses zucchini noodles instead of rice noodles. While there are good (even great) gluten-free noodle options out there – we use these ones- I often turn to zucchini noodles because they’re delicious. Light, crisp, slightly crunchy (and, a bit healthier). If you haven’t tried spiralized veggies before- DO IT! I use this spiralizer (only $13!) and make zucchini noodles in one minute all the time. And you can always mix pasta and “zoodles” together!
The best part though is the sauce. Oh the almond butter sauce. It’s just perfect. I could eat it with a spoon (and definitely sneak a few swipes with my finger while cooking). It’s tangy, sweet, salty, and full of that nutty pad thai flavor. Poured over the noodles, with chopped carrots and edamame, it’s a flavor and texture explosion. I’m obsessed. And it makes for the ultimate healthy meal, in my opinion. No boring vegetables here.
Finally, we add pan fried tofu on top. The easiest, and most delicious way to make tofu in under ten minutes is linked below. No fancy techniques or ingredients, just a cook pan, sesame oil, and extra firm tofu. The result is crispy tofu, with a soft interior, ready to soak up all of the pad thai flavor. And if you aren’t into tofu- add any protein you’d like – or just leave it out!
The best part about this meal is the fact that it’s a weekly staple for us and I know it will be for you too. It takes twenty minutes start to finish. It’s light, fresh, and insanely delicious. Plus gluten-free and vegan to boot! A healthy meal made with staple pantry items that everyone will love. I hope you enjoy! Tag me if you try @karlcooks_
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup almond butter (can sub another nut/seed butter)
- 2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 Tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 tsp tamarind paste (or sub honey/maple syrup)
- 1 tsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp chili garlic sauce (or sub red pepper flakes)
- Pad Thai
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil, divided
- 8 oz. extra-firm tofu
- 2 zucchinis, spiralized
- 2 carrots, chopped
- ¾ cup shelled edamame, frozen
- Chopped green onions, for topping
- Crushed almonds, for topping
- Begin by combining all of the ingredients for the sauce in a blender, set aside.
- Squeeze moisture from tofu by wrapping it in a paper towel and placing a plate on top for weight. After about 5 minutes, remove and dice into cubes. Add 1 Tbsp sesame oil to a non-stick pan and add tofu. Cook for 4 minutes, moving tofu around so it doesn't stick. Flip and cook 4 more minutes. You can continue flipping until all sides are browned, but beware that it will stick easily so add more oil if needed. Once tofu is crisp, set aside.
- Add remaining 1 Tbsp sesame oil to pan, and add spiralized zucchini and carrots. Cook for 5 minutes. Add edamame and cook 5 more minutes. Once vegetables are cooked through, and edamame is fully thawed, remove from heat.
- Add tofu and sauce to pan and gently mix everything together.
- Serve with fresh green onion and crushed almonds.