This delicious Thai dish can be made with many different proteins (indeed, on restaurant menus you’ll usually have the choice of chicken, beef, or tofu), but for obvious reasons I prefer tofu :-). I fry my tofu to make it crispy since I find both the flavor and texture better that way, but some folks apparently prefer soft (heated, but not fried) tofu in this. If you’re one of those people, add the tofu cubes after you’ve made the scrambled eggs and just let the heat of the rest of the cooking warm them through. Oh, and if you like them fried but have someone with a peanut allergy coming over, worry not! Though I use peanut oil because it fries very hot (did you know that different oils have different maximum temperatures? They do, and peanut is one of the ones that cooks the hottest, allowing for the crispiest fry-job), you can substitute canola or vegetable and get pretty crispy tofu. There will be a slight flavor loss (peanut is also a pretty flavorful oil), but it’ll still be good.

We always serve this with pineapple on the side, preferably fresh. You could also do a green salad with mustard sauce, which is the side dish my favorite Thai restaurant serves with it

Vegetarian Phad Thai


  • 1 14 oz. package of thin rice noodles
  • 1 14 oz. package firm tofu
  • peanut oil to fry in
  • 3 cloves minced or crushed garlic
  • 5 eggs, beaten
  • 2 large carrots, shredded
  • 1 package fresh bean sprouts, blanched (dipped momentarily into boiling water, then rinsed in cold water)
  • 1/2 c gluten-free soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup lime juice (I often use bottled–if using fresh, reduce this slightly)
  • 1/3 c + 1 TBS ketchup
  • 1 1/2 TBS brown sugar (or, if you can’t handle this much, about a TBS of Truvia)
  • Red pepper flakes to taste
  • Green onions (garnish, but tasty and almost necessary garnish)
  • Chopped Peanuts (garnish, but much less necessary)


1. Chop the tofu into small cubes (really small, like 1/4″ cubes). Heat the peanut oil in a medium frying pan. When hot, add the tofu cubes in a single layer. Yes, they will spatter and sizzle, so be careful. Cook, turning as the sides crisp, until golden brown all over (or close to it). Remove tofu from the heat.

2. Cook the rice noodles according to the package directions. Mine usually say to soak them in nearly-boiling water for about 8 minutes. While they are soaking, sautee the shredded carrots and the garlic in a large frying pan or wok. Add the fried tofu and mix to combine.

3. Push everything that’s in the large frying pan off to the edges to make a biggish space in the middle. Pour the beaten eggs into the middle and scramble them. Yes, bits of the stuff on the sides will get in them. This is entirely fine and expected.

4. While you’re doing the above things there will be small amounts of wait-time in which you can make the sauce, or you can just do it before you start if that sort of multi-tasking isn’t your thing. One way or the other, you’re going to combine the soy sauce, lime juice, ketchup, sweetener and red pepper and whisk together thoroughly, then let it sit until it’s time to use it.

5. When the eggs are done cooking mix everything back together. Then add the cooked noodles, bean sprouts, and sauce and combine well, letting everything heat through. This should only take a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat immediately (or your rice noodles will get glommy and gross and overcooked), top with green onions and/or peanuts and serve ASAP. Enjoy!