Rice Noodles with Silken Tofu (Vegan Rad Na)

Like this recipe? You’ll love my online Thai cooking class inspired by David Thompson!

Vegan Rad Na - Vegetarian Rad Na - Tofu Rad Na - Thai Rice Noodles with Silken Tofu

Rad na (also written raat na or rad nar), literally meaning ‘topping’, is a classic Thai dish of Chinese origin. Stir-fried wide rice noodles (hor fun in Chinese) are served with a topping of gai lan and meat, seafood or tofu and a sauce thickened with tapioca starch. I love the silken tofu in this vegetarian rad na, it’s such a great carrier for all the other flavours. Spoon in large pieces and stir it gently to just warm through as it looks best if it isn’t broken up too much. This vegan rad na is inspired by David Thompson, who suggests adding some blanched baby corn if you can find it fresh. Try it with a glass of See Saw organic pinot gris from Orange (NSW) a deliciously aromatic wine with a touch of spice and citrus, great with southeast Asian food. 

Serves 2 as part of a meal

  • 150g silken tofu
  • 250g rice noodle sheets (hor fun)
  • ½ bunch gai lan
  • ½ teaspoon tapioca starch
  • ⅓ cup garlic oil or vegetable oil
  • Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • Pinch galangal powder
  • 2 teaspoons sweet dark soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons deep-fried garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Garlic & Ginger Paste (see below)
  • 2 tablespoons yellow bean sauce, or less to taste
  • ½ cup water
  • Good pinch ginger powder
  • Good pinch castor sugar, plus extra for serving
  • Good pinch roasted chilli powder, plus extra for serving (see video below)
  • Fish sauce or soy sauce, for serving
  • ½ long red chilli, mixed with 1 tablespoon white distilled vinegar


To make Garlic & Ginger Paste: pound 3 cloves garlic, 1 thin slice peeled ginger, 1 coriander root and a pinch of salt flakes together.

  1. Remove tofu from fridge at least 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.
  2. Cut rice noodle into 1cm-wide strips and place in a large bowl.
  3. Cover with boiling water and set aside for about 3 minutes to loosen.
  4. Drain, pull apart into thin strips and set aside.
  5. Separate gai lan leaves and thin stems and finely slice the thicker stems on the diagonal.
  6. Add stems to boiling salted water and cook for 30 seconds, add leaves and cook for a further minute. Strain, refresh in iced water, drain well, chop roughly and set aside.
  7. Mix tapioca starch with 1½ teaspoons cold water. Set aside.
  8. Heat a wok over high heat until smoking.
  9. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic oil then the noodles and toss for a minute or so.
  10. Add a grind of pepper and a pinch of galangal powder.
  11. Drizzle in the soy sauce and continue tossing for a further minute or so, until dark and aromatic.
  12. Transfer to a bowl with half the deep-fried garlic, add ½ a teaspoon of sesame oil and toss to combine well.
  13. Place in a serving bowl, cover to keep warm and set aside.
  14. Heat remaining garlic oil in a wok over medium heat.
  15. Add garlic & ginger paste and stir-fry for 30-60 seconds, just until it turns golden.
  16. Add yellow bean sauce, increase heat and stir for a few seconds.
  17. Add water and bring to the boil.
  18. Reduce heat to medium, add tapioca slurry and stir for a further 30 seconds or so.
  19. Add remaining ½ teaspoon of sesame oil, a good grind of pepper and a good pinch each of ginger powder, sugar and roasted chilli powder.
  20. Taste to ensure it’s well-rounded and not too salty. Add a splash of water if the sauce is too thick or salty, it should have a light coating consistency.
  21. Add gai lan and toss to heat through.
  22. Spoon in the tofu in large pieces and stir just enough to warm through without breaking it up.
  23. Spoon over the noodles.
  24. Sprinkle with remaining deep-fried garlic.
  25. Serve tofu rad na with sugar, fish sauce or soy sauce, chilli powder and chopped chilli in vinegar on the side.

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How To Make Roasted Chilli Powder

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