Kitchen Sink Pad Thai

Kitchen Sink Pad Thai Recipe

This tofu Pad Thai recipe is full of crunchy, vibrant vegetables, smothered in creamy peanut sauce, and bursting with flavor from sesame oil, lime, ginger, and basil. You can replace any of the vegetables in this recipe with what you have, hence the kitchen sink label. Apart from the cabbage, green onions, and ginger, I used the vegetables I found in the fridge. I believe that baby corn is a highly divisive vegetable (please weigh in with your thoughts on baby corn in the comments!), but I couldn’t resist. As you may have realized by now, everything about this dish is completely inauthentic. Maybe it’s no longer Pad Thai with the addition of peanut sauce, and chopsticks aren’t typically used in Thailand, but it’s still delicious.

Vegan Pad Thai Recipe

How to make perfect crispy tofu

I’ve had a lot of problems pan frying tofu in the past, resulting in soft, wiggly tofus with no crispy edges to be found. Isa wrote a great post on perfectly browned tofu over on the PPK blog, so check that out for some in-depth tofu know-how. The CliffNotes: use extra firm tofu, a metal spatula, and a hot, cast iron pan. Wait a few minutes before flipping the tofu so it forms a nice crispy skin. Ew, skin. A nice crispy exterior.

I’ve listed the recipe steps in the most efficient order. You’ll be working on each part of the dish simultaneously, but you won’t be watching the veggies get cold as the noodles cook. The tofu and marinade can be made ahead of time, but I made everything in short time with minimal waiting, so it can be done.

Kitchen Sink Pad Thai Recipe

Get the recipe:

Kitchen Sink Pad Thai
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Tofu Pad Thai recipe with peanut sauce
Recipe type: Entree, Main
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian, Thai
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 lb block extra firm tofu
  • 5-6 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4-5 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • Sriracha to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Peanut sauce:
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1/3-1/2 cup coconut (canned) or other non-dairy milk
  • Sriracha to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh basil (optional)
Veggies and noodles:
  • 1/2 lb rice noodles
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets
  • 4-5 green onions, sliced (save some for garnish)
  • 1/2 small red cabbage, sliced or shredded (save some for garnish)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can baby corn
  • Fresh basil
  • Lime juice
  • Garnish
  • Sliced green onions
  • Shredded cabbage
  • Basil leaves
  • Lime slices
  • Toasted sesame seeds or peanuts (optional)
For the tofu:
  1. Press tofu for at least 30 minutes. Start chopping veggies during this time.
  2. Make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together in a small bowl. Slice the tofu into cubes or triangles, then pour the marinade over the tofu. Let the marinade soak into the tofu for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Prepare the peanut sauce by mixing all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  4. If you haven't already, finish chopping the veggies while the tofu marinades.
  5. Start boiling a pot of water for the noodles. Remove the tofu from the marinade and reserve the marinade.
  6. Prepare to cook the tofu in a wok, or large cast iron or frying pan. Coat the pan in a thin layer of peanut or vegetable oil and turn the heat to medium high.
  7. Add the tofu to the pan, careful not to burn yourself with oil splashes.
  8. Pan fry the tofu for 4-5 minutes on each side, flipping with a metal spatula, until crispy and golden. Transfer to a plate.
For the veggies and noodles:
  1. Add the noodles to the boiling pot of water. Cook according to package directions.
  2. Stir fry the veggies while the noodles cook.
  3. Drain the cooked noodles, and pour the reserved tofu marinade over them. If the marinade doesn't coat the noodles, add a few splashes of sesame oil, lime juice, or soy sauce.
  4. Pour a bit more oil in the pan, turn up the heat a little, and start stir frying the vegetables, starting with the onions.
  5. Once the onions begin to turn golden, add the celery, broccoli, green onions, cabbage, and garlic. De-glaze the pan with lime juice if necessary.
  6. Stir fry until all the vegetables are soft and almost cooked through. Add the baby corn, then stir fry for one more minute.
  7. Turn off the heat and stir in fresh basil.
  1. Place a scoop of noodles on the plate and top with a couple scoops of veggies.
  2. Place a few pieces of tofu on top.
  3. Drizzle some peanut sauce over the veggies and tofu.
  4. Garnish with sliced green onions, shredded cabbage, and basil leaves.
  5. Squeeze a bit of lime on top and sprinkle with peanuts or sesame seeds, if using.

Cucumber vodka cocktail

I paired this dish with a simple cocktail of homemade cucumber vodka and ginger ale.

I make some variation of this dish at least once a week. What are your go-to weeknight meals?

Kelly Peloza is the blogger and photographer at Seitan Beats Your Meat, and the author of two vegan cookbooks: The Vegan Cookie Connoisseur, and Cheers to Vegan Sweets.

She lives in Chicago and runs a photography business called Kelly Peloza Photo.

4 Replies to “Kitchen Sink Pad Thai”

  1. […] View Recipe Ingredients & Preparation Instructions […]

  2. […] been drinking the cucumber vodka with ginger ale and club soda, but it is also great in a flavorful mixed drink, like this cucumber […]

  3. I made this recipe last week, and it was absolutely delicious! I wrote a post about it on my blog, I’d love it if you could check it out. Thanks. 🙂

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