Vegan Pumpkin Tofu Pad Thai

With fresh ingredients — and one that you may have never even heard of before — this pad thai balances bold flavors without being heavy-handed. Soy sauce or tamari lays a salty, savory foundation, while brown sugar, vinegar and a new-to-us protein add both a satisfying texture and unifying flavor to all of it.

We first tried Foodies Vegan’s Pumfu (a tofu substitute made of pumpkin seeds) a week before writing this up and had the eureka moment when describing its flavors: It’s slightly nutty but also fully takes on the tastes of marinades and sauces as well.

So what has a delicious sauce and is made even better with a nutty flavor added in? Pad thai of course.

Fresh produce makes all the difference in this recipe and is the key to balancing textures and flavors. There’s nothing quite like the crunch of bean sprouts and the unmistakable peppery hints of fresh cilantro next to chewy noodles and fresh spritzes of lime juice. Note that this doesn’t have any sort of spiciness as the recipe is written. If you choose to add some heat, red pepper flakes or sriracha in the sauce to taste would be the spot to do it.


  1. Cook noodles according to directions.
  2. Add first portion of soy sauce/tamari, brown sugar, vinegar and lime juice to small mixing bowl. Stir well.
  3. Place Pumfu in large mixing bowl and break apart into bite-sized chunks with fork.
  4. Add second portion of soy sauce/tamari to Pumfu and mix gently to coat.
  5. Dust cornstarch on Pumfu and toss gently to coat.
  6. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat cooking oil over medium high heat.
  7. Once oil is shimmering, add Pumfu and saute until golden brown.
  8. Use slotted spoon to remove Pumfu and let rest on paper towel-lined plate.
  9. Add sesame oil in same skillet/wok and turn heat down to medium. (Add neutral cooking oil as necessary to coat bottom of the pan.)
  10. Once oil is shimmering, add garlic and stir until fragrant, around 3 minutes.
  11. Add peppers and carrots and saute.
  12. After two or so minutes, add noodles. The vegetables should still be crunchy..
  13. Once noodles have been broken up and stirred in, add sauce and continue to saute for another few minutes.
  14. Plate noodles and veg in a bowl and garnish with chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro leaves and bean sprouts. Squeeze extra lime juice over top if desired.

Recipe Credit

Ella’s Harvest is a project simply to live simply and to cause no unnecessary harm. We strive to make delicious plant-based recipes accessible while growing our own food and help fellow vegans and those transitioning to the lifestyle. Follow us on Instagram @ellas_harvest or visit us on the site