Vegan Thai basil noodles with crunchy kale is an easy, fast, flavourful, veggie-loaded, and healthy dinner with simple ingredients. The direct inspiration point for this dish is Pad Kee Mao. In this vegan recipe, I do not use meat or fish sauce. The high heat cooking method, sauce treatment, and flavour profile is inspired by this traditional dish.
Ease, simplicity, and big flavour are all the name of the game with these vegan Thai basil noodles with crunchy kale. We make a basic noodle stir fry with lots of chilies and garlic, add a bunch of nicely cut vegetables, and then we shower the bowls with crunchy, garlicky, sesame-flecked kale. So much flavour and texture. All ready in 30 minutes!
The inspiration point for this dish is Pad Kee Mao, sometimes referred to as drunken noodles because they are enjoyed after a night of drinking. The typical flavours involved include: garlic, chili, soy sauce, galangal, and either Thai or holy basil. Because I’m vegan, I didn’t opt for meat or fish sauce in my version and crunchy kale on top is definitely not typical! But the high heat cooking method and sauce treatment is inspired by this traditional dish. You can read more about it here.
I’m spending less time on social media and streamlining my cooking in a big way lately. Some of these changes will definitely be reflected here for at least a little while (bye for now weekend drink/links posts). I’m a person first, and I always maintain that you have to make space to FEEL the light inside of yourself before you can pass it on to others. Time to cultivate that light with a bit more focus.
Love you all. Hope you get a chance to make this recipe :)
Vegan Thai Basil Noodles with Crunchy Kale
- 2 cups chopped kale, packed
- 1 ½ tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons sesame seeds, plus extra
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- sea salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- 6 ounces 170 grams brown rice noodles
- ¼ cup gluten-free tamari soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons filtered water
- 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup or agave nectar
- 1 red hot chili, finely minced (use more or less to taste–this had some heat)
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 1 bell pepper, cut into strips
- 1 ½ cups chopped green beans
- ¾ cup Thai basil leaves
- chili-infused oil, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, massage the kale with ½ tablespoon of the avocado oil, sesame seeds, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Once the kale is thoroughly coated and slightly softened, spread it out on the baking sheet in a single layer.
- Bake the kale until crisp and dry, about 15 minutes. Set aside to crisp even further.
- Cook the brown rice noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- In a liquid measuring cup, stir together the tamari, water, and maple syrup. Set aside.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat. Add the remaining oil and swirl it around. Add the chili and garlic and stir until quite fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the carrot, bell pepper, and green beans and keep stirring until the edges of the vegetables have softened a bit, about 3 minutes. Season them with salt and pepper. Pour the tamari mixture into the skillet. Keep stirring and tossing the vegetables until they are crisp-tender, about 3 more minutes. Add the cooked brown rice noodles to the skillet and stir to heat through and combine.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the Thai basil leaves. Divide the servings of vegan Thai basil noodles into serving bowls. Drizzle the top of the noodles with chili oil, if desired. Finish the noodles by crushing up the crispy kale on top and sprinkling with sesame seeds. Serve immediately.
- My crispy tofu would be an excellent addition here! I just wanted to keep this simple with veggies and crisped up kale, but there’s a lot of ways to go deluxe with this recipe.
- This dish does taste good with regular basil, but it really isn’t the same.