Pad See Ew – the popular Thai stir fried noodles straight from the streets of Thailand made at home! While Pad Thai is sweeter and nuttier, Pad See Ew is salty, balanced with a touch of sour and a wonderful chargrilled flavour which you can create at home!
Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew, which means “stir fried soy sauce noodles, is an extremely popular Thai street food meal and probably the most popular noodle dish at Thai restaurants in Western countries.
You may have tried and been disappointed by other recipes in the past. It all comes down to the sauce. You have to get the sauce right!
I can’t remember where I originally got the recipe from. Probably from David Thompson, the famous Australian chef who has dedicated his life to mastering the art of Thai cooking. I’ve made it so many times over the years, I can almost make it with my eyes closed. (Not really….but you know what I mean!)
So I had to actually measure the ingredients properly to share the recipe!
What goes in Pad See Ew
Here’s what you need for Pad See Ew. You can find all these ingredients in large supermarkets nowadays!
Pad See Ew Sauce
Pad See Ew has a sweet-savoury-touch-of-sour flavour, and this is made with a combination of the following ingredients:
Dark soy sauce – for flavour and staining the noodles a dark brown
Ordinary or light soy sauce – for seasoning
Oyster sauce – key ingredient, it’s like 10 difference sauces mixed up in one bottle!
Vinegar – to balance the sweet and savoury
Sugar – for sweetness
Noodles for Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew is traditionally made with Sen Yai, which are wide, thin fresh rice noodles that are not easily accessible. Even most Asian stores in Sydney do not sell them – you usually need to go to a Thai grocery store.
So it is perfectly acceptable, and just as delicious, to make them with any wide flat rice noodles. I use dried rice noodles labelled as “Pad Thai” Rice Noodles (pictured below) because they are the widest available at the supermarket.
Once rehydrated, they’re essentially Sen Yai Noodles – just not quite as wide.
This is a key authentic ingredient in Pad See Ew. Otherwise known as Gai Lan or Kai lan, it’s leafy and looks quite different to broccoli, but you’ll notice a similarity in the texture of the stems (hence the name).
If you can’t find it, just sub with other Asian greens, or a combination of broccoli or broccolini + spinach.
Egg and chicken
Feel free to use other proteins if you wish. But chicken is by far the most popular.
How to make Thai Stir Fried Noodles
Usually when making stir fried noodles, we toss everything together in one big pan or a wok.
But for Pad See Ew made at home, I do things differently to best replicate a restaurant flavour and minimise noodle breakage:
Cook chicken and vegetables first, then remove
Add noodles and sauce, toss to caramelise (just 15 seconds), then add chicken and vegetables back in
Reason: A signature flavour in Pad See Ew is the caramelisation of the noodles. Restaurants and street vendors achieve this with super powered gas stoves with fiery heat that you’ll never find in a home kitchen. The only way to replicate that caramelisation on the noodles on a home kitchen stove is to declutter the wok and cook the noodles separately – the noodles will caramelise in 15 seconds.
The other reason is that rice noodles break if you toss them too much. Doing the two-stage toss makes it much easier and faster to disperse the sauce and bring the Pad See Ew together.
Trust me on this point. I’ve made a LOT of Pad See Ew at home in my time, and the two-stage toss it the easiest and most effective technique!
Cooking eggs – the Thai way!
Also worthy of note – you’ll love the way the egg is cooked in Pad See Ew! Using a traditional Thai technique, the other ingredients in the wok/skillet are pushed to the side to make room to scramble the egg, then mixed up with everything else.
As with all stir fries, once you start cooking, it moves very fast! So have everything prepared and ready to throw into the wok because there’s not time to be scrambling around the kitchen!
If you want to add a fresh side, try this Asian Slaw – it’s a great all rounder that goes with all Asian foods. – Nagi x
MORE THAI TAKEOUT FAVOURITES
AND MORE GREAT NOODLES!
Watch how to make it
Pad See Ew - Thai Stir Fried Noodles
- 200g / 7 oz dried wide rice stick noodles , or 15 oz / 450g fresh wide flat rice noodles (Sen Yai) (Note 1)
- 2 tbsp dark soy sauce (Note 2)
- 2 tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 tsp soy sauce (all purpose or light, Note 3)
- 2 tsp white vinegar (plain white vinegar)
- 2 tsp sugar (any type)
- 2 tbsp water
- 3 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil , separated
- 2 cloves garlic cloves, very finely chopped
- 1 cup / 150g / 5oz chicken thighs (boneless, skinless), sliced (Note 4)
- 1 large egg
- 4 stems Chinese broccoli (Note 5)
- Chinese Broccoli - trim ends, cut into 7.5cm/3" pieces. Separate leaves from stems. Cut thick stems in half vertically so they're no wider than 0.8cm / 0.3" thick.
- Noodles - Prepare according to packet directions and drain. Time it so they're cooked just before using - do not leave cooked rice noodles lying around, they break in the wok.
- Sauce - Mix ingredients until sugar dissolves.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a very large heavy based skillet or wok over high heat.
- Add garlic, cook 15 seconds. Add chicken, cook until it mostly changes from pink to white.
- Add Chinese broccoli stems, cook until chicken is almost cooked through.
- Add Chinese broccoli leaves, cook until just wilted.
- Push everything to one side, crack egg in and scramble. Remove everything onto a plate (scrape wok clean).
- Return wok to stove, heat 2 tbsp oil over high heat.
- Add noodles and Sauce. Toss as few times as possible to disperse Sauce and make edges of noodles caramelise.
- Quickly add chicken and veg back in, and toss to disperse. Serve immediately!
Originally published 2014, updated 2016 then improved again in March 2019, including new video and step photos. Recipe also updated with a more effective cooking method – cooking the ingredients in two batches. No change to ingredients, but yields a better caramelisation and easier to cook – read in post for explanation.
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