Vegan Pumfu Pad Thai Recipe
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 pack Pumfu
3 servings pad thai noodles
8 tbsp low sodium soy sauce/tamari, split in two portions
3 tbsp organic brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp fresh-squeezed lime juice
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp sesame oil
2 ½ tbsp neutral cooking oil
2 carrots, julienned
Bean sprouts to garnish (one handful)
Chopped peanuts to garnish
Cilantro to garnish
- Cook noodles according to directions.
- Add first portion of soy sauce/tamari, brown sugar, vinegar and lime juice to small mixing bowl. Stir well.
- Place Pumfu in large mixing bowl and break apart into bite-sized chunks with fork.
- Add second portion of soy sauce/tamari to Pumfu and mix gently to coat.
- Dust cornstarch on Pumfu and toss gently to coat.
- In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat cooking oil over medium high heat.
- Once oil is shimmering, add Pumfu and saute until golden brown.
- Use slotted spoon to remove Pumfu and let rest on paper towel-lined plate.
- 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.)
- Once oil is shimmering, add garlic and stir until fragrant, around 3 minutes.
- Add peppers and carrots and saute.
- After two or so minutes, add noodles. The vegetables should still be crunchy..
- Once noodles have been broken up and stirred in, add sauce and continue to saute for another few minutes.
- 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.
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 ellasharvest.com.
Vegan Gnocchi with Balsamic Mushroom Sauce
Vegan food is more than nutritional yeast. Create a wonderful depth of flavor in a single, satisfying entree: Earthiness from the mushroom, piquant sweet from a balsamic reduction and a clean, sharp finish from roasted tomato.
If you can, take the time to make the gnocchi at home. It does extend the prep time to this recipe, obviously, but having gnocchi that aren’t the texture of pencil erasers elevates this dish beyond.
A quick thing before we get into the details: This recipe also calls for a balsamic vinegar reduction. If you do not have any on hand, all it takes is gently simmering balsamic vinegar until it’s reduced to about half its original volume. The reduction is anything but single use, too. Drizzle it on salad, bread, granita or sandwiches as a fantastic way to give your other dishes a little extra flavor.
2 tbsp vegan butter (or olive oil)
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ lb vegan sausage, sliced (optional)
1 tsp soy sauce/tamari (optional)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar reduction
½ tsp unrefined/organic granulated sugar
1 ½ cup vegetable broth
Black pepper to taste
For Roasted Tomatoes
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced in half
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 425º F (218º C)
- Coat halved Romas in olive oil and place cut-side up on foil-lined baking tray
- Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and place in oven for about 25 minutes or until desired.
- While tomatoes are roasting, melt vegan butter in large saute pan over medium high heat.
- Add onion and garlic.
- Add mushrooms once onions sweat and garlic becomes fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Pour soy sauce/tamari over mixture.
- Add vegan sausage, if using.
- Once sausage is browned, add flour and stir to coat.
- Pour balsamic reduction over all ingredients in the pan.
- Pour stock in slowly while stirring mixture.
- Once all stock is incorporated and you have a thick sauce, add sugar and black pepper to taste.
- Reduce heat to low and cover.
- Cook gnocchi according to recipe/package directions and plate.
- Spoon or ladle sauce on top of gnocchi and top with two Roma tomato halves.
- Drizzle more balsamic reduction if desired. Serve immediately.