Veggie Pad Thai

My dear friend and field partner in crime, Stacey, challenged me to make Thug Kitchen’s Vegan pad Thai for the hubs.  Stacey and I would spend like 12 hours a day in the field truck driving to and from our different streams. We would spill our life stories to keep ourselves awake and got to know each other very quickly. At some point we would always end up chatting about any new recipes we’d been trying. We were both working on expanding our cooking adventures and I loved getting new ideas from her. (I still do!!!)

The Thug Kitchen cookbook came into her life as a gift while we were in the thick of our field work and she instantly fell in love with it. She sent me several recipes she’d made before we even realized that every recipe is completely vegan! It does a great job of introducing vegan recipes in a non pretentious way; subtly explaining the different forms of vegan protein, how to use them, and why you should eat your “F*ing vegetables.”  It’s a hilarious read that includes some colorful language, great recipes, and I fully recommend it.  It also makes a great gift, but read a few pages before deciding who to give it to!  

field work
Field work with Stacey. Just ghostbusting some fish in the Babacomari River.
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What is Pad Thai?

If you’re not familiar with Thai food, pad Thai is a great gateway dish.  It’s approachable and similar to lo mein or other asian noodle dishes you may already be familiar with.  Pad Thai is an easy stir fry using noodles, and is served as street food in Thailand.  The dish has become very popular in the states and includes all the traditional Thai flavors like lime, fish sauce, and garlic.  Don’t worry, the fish sauce is very subtle and works like anchovies in caesar dressing, adding flavor without the funk.  It’s often topped with chopped peanuts so if you’re allergic make sure to ask a restaurant to leave this out when ordering.  

How to Serve

This dish is great as it’s presented in the Thug Kitchen cookbook but I wanted to add a little more protein, and after tasting the sauce I altered it a bit to my taste.  The original recipe calls for 3 tbsp. of tomato paste but I think I’ll only add one next time.  It’s very good, but a little less tomato would make it taste more like what I’m used to from the restaurants.  The original recipe calls for broccoli crowns sauteed as well but I didn’t have those so I used carrots instead.  

I also added an egg to my version.  Most pad Thai recipes call for egg to be added but since the Thug Kitchen version is vegan they leave it out.  Tofu is a traditional add in as are bean sprouts but I didn’t have either in my fridge.  Lastly I added 1 tbsp. of hoisin sauce to round out the taste, but this is optional.  

Pad Thai is perfect for a quick on the go lunch, or a picnic by the pool.  I shared this with my friend Molly during our social distancing pool date!  Pad Thai is her go to takeout order and she loved this version!  

pad Thai by the pool

Pad Thai by the pool: I got these little togo containers from Dollar Tree about 6 years ago now and still use them all the time! They are perfect for lunches, or veggies and hummus!.

What the Husband thinks: 

Each Monday I post meatless recipes that I’ve tried out on my husband, David. He rates them using the Missing the Meat rating system we came up with.  

Check out the Rating system:

Missing the Meat Rating 2.5 out of 5 stars!

Overall I think this pad Thai recipe is pretty good. There’s some things I’m not super crazy about though. It’s a little too tangy in my opinion. I think the recipe calls for too much tomato paste and it needs more sweetness. So, I give this recipe 2.5 out of five stars. I should mention I’m not a pad Thai guy. Although I like pad Thai, it’s something I never order. It definitely needs some improvement and of course meat would be wonderful in this. 

Veggie Pad Thai: Tasty take out made at home

Recipe by Muddymermaid inspired by Thug KitchenCourse: Meatless Monday’s, Weeknight dinnersCuisine: Asian, Thai, vegetarianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time





Quick and Easy vegetarian Pad Thai, inspired by Thug Kitchen’s recipe with added protein and a more authentic tasting sauce. Get that take out experience made right at home!


  • Sauce
  • 1/4 cup lime juice

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or liquid/coconut aminos)

  • 3 tbsp. water

  • 1-3 tbsp. tomato paste

  • 3 tbsp. brown sugar

  • 3 tbsp. rice vinegar

  • 1 tbsp of hoisin sauce (optional)

  • 1 tbsp of sriracha (optional)

  • Dish
  • 14 oz. rice noodles

  • 1 cup shredded carrots, or 1 medium crown broccoli, or any other veggies you have

  • 1/3 cup diced onion

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 eggs lightly beaten or ½ block tofu for added protein (optional)

  • 1 cup sliced green onions

  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

  • 2 tsp. neutral-tasting oil

  • Optional Toppings: Bean sprouts, chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro or shredded cabbage, fresh lime juice


  • Stir all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set to the side
  • Cook noodles using the package directions. Rinse with cold water.
  • Shred carrots or chop whatever veg you’re using
  • Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  • Add onions and garlic, stir until translucent about 2-3 minutes
  • Add carrots and/or chosen vegetables, stir for another 2-3 minutes until veggies are cooked but still have a little crunch
  • If adding tofu add now.
  • If you’re adding an egg, move all the veggies to the side, pour the beaten egg in and use a spatula to move eggs around like your cooking scrambled eggs.
  • Once egg is mostly cooked stir it into the veggies
  • Turn heat to low, add noodles and sauce
  • Stir until sauce has started to soak into the noodles.
  • Add cilantro and green onions and stir for 30 more seconds.
  • Serve with desired toppings


  • Make sure to ask any guests if they are allergic to peanuts before adding them!
  • Hoisin Sauce and rice noodles (or pad thai noodles) should be easy to find in the asian section of your grocery store.
  • If adding tofu:  remove the tofu block from packaging, wrap in a clean kitchen towel or paper towels and put it on a plate.  Add something heavy on top (like a heavy pot or glass dish).  This will allow any excess water to drain from the tofu.  Slice into bite sized pieces.  Add a few tbsp. Of oil to a skillet on medium heat and add tofu slices.  Squish with a spatula to remove excess water.  Then cook until lightly golden on one side. Flip and repeat.  Remove from the pan and lay on a plate covered in kitchen cloth to drain excess oil.   Let this rest on the side until you’re ready to add it to the dish.
  • Adjust the tomato paste to your tastes. One tbsp. might be too dry. If so add a little more hoisin or soy sauce (not coconut aminos too much of that is gross lol)
  • If you have fish sauce in your fridge add a splash to really kick up the recipe.
**This post contains affiliate links. That means, I will receive a small commission (at no cost to you) if you click through some of the links and make a purchase.**
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