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Vegetarian Pad Thai

vegetarian and gluten free pad thai

This Pad Thai is one of my family’s favorite dishes.  Add a heap of grilled chicken or sea food and you have a delicious high protein meal.

I purchase my noodles at the Asian market in town and haven’t seen them online.  If you are looking for noodles, you’ll need to check out the Asian markets in your neck of the woods.  If anyone knows of a good source for mung bean noodles that would be accessible to everyone (think Whole Foods or perhaps an online retailer) by all means, leave a comment.

Vegetarian Pad Thai


  1. Bring water for noodles to boil in a large pot
  2. Cook noodles according to instructions on package, then drain and set aside
  3. In a large skillet, heat olive oil, then add onion
  4. Saute onions for 10-15 minutes, over medium-low heat until lightly browned
  5. Add broccoli and ¼ cup water
  6. Cover pan and saute 5 minutes or so until broccoli turns bright green and begins to soften
  7. Stir in garlic and salt
  8. Then stir in sesame oil, agave and ume vinegar
  9. In a small bowl, combine arrowroot and 1 tablespoon water, stirring vigorously to make a paste without any lumps
  10. Pour the paste over the broccoli and mix quickly and vigorously to loosen any of the mixture that sticks to the bottom of the pan
  11. Place noodles on individual plates, then top with broccoli mixture
  12. Garnish with scallions, cilantro and peanuts

Top with your favorite protein: chicken, seafood, tofu, etc.

Serves 4

This is a great dish winter, spring, summer or fall.  I hope you enjoy it.

We’re back in full swing with baseball.  My older son is playing on the All-Star Team again so I’ll be baking dozens of cookies and brownies in the next 6-8 weeks for their tournaments and having quite a few late night dinners after their 6:00 PM practices.  I’m not complaining though, it’s so much fun to sit outside in the evening and watch him play.  A fabulous way to spend summer nights!

posted on June 24, 2009, 33 comments

  1. I love to sautee broccoli! It’s always so delicioius!

  2. Karen

    Lovely looking recipe!!
    Eden Foods have mung bean noodles here – http://www.edenfoods.com/store/product_details.php?products_id=108460

  3. Hannah

    Elana, I have to admit I didn’t even know about these noodles. I’m so excited to find/order them. I don’t do well with grains but have brown rice noodles once a week to keep my pasta urges satisfied. I was just talking with you to my husbandd, we were remembering when I was trying to make your bread the first few times and how sweet you were to e-mail and try to help me figure it out. Since then I have been able to let so many people know about your site and I am so happy to see how well it is going and how many visitors you have. Hannah

  4. While not mung bean noodles, Trader Joes has tasty rice noodles that are gluten free that I have used in many a Thai dish.

  5. Tamara

    Kelp noodles! I am grain and bean free so these noodles have been a blessing.


    google it and you will see some online retailers, i can get them though my co-op.

    Here is one source –

    I have warmed them up in a tomato sauce and also in coconut milk in a thai style dish.

  6. gfe-gluten free easily @ glutenfreeeasily.com

    Beautiful dish, Elana! I’m quite fond of the Asian noodles. Asian stores can be such a great resource for us, and at much lower cost usually, too.

    Have fun at all the baseball games and good luck to your son and his team! :-)


  7. Holly

    Hmmm, I can easily find mung bean noodles in my town, but I’ve never tried Kelp Noodles. Mung Bean noodles are tasty for sure, but they don’t agree with me. I want to try some kelp noodles!

    Pad Thai is in my top five favorite dishes. I can’t wait to try this version.


  8. Elena

    I’m SO incredibly excited about this recipe. Living in Thailand is hard to stay Gluten free with all the incredibly yummy dishes that this country offers. Thanks for this recipe – using agave nectar in the sauce is brilliant. Here, they serve the Pad Thai with a little heap of sugar on the side.

    Did a little research, and in Thailand mung bean noodles are called glass noodles and are usually used in their spring rolls. Easy to find here and so doable.

    Again, many thanks – first time I comment, but I have followed for awhile and I absolutely love your recipes, made the orange cake for my office – no one could believe it was grain free. I, too, suffer from MS – and also, have changed my diet and included strength training – I can’t believe the amazing difference it does. Keep the fantastic yummy recipes coming – your brilliant! :)

  9. Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen @ meghantelpnerblog.com

    I have never heard of mung bean noodles. This looks delicious. I bet a raw version would be delicious with kelp noodles.

  10. Stacie K

    Oh, we love Pad Thai! There’s a local restaurant that makes a yummy Gluten-Free Pad Thai, but homemade is always best-and I’m sure yours is amazing! Here is a link to Eden brand mung bean (cellophane) noodles on Amazon with free shipping. These look like they might be the “thread” noodle rather than the flat “pad thai” noodle, but we like both really well. Bean thread noodles are great for soaking up a good curry broth. I agree with Elana that you can’t beat the price of a local Asian market for these noodles. Thanks Elana!!

  11. Jenny L.

    As Stacie just commented, most of the time they are called “bean thread” noodles, but the ones I get are a much thinner version than what it looks like Elana used. I get them from the Asian store now because they are cheaper, but I have also found them at our local Publix here in Florida. Elana’s recipe looks yummy – can’t wait to try it.

  12. Caroline

    I also live in Boulder. What store do you get the noodles from?

    Thanks for all the delicious and healthy recipes!

  13. Joey

    I made this for lunch using Gluten Free Spaghetti noodles. This was very good and I just loved it. Thanks Elana for the great recipe.

  14. Amy Green/Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free @ simplysugarandglutenfree.blogspot.com

    I have never used ume vinegar but am going to look into it. We love stir-fry and I’m always excited to try a new recipe. I usually blanch my veggies, drop them in ice water, and then stir-fry them. It takes some time but they’re so crisp and cooked just enough.

  15. Thanks for your lovely comments everyone, especially the noodle substitutions and suggestions!

  16. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I haven’t had Pad Thai in so long for fear of hidden gluten lurking in a restaurant.

    My boyfriend and I made this over the weekend and it turned out wonderfully. We substituted Thai Kitchen rice noodles for the mung bean noodles and added tofu. Delish!

  17. Rachel @ bb4wa.com

    I made this tonight for a dinner party with my son, dil, chiropractor and his wife. OMG, I cannot say it enough – it was so delicious. The sounds we were all making as we ate it and everybody wishing we had tripled the recipe. I had doubled it and it was enough for everybody but it was so yummy that they all wanted more! But we fed them fresh fruit and rice dream for dessert so they were okay! Thanks for this recipe, Elana. I will be making it again and again.

  18. Karen

    Great recipe! I used half broccoli and half asparagus, and served over (gluten free)shirataki fettucini-style noodles, which are made from yam flour and tofu.

    To use, drain & rinse noodles well, then microwave or parboil them for one minute to neutralize the slightly fishy aroma of the packaging liquid. They will then taste neutral, and absorb the flavor of whatever sauce you use.

  19. I spotted Mung bean noodles in the asian food section in Kroger (a chain in NC). They were priced very reasonably! They look different than yours though–much thinner. I’ll try ‘em in this dish and report back!

  20. Mindy

    These noodles are also called “Sai fun” noodles. I found them at my local Walmart for about $1.50!

  21. Danielle

    These are the best mung bean noodles!


    (Explore Asian Mung Bean Fettuchini)

  22. Looks great! Yet another “never heard of mung bean noodles” here. Do they HAVE to be cooked or do you think they can be eaten raw after rinsing and soaking like the kelp noodles? Thanks!

  23. michaelk @ zensquared.com

    I use Dynasty SaiFun Bean Threads Noodles, 5.29-Ounce Bags

    You can buy them from AMAZON.com (Pack of 12) for $18.28 + $7.91 shipping.

    I purchase them locally (Chicago)for $1.29 per bag.

  24. Mindy P

    Just wondering what the arrowroot powder was for (and what the heck it is)? Is it more just for thickening? I couldn’t find it at the market I shop at which has lots of other hard to find GF flours. Can I substitute something else I may have laying around?

    Thanks! Looking forward to trying this!

  25. Jill Johnson

    After literally YEARS of Pad Thai trial and errors, this recipe WORKS! Thanks so much! No need to look further! So simple and so delicious.

  26. Anastasia@healthymamainfo.com @ healthymamainfo.com

    Amazing recipe! me and my family enjoyed this meal so much!

  27. Wayne Strunk @ personalcare.hq15.com

    I believe this is a actual great weblog. Really Great.

  28. Janeece Vanwinkle

    There is a coop coming out of Oregon that delivers monthly and you can order on their website. A lot of the products recommended on this website can be purchased very affordably. It’s called Azure Standard…check it out on line…happy shopping

  29. Gideon

    Aren’t mung bean noodles also known as cellophane noodles?

  30. Jenn

    I tried this a while ago and loved it, but now having moved to Canada and finding I can’t have sesame or peanuts… I don’t know what to do! I can’t find ume plum vinegar in my area, so I’m not sure what to sub for the vinegar and sesame oil! :(

  31. Tana

    Found this recipe on your site at least a year ago and have made it almost weekly ever since. My whole family loves it. Thanks, Elana!

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Comments are greatly appreciated! Unfortunately Elana is not able to answer substitution questions, as the only way to know if something works is to test it, and she does not provide this service. If you have a substitution question, please don't hesitate to leave a comment here, and another reader may jump in to answer. ↑ back to top