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How To Make The Best (& We Mean Best) Plant-Based Thai Noodles

Jet Tila
James Beard–nominated chef
By Jet Tila
James Beard–nominated chef
Jet Tila is a James Beard–nominated chef, television personality, and author.
Image by Ken Goodman / Ken Goodman
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January 25, 2022

Traditional Thai monks are plant-based eaters, so vegan dishes are nothing new to Thai food. The lack of eggs in this version of pad see ew will make the pan a little sticky, so get your pan very hot and keep the food moving. Don't be scared to scrape bits off the pan as the tofu and noodles are browning so they don't burn.

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Vegan Pad See Ew (Pad See Ew Jay)

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp Chinese sweet soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 3 tbsp vegetarian fish sauce or Thai soybean sauce
  • 1 tbsp white sugar (editor's note: you can swap in monk fruit sweetener instead, if preferred)
  • 3 tbsp canola or other high-temperature cooking oil (editor's note: we prefer avocado oil)
  • 4 oz firm, unseasoned vacuum-packed tofu, sliced thin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups broccoli florets
  • 4 cups fresh rice noodles
  • ½ tsp white pepper

Method

  1. Combine the Chinese sweet soy sauce, vegetarian oyster sauce, vegetarian fish sauce, and sugar in a small bowl, mixing well to dissolve the sugar. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil over high heat in a large skillet for about 1 minute. When you see the first wisps of white smoke, add the tofu and garlic and sauté for about 1 minute, or until the exterior of the tofu is lightly browned on the edges. Make sure to scrape any bits off the pan before they burn.
  3. Add the broccoli and noodles, tossing them constantly until the edges of the noodles begin to brown and the broccoli starts to turn dark green, 1 to 2 minutes.
  4. Add the sauce and stir constantly to combine for about 3 minutes, until the noodles soak up the sauce and start to crisp slightly on the edges.
  5. Sprinkle with white pepper and serve immediately.
Reprinted with permission from 101 Thai Dishes You Need To Cook Before You Die by Jet Tila and Tad Weyland Fukumoto, Page Street Publishing, Co. © 2022. Photo credit: Ken Goodman.
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Jet Tila
Jet Tila
James Beard–nominated chef

Jet Tila is a James Beard–nominated chef. He’s made appearances as a celebrity chef on Iron Chef America, The Best Thing I Ever Ate, Cutthroat Kitchen and more. Jet is culinary VP of the Pei-Wei Restaurant Group and co-owns Dragon Tiger Noodle Co. in Las Vegas. Jet grew up helping at his family’s famed Bangkok Market―the first Thai market in the United States. He is also the Culinary Ambassador of Thai Cuisine. He lives in Los Angeles.