Vegetarian Thai Noodles on the table in 15 minutes! It took a handful of attempts, but I finally figured out a vegan/vegetarian Pad See Ew which tastes like it’s from the streets of Thailand. The authentic version not only has chicken and egg in it, which are easy enough to omit, but the sauce has oyster sauce in it which is a key component in the sauce.
I created this because I have one friend who is allergic to seafood, and another that is vegetarian….which meant making a dish that was meat free and seafood free. I have to say, it’s pretty close to the authentic version! The sauce has the same depth of flavour, the touch of tang, perfect balance of sweet and salty with the wonderful chargrilled flavour that epitomises this classic Thai noodle dish.
I made this simply with Chinese broccoli and onion, but you can really add whatever vegetables you want, just be sure to add them to the wok in order of cooking time (starting with the vegetables that take the longest).
- 8 oz / 200g rice stick noodles
- 2 tbsp kecap manis (see notes for substitutes)
- 2 tbsp hoisin
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 brown or white onion , halved and sliced into 1/4" / 1/2cm slices
- 5 cups (packed) Chinese broccoli, leaves separated from stems (cut stems vertically into thin sticks)
Pour bowling water over noodles in a large bowl (or pot) and set aside for 5 minutes, and drain when ready.
Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients.
Mince the garlic straight into the wok with the oil. Place wok on high heat. As the oil is heating, the garlic will gradually heat too and infuse the oil with flavour.
When the oil is hot and the garlic is starting to turn golden, add the onion and Chinese broccoli stems and stir fry for a couple of minutes until they start to char (you want the char grilled flavour).
Add the noodles, Chinese broccoli leaves and the sauce. Fold gently to combine, for the sauce to coat the noodles evenly and to caramelise, and the leaves to just wilt. They only need to be just wilted because they will continue to cook while you are plating up.
1. Kecap Manis is thicker and sweeter than normal soy sauce, and has a more complex flavour. It is available in Asian grocery stores and in the asian section of some large supermarkets. Sweet dark soy sauce is also suitable. Otherwise, to make your own substitute, use 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce with 1 tbsp honey instead of 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce.
2. If you can't find Chinese broccoli, you can substitute with other leafy Chinese vegetables such as pak choy or bok choy. You can also add other vegetables if you wish.
3. This recipe is also great with tofu.
4. You can use other noodles if you want, fresh or dried, rice or egg noodles. However, I do not recommend using vermicelli as it is too thin for the strong flavours of the sauce.