Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu

On this day last year: Gluten Free Cranberry Apple Crisp (2014) & Tempeh Tacos with Avocado-lime Sauce (2013)

pad tha


I love love love Thai food. Other than chocolate (obviously), I think Thai food is my only food craving is for Thai food- specifically drunken noodles.

My boyfriend and I have found this scrumptious place not too far from campus that does excellent Thai take out (it was a dangerous discovery). In the last few months we have generated a habit of calling in for Thai food on really busy homework nights, hunkering down on the couch side by side to chow down on those delicious flavors, and then hitting the books! It’s a beautiful and delicious tradition.

Unfortunately, as a graduate student, eating out is not always the best financial option. In most scenarios it is more affordable to eat in than eat out. Thus, I have racked up my fair share of Thai dishes (Cue the Thai Peanut Vegetable Dip, Spring Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce, and Vegetable Wontons).

As a lover of Thai food, Pad Thai is about as traditional as it gets! This is a delicious noodle dish, commonly served with bean sprouts, fried egg, crushed peanuts, and peanut flavors. I created my own tofu marinade to add to the pad Thai, in order to add some complete proteins to the meal. However, if you’re not a tofu fan, or want to save yourself a step, you can definitely leave the tofu out, or substitute it with tempeh!

I hope you like it as much as well did!

Happy cooking and come back soon!



Tofu Ingredients:

  • 1 block tofu (or Tempeh!)
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Bankok Peanut Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemon garlic spice mix
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

Pad Thai Ingredients:

  • ½ lb. dried rice noodles (width of linguine)
  • ¼ cup fresh lime sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons hot chile sauce
  • 2 teaspoons peanut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons peeled, minced fresh ginger
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and cut into narrow strips
  • 8 to 10 green onions, halved lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • 2 Tablesoons chopped dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1 lime sliced (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  1. Cut the tofu into small cubes and press the water out of the tofu. (Generally, I will place the tofu on a plate lined with paper towels, and then will use either several paper towels to press water out of the top, or a thin dish towel. It also can be smart to place paper towels over the tofu squares, and then place a plate on top to help apply pressure to the soaking process. The more water removed from the tofu, the crispier it is!)
  2. Once a significant amount of water has been removed, place the tofu in a large Tupperware, so that the chunks cover the bottom in one layer, combine the remaining tofu ingredients into a smooth marinade, and toss with the tofu. Allow the marinade to set while you prepare the pad thai.
  3. In a large bowl with warm water, soak the rice noodles for about 20 minutes, or until limp and white.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, sugar, chile sauce, and 1 Tablespoon of water.
  5. In a large wok or deep skillet, heat the olive oil on high heat. Stir fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add the carrot strips and green onions and stir fry for an additional minute.
  6. Drain the noodles. Add the lime juice and noodles to the wok. Toss with tongs until the noodles soften and curl.
  7. Add the sprouts and tofu, and sprinkle with peanuts, a slice of lime, and cilantro as desired. Serve and enjoy!



Notes and Tips!:

  • Adapted from: Vegetarian Times
  • Gluten free? Most rice noodles have flour in them, so if you want gluten free rice noodles, make sure to read the ingredient list!
  • Like this recipe? Try these other delicious dishes from A Rented Kitchen! (Recipe links found below!):

Baked Sesame Tofu Sticks with a Peanut Ginger Dipping Sauce



Well, it has been embarrassingly long since I have posted something for you all. It is not that I have not been cooking, I have been (believe you me!), but for some reason the ability to slow down and write about it has been challenging. Can I blame it on my last semester in college and the gazillion papers I have to write? Ug.

I found this recipe on pinterest (obvi), and despite not usually a huge tofu fan, was really intrigued by this flavor combination. As far as meat alternatives go, I have always found the consistency of tempeh to be much more appealing than that of tofu. However, when I saw this delicious combination I thought this was worth a try, and I’m so glad I did! By cutting the tofu into thin slices and baking it, the tofu gets a nice outer crisp. Then, the marinade and sauce make this dish absolutely scrumptious and impossible to put down! I had to stop myself from eating all of them in one sitting! Womp.

Whether or not you are a vegetarian, this dish makes for an excellent lunch, dinner, or appetizer. Throw these tofu strips on top of a salad, beside some asparagus and barley, or eat them like French fries- either way, I promise you can’t go wrong.

Happy cooking, and look forward to some more delicious recipes from A Rented Kitchen, coming your way soon!!!

Ps. It’s spring! That means strawberries, asparagus, avocados, and peaches coming your way!!! Horray!





  • 14 oz. firm or extra firm tofu
  • 4 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon peanut oil (or other high smoke-point oil)

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons soy sauce*
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 2-3 teaspoons agave nectar
  • 1-2 teaspoons Sriracha Sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger or grated fresh ginger root

Sauce Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger or grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 Tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 T Tahini Sauce (or if you don’t have Tahini, use 2 T more peanut butter)
  • 3 T soy sauce
  • 1-2  Tablespoons agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar (not seasoned rice vinegar, which contains sugar)
  • 3 Tablespoons water


  1. Remove tofu from packaging and cut in half lengthwise. Cover the tofu with a towel or a double layer of paper towels. Place a heavy object (like a bowl or a skillet) on top of the tofu and towels, and allow to sit for 10 minutes, pressing the water out of the tofu.
  2. Meanwhile, while the tofu is pressing, whisk together the marinade ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. After the tofu has pressed under a heavy object, cut the tofu into thin, long strips and continue pressing the water out with a towel. The more thoroughly you do this, the crispier your tofu will be, so I suggest taking your time with this step and removing as much water as possible!
  4. Arrange the tofu in a Tupperware and pour the marinade over top. Allow the tofu to soak for 20 minutes, occasionally flipping the Tupperware, so that all sides of the tofu are marinated.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400˚ F and brush a small baking sheet with peanut oil. Arrange the tofu strips in the pan and sprinkle each piece with sesame seeds. Carefully flip the tofu strips, and sprinkle the alternate side with sesame seeds as well.
  6. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes, flip the pieces, and bake for an additional 20 minutes.
  7. While the tofu is baking, combine the sauce ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Serve alongside the tofu.



Notes and Tips!:

  • Source: Kalyn’s Kitchen
  • Suggested serving: Hot, with the sauce, the day of preparation. However, these tofu sticks will keep for a few days in a covered container in the refrigerator!
  • If gluten free, make sure you use a gluten free soy sauce!
  • Like this dish? Try these other delicious option from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (Recipe links below):