Vegan Pad Woon Sen
Vegan pad woon sen is a quick saute noodle dish which is ideal for a meatless meal. This recipe consists of mung bean noodles, fresh vegetables and tofu. There are a lot of choices in terms of fresh vegetables for stir frying. My favorites veggies depend on season and availability. Cabbage, carrots, peppers, green beans and celery are staples in my kitchen based on their flexibility and availability. When I cook, I personally like to have different textures to give more complexity to each dish. I don’t like food to be too bland and boring. In this recipe, I use cabbage, baby corn, red peppers, tomatoes, celery, mushrooms and tofu. They provide crunchiness, softness and chewiness.
Last week was a big event with the Chinese-style vegan eating festival in Thailand. It called “Gin Jay” in Thai. There were many vendors selling vegan food everywhere. Gosh! They were so busy. Many restaurants and street stalls put vegan yellow signs that showed they had meatless food available. Thais seem to have a lot of interest in eating vegan during the festival. It’s more popular each and every year. Vegan pad woon sen and cabbage stew obviously were popular menu items for every merchant. However, this Chinese-style vegan diet has different rules about ingredients to prepare foods compared to the western interpretation. In this version, you can’t use garlic, chives or any kind of onions. Of course, alcohol drinking is not allowed during the festival. Garlic and onion are must-have elements for my home cooking. Well, a standard vegetarian version suits me just fine. I don’t have to be full vegan.
Vegan Pad Woon Sen Direction for 1-2 Servings
2 packages (200G) of mung bean noodle (soaked in water for 15-20 minutes and rinsed)
1 tbsp of chopped garlic
2 tbsp of diced onion
¼ cup of sliced red pepper
¼ cup of cut baby corn
¼ of of mushrooms
¼ cup of seared tofu
¼ cup of celery
¼ cup of tomatoes
½ cup of cut cabbage
1 tbsp of mushroom sauce
1 tsp of low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp of rice oil or coconut oil
– Add the oil to a medium sized skillet over medium high heat. Wait until the oil gets warm, then add the garlic and onion to fry in the oil for a couple minutes.
– Add the vegetables and tofu to the skillet, stir frying until the vegetables and tofu get softer.
– Put the mung bean noodle into the skillet.
– Season the noodles with soy sauce, mushroom sauce and sugar.
– Taste your food and adjust it to fit your palate.
– Keep stirring until everything is well blended for a couple minutes. Turn off the stove and transfer to a charming plate.
– Serve for lunch or dinner. Enjoy!
Vegan Pad Woon Sen Suggestions
Mung bean noodles are known as cellophane noodles, bean thread noodles and glass noodles. They are thin, long and transparent. The noodles are made from mung bean starch and water. They give a chewy consistency. When I cook the glass noodles for stir frying recipes, I usually soak them in water first for 15-20 minutes. The noodles will still give a charming consistency. However, if boiling the noodles before cooking, they will lose the chewiness. I typically like to use cellophane noodles for my Pad woon sen, woon sen pad Thai, yum woon sen and my noodle soups. There are many substitutes for mung bean noodles, such as vermicelli pasta, rice vermicelli and egg noodles. Don’t feel so stressed if you can’t find the exact noodles.
In general, pad woon sen is a dish to eat with rice among Thai people. Thais like to have everything with rice. I saw people had suki yaki with rice, various meatballs on sticks with rice and noodle soups. I personally like to eat this recipe as a noodle dish by itself. Well, whatever works, right?
There are many options to cook vegan Thai recipes at home. In general, Thai food is vegan and vegetarian-friendly cuisine. In addition, most meals are savory and flavorful. Many dishes are prepared with coconut milk instead of milk or cream, such as Thai soups and curry dishes. So, they are dairy-free as well. Luckily, most Thai restaurants are willing to modify your order for vegans or vegetarians based on your preferences.