This month, V for Life (VfL) shares the recipe guide to a delicious Pad Thai, bound to be a hit amongst your residents.

Since there are only two fully vegetarian care homes in the UK, one of VfL’s major goals is improve the standard of vegan and vegetarian catering in existing homes. We seek to do this through our UK List, which is a geographical listing of organisations and care homes that make a special effort to cater for vegetarians and vegans. We are striving towards a vision where at least 1 in every 6 UK care homes are members of our UK List – and 1 in every 100 will be VfL accredited.

Pad Thai is one of the most popular dishes in Thailand, which is where its name is derived. Pad – stir fried and Thai – Thailand. Served as a street food for hungry shoppers, as a family dish using up whatever is in or fancy versions in posh restaurants, but most importantly, it’s tasty and nutritious.


Flat rice noodles for 4 portions
1 tbsp vegetable oil
200g/7oz firm tofu cut in large squares or 200g/7oz Vegan Quorn pieces
1 onion, sliced
4 spring onions, chopped. Reserve some of the green for garnish
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ tsp star anise (or Chinese 5 spice)
1 carrot, cut into ribbons (peeled)
1 red pepper, sliced
1 yellow pepper, sliced
100g/4½oz broccoli florets
50g/1¾oz peas
125g/4½oz bean sprouts
25g/¾oz chopped peanuts
1 tbsp fresh coriander, roughly chopped
1 lime, zested and cut into wedges


1 tbsp soya sauce
1 tsp brown sugar
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce
¼ tsp star anise powder (or Chinese 5 spice)
1 tbsp peanut butter
200 ml/7fl oz vegetable stock
1 tsp sesame oil

*This will serve four people


  1. Place the rice noodles into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to soften for 10 minutes then thoroughly drain. Set to one side.
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a wok or large non-stick frying pan then add either the tofu or Quorn. If using tofu cook very gently for 10 minutes turning only once. Just before removing from the pan splash a little soya sauce and chilli sauce on each piece. Remove from the pan and set to one side.
  3. Add a little more oil to the wok and then add the onion, spring onion and ginger. Cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic, star anise, carrot, pepper and broccoli. Stir-fry for 5 minutes. If a little dry add a splash of the stock.
  4. Add the noodles, peas and all of the remaining sauce ingredients. Carefully add the tofu or Quorn and gently stir to make sure the sauce is distributed evenly.
  5. Finally, add the bean sprouts, and a squeeze of half the lime and the zest, stir once and serve. Garnish with the reserved spring onions, chopped peanuts, fresh coriander and the remaining wedges of lime.

CHEF’S TIP: Prepare everything before you start cooking. Cooking time is relatively short. Do be wary of buying premade Pad Thai sauce, often they contain fish or shrimp.