Are you craving a pad Thai noodle salad? This vegan Thai Noodle Salad is a lighter, alternative to the popular Pad Thai. Filled with crunchy veggies and a fresh bright flavor.
We don’t often get to enjoy Thai food in restaurants because of the limited vegan, vegetarian, and Kosher options. Thai cuisine uses a lot of fish sauce and shrimp paste, so over the years, we’ve developed a few versions of our own. We wanted to recreate one of the most popular dishes with this recipe, and we love how the fresh and crispy veggies are paired with rice noodles and a citrusy peanut dressing. It’s our take on a Thai noodle salad recipe that is evocative of Pad Thai... Trust us, you’ll want to make it again and again!
Which Noodles to Use in Pad Thai Salad
We love the Explore Cuisine brand of red rice pad Thai noodles. They’re easy to cook and come out delicious every time! Pad Thai is usually made with rice noodles, but be sure to check your packaging if you’re sensitive to gluten just to make sure they’re safe.
Thai Noodle Salad Ingredients
This easy Thai salad recipe starts with red rice pad thai noodles cooked to perfection, drained, and rinsed. We included julienne carrots, spiralized zucchini, sprouts, and crumbled tofu for protein, then finished it all off with a citrusy peanut sauce for some heat and a burst of flavor! This easy Thai salad can also be served with our peanut sauce, which is always a crowd favorite.
- Pad Thai Noodles: are a delicious and gluten-free alternative to traditional wheat-based noodles. They're made with rice flour, and they are high in fiber.
- Extra firm tofu: is a great source of plant-based protein, and adds a meaty texture to this recipe.
- Carrots and zucchini add a crunchy texture and vibrant color to this dish. They're also a good source of vitamins and minerals.
- Scallions add a fresh and oniony flavor to this dish. They're also a good source of vitamin K.
- Soybean sprouts: add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to this dish. They're also a good source of protein and fiber.
- Chopped peanuts: add a crunchy texture and nutty flavor to this Thai noodle salad. They're also a source of protein and healthy fats.
- Lime Juice, Coconut Sugar, Tamari Sauce and Sambal Olek or Sriracha are combined to create a brightly flavored dressing for this noodle salad. The lime juice adds a refreshing acidity that balances the other flavors in the dish. Tamari sauce brings a savory and umami-rich taste, enhancing the overall depth of flavor. Coconut sugar brings a subtle sweetness, enhancing the overall taste profile. And if you're a fan of a little touch of heat Sambal Olek or Sriracha will provide a pleasant spiciness that complements the other ingredients. Together, these ingredients create a brightly flavored sauce that elevates the fresh ingredients of this Thai noodle salad.
Vegetarian Pad Thai Salad
We've added crumbled tofu for a boost of plant-based protein, feel free to personalize this Thai salad recipe by adding your protein of choice.
How to make Thai Noddle Salad
Start by cooking the Rice Pad Thai Noodles according to the instructions on the package. Once cooked, drain and give them a good rinse with cold water. Then, set them aside for later.
Grab a small bowl and whisk together the orange juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, and ginger until you have a smooth and well-combined mixture. This will be the flavorful dressing for our salad.
Time to heat things up! Take a large nonstick skillet and heat it over medium heat. Once hot, add the grated tofu along with the orange juice mixture we prepared earlier. Give everything a good mix to ensure the tofu is nicely coated with the flavors. Let it cook for about 15 minutes on medium-high heat, or until the tofu becomes drier and crumbly.
While the tofu is cooking, prepare the sauce. Grab a small bowl (yes, another one) and combine all the sauce ingredients together. Give it a good mix until everything is well incorporated. This sauce will add a delicious tangy touch to our dish.
Now it's time to bring it all together! In a large bowl, combine the cooked noodles, spiralized carrots and zucchini, sliced scallions, soybean sprouts, and cooked tofu. It's a colorful party in there! Once everything is in the bowl, pour the sauce over the top and give it a good toss. We want all the ingredients to be nicely coated with that flavorful sauce.
To add a delightful crunch and extra flavor, sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top of the salad. It's the perfect finishing touch!
This dish can be enjoyed cold or at room temperature. Serve it as a refreshing cold salad on a hot summer day or as a satisfying room-temperature dish. Either way, it's sure to be delicious.
How to Store This Thai Salad
This is a wonderful salad to make ahead. It can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days and still taste delicious! We love having it on hand as an easy side dish for dinner, a nutritious snack, or an easy lunch.
Other Vegan Thai Food Recipes
- Vegan Thai Lettuce Cups with Peanut Sauce
- Thai Green Papaya Salad
- Thai Style Soup
- Thai Coconut Soup
- Peanut Dressing
The Story Behind This Recipe
Having a great memory can be both a blessing and a curse. It has its disadvantages ( especially when it comes to arguments or bad/embarrassing things that have happened), but overall I think it is a good thing. It's almost like having a photo album of your life stuck in your head.
I remember the first time I had Chinese food (bad memory); the first time I had sushi (good at first, not so good afterward); the first time I had Thai food (great memory).
Let me talk about this one for a minute.
To be completely honest, for the life of me, I can't remember what I ate. At all. What I do remember, however, is that I was a teenager and I was in Israel visiting my sister. I took a month-long trip with some friends, and we had an incredible time. The highlight though was getting the chance to spend a few days with my sister, whom I hadn't seen in a long time. So that is the memory I associate with Thai food.
We don't get much of a chance to enjoy Thai food around here (not a lot of vegan/vegetarian/kosher options) so over the years we've come up with a few versions of our own. We wanted to recreate one of the most popular dishes with this recipe.
This gluten-free, vegan Pad Thai salad has Red Rice Noodles as a base. Slightly chewy, hearty, and made with organic red rice, these noodles are a delicious way to incorporate whole grains into your diet. Tossed with spiralized carrots. zucchini, sprouts, and crumbled tofu for an extra protein boost, and a citrusy spicy peanut sauce for some heat and a burst of flavor.
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Forget restaurant takeout! This Vegan Thai Noodle Salad is bright, light, savory, and nutty and it will remind you of the popular Thai dish, Pad Thai.
- 8 ounces Explore Cuisine Red Rice Pad Thai Noodles
- ½ cup orange juice
- 3 tbsp peanut butter
- 4 tsp tamari sauce
- 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
- 14oz extra firm tofu, grated or crumbled ( see note 1)
- 2 large carrots, spiralized
- 2 large zucchini, spiralized
- 1 cup shredded red cabbage
- 6 scallions, sliced
- ¾ cup soybean sprouts
- ½ cup chopped peanuts
- Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
- For the sauce:
- ⅓ cup lime juice
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar, you may use regular sugar or brown sugar, if not available.
- ⅓ cup tamari sauce or soy sauce, if not gluten-free
- ¼ tsp marinated chopped red cherry peppers, Sambal Olek, sriracha (optional for heat)
- Cook the Red rice Pad Thai noodles according to the package instructions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside
- In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, peanut butter, soy sauce, and ginger until smooth
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the grated tofu and the orange juice mixture. Mix well and cook for 15 minutes on medium-high heat or until is drier and crumbly. (See note 2)
- To prepare the sauce, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well
- To assemble the dish, combine the cooked noodles (see note 3), carrots, zucchini, cabbage scallions, sprouts, and cooked tofu in a large bowl. Add the sauce and toss well. Top with chopped peanuts. Can be served cold or at room temperature.
- Grating the tofu will give it a better texture for this dish, if you prefer not to grate it, crumble it into little tiny pieces.
- Tofu cooking time will depend on what tofu you are using and the amount of moisture in the tofu.
- If the Pad Thai noodles are stuck together after cooking run them through cold water.
Post originally published on June 3, 2020
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 20 mins
- Category: Entree
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Thai
- Serving Size: 2 cups
- Calories: 295
- Sugar: 15.7
- Sodium: 430
- Fat: 7
- Saturated Fat: 1.1
- Unsaturated Fat: 4.7
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 50
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 9.2
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: Pad Thai, vegan Pad Thai, Salad, how to make vegan Thai food