Wow!! I’m not going to lie; this post is way, way, way over due! I’m sorry BUT I’m also not sorry.
I’m sorry for taking forever to post this mind-blowing, game-changing vegan recipe that you MUST SHARE with all your friends!!!
However, I’m not sorry because while I was busy not posting this, I was working away on my cookbook!! The last 6 weeks have been filled with cookbookery (yes, that is now a word…) and I would not have had it any other way!
For three weeks straight, I baked my little heart out! It was 90°F most days, making my kitchen a straight up inferno…
Ben would walk in daily and say, “Oh my god! It’s hot in here!”
THANK YOU CAPTAIN OBVIOUS!!
I didn’t care though. I got to bake and cook all day, every day. I was happy as a clam.
And let it be known, out of 70 recipes, I only had to remake one!! Ha! It was a bundt cake done up in an epic Star Bundt Cake mold… and I forgot to grease the inside!!
Rookie mistake for sure.
Low and behold, the second time around I followed my very own directions to a T and the cake turned out beautifully!!
After weeks of preparing all the food, it finally came time to shoot!!
The shoot was thrilling and exhausting all at the same time! Who knew that you could adjust a fork just a smidgen or angle a cookie slightly differently and BAM, the entire composition of the photo has changed!!
It was a wild learning curve and we figured it out as we went along, making each day that much more exciting! I won’t say too much more but this, I’m extremely proud of what Shivyon and I came up with and I absolutely cannot wait to share the end results with you in the form of my very first cookbook!!!
I didn’t think it would be so easy to wrap up 6 weeks into a few blurbs but there you have it!!
P.s. If you want more RylieCakes action on the regular, just follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!! If I’m not blogging, I’m definitely posting all the highlights you want to see and more just right over there!
All right, on to the Best Ever Vegan Tofu Pad Thai...
EVER, EVER, EVER!!!
There are a few helpful hints to making this recipe but other than that, it’s a walk in the park!
1. Make the sauce first and let it sit for at least an hour if not overnight. This is the first step in the recipe but I am repeating it here because it makes or breaks rest of the recipe!!
The sauce will start to develop flavor as time goes on, the longer it sits, the better it gets!
Also on this note, if you don’t LOVE the flavor right away, don’t adjust it!! Let it sit for an hour, then taste it, and then add more salt, red pepper, garlic, or whatever as you see fit :)
2. Grilling tofu is super easy but if you’d rather skip this step or if you’re making this dish in winter, simply bake the tofu in a preheated oven set at 400°F for 30 minutes. Be sure to flip the tofu halfway through so it browns evenly on all sides.
3. I 100% know eggs are NOT vegan. I, however, chose to use eggs in this dish because we raise our own chickens and they are very much loved, spoiled, appreciated, and fed a fantastic diet!! Even our friends, who are vegan, who we were making this for, agreed that they’d eat our chickens’ eggs!!
All that being said, everyone is different! So make this dish fit your diet! If you don’t need this dish to be vegan, swap out the tofu for chicken and definitely throw in those eggs! They are so, so good!
Also, if you don’t need this dish to be vegan, regular fish sauce is far less expensive so I highly recommend going that route! Here is a link to the Vegan Fish Sauce I used. Both are awesome!
4. When cooking the noodles, be sure to add olive OIL to the water and not salt. A small amount of oil while cooking helps keep the starches from sticking to each other. This will keep your noodles, noodles rather than having one massive clump of gumminess :/
5. Immediately after straining the noodles, throw them in the sauce bowl and toss, toss, toss!! If you want more sauce, use the 1-cup I recommended you reserve! If you don’t want more sauce, that leftover 1-cup can be used as a veggie dip (OMG it is so good with fresh cucumbers!!), in lettuce wraps, on sandwiches, in Asian-inspired tacos, you get the gist, it is amazing with just about everything!
Okay, it's been way too long, go get to cooking up some RylieCakes' delights!! Whomever you live with and/or invite over will be talking about this meal forever and ever, it is THAT good!!
Lick the bowl – You Only Live Once,
The Best Ever Vegan Tofu Pad Thai
(Yield: 6 heaping servings)
1# extra firm tofu, cut into 8 even slabs
2 Tbsp Sun Coco Oil
3 eggs (optional, leave out if going vegan)
5 oz red onion, thinly sliced
1 can (14 oz) bean sprouts, drained
16 oz rice noodles
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 oz spinach
3 oz green onions, diagonally sliced plus more for topping
1.5 oz cilantro, roughly chopped plus more for topping
10 oz ketchup
4.5 oz fish sauce (be sure to use vegan fish sauce if going vegan)
3.75 oz sugar
2 Tbsp minced garlic
12.5 oz peanut butter
3 Tbsp lime juice
2 Tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp GF soy sauce
1 tsp black pepper
Combine all ingredients from “Sauce” together in a medium bowl, whisk thoroughly, and refrigerate for at least 1hr. I like to do mine overnight when possible! The point here is to get the flavors to meld! After no less than an hour, you can remove the sauce from the fridge, taste test, and adjust as you see fit.
Press tofu in-between paper towels to remove extra moisture. Do this several times over before cutting. When ready, cut tofu into 8 even slabs. Again, pat dry with paper towel on both sides to remove moisture.
Once cut and dried, place 4 oz of Sauce in the bottom of an 8x8” baking pan. Then place the tofu down on top of the Sauce in two rows of four. Lastly, spread 1 Tbsp of sauce on top of each piece of tofu (see pictures above). Refrigerate for 30 minutes while prepping the Pad Thai ingredients.
Also at this point, remove 1-cup of remaining Sauce and set to the side (this can be used for a later date or added on to anyone’s dish who wants more sauce). Keep the rest of the Sauce in its medium bowl, as you will add the noodles straight to it in Step #10.
Preheat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 Tbsp of Sun Coco Oil and then crack eggs over oil. Allow eggs to fry for about a minute until the eggs start to turn white against the pan. Then, using a spatula, break up the yolks and whites by slashing them horizontally and vertically. Immediately add onion slices and bean sprouts and mix everything together.
Fry entire mixture for another two minutes, onions and bean sprouts should be heated through and slightly transparent, yolks should be fully cooked. Turn heat off and add spinach, stir until spinach has wilted. Set aside while grilling tofu.
Get your grill going on high and place tofu on wooden and/or metal skewers. When your grill is ready, brush some oil on your grill and then place tofu on top. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side. While grilling, continue to Step #8.
While tofu is on the grill, bring 4 QTs water with 2 Tbsp of olive oil to a boil in a large stockpot.
Add noodles and boil for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to break noodles up – TURN HEAT OFF. Let noodles sit for additional 3 minutes in water, stirring occasionally. Taste test quickly to make sure noodles are the consistency you prefer and then drain them immediately with a strainer.
Place warm noodles directly in Sauce bowl right away after straining. Add entire stir fry mixture from saucepan, scallions, and cilantro. Using tongs, thoroughly mix together all ingredients.
Portion into serving bowls; top each serving with a slab of grilled tofu and plenty of fresh herbs!
Go back for seconds :)