Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (2023)

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Ask my family what their favorite recipe of the month has been so far, and you’re likely to hear a resounding chorus of “PAD SEE EWWWWWW!” Yes. It’s true, this Pad See Ew is so wonderful. It’s a delicious vegetarian noodle dish, and rounds out this week of Thai food explorations here on MKL. Did you try my take on Chicken Khao Soi?! Also such a good one. Read on for a little bit about Pad See Ew, or just jump ahead to the recipe.

Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (1)
Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (2)
Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (3)

Table of Contents

What is Pad See Ew?

This is a very popular Thai dish made from wide rice noodles and plenty of fresh vegetables. Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) is always a part of the scene, but we’ll sub in broccolini. It also usually has spinach, flavorful aromatics, and a delicious sauce built heavily on soy sauce. Pad See Ew is popular in restaurants around the world, and frequently offered at Thai street food stalls.

Prepared in the stir fry style, Pad See Ew comes together very quickly with relatively few ingredients. As such, it’s a wonderful recipe to try at home, in your own kitchen.

Traditionally, this dish contains a mixture of both dark soy sauce and light soy sauce. But my version features a substitute for dark soy sauce, as it’s very hard to find without having to special order it. This, of course is great to do, but if you are pressed for time, this substitute works really well.

Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (4)

What does Pad See Ew Translate to?

From Thai, “Pad See Ew,” translates to “stir fried soy sauce noodles.” A salty, lightly charred flavor defines this beloved street food dish from Thailand. To our great fortune, it’s easy to prepare in a home kitchen. The stir fried nature of the dish also means that it takes little time, and few dishes to whip up. Of course – we love over here.

What Does Pad See Ew Taste Like?

Pad See Ew is a savory, umami-rich, saucy noodle stir fry. To me, it resembles a Chinese stir fry (its origin story derives from Chinese migrants, in fact). There is greater sweetness, thanks to the addition of sugar.

This dish shouldn’t be confused with Drunken Noodles (Pad Kee Mao) or Pad Thai. No, Pad See Ew has a distinctive flavor profile all its own. It lacks the sweeter notes of a Pad Thai (from the tamarind, namely) and the spiciness of Drunken noodles. Pad See Ew is a universally appealing Thai-style stir fry. It kind of gets along with everything.

Also to be noted here is the vegetable makeup of the dishes. This dish always contains stalky Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan). But Drunken Noodles showcase other veggies as well, and doesn’t necessarily feature the broccoli with as much prominence.

Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (6)
Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (7)

If you like the looks of this Thai-style recipe, you might also want to check out:

Chicken Khao Soy

Coconut Curry Thai Meatball Soup

Thai Peanut Noodle Salad

Pad Krapow (Thai Beef with Basil)

Cambodian Coconut Curry Chicken (Khmer Curry inspired)

Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (8)
Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles) (9)

What is the difference between Pad See Ew and Pad Thai?

  1. The noodles: Pad Thai is traditionally made with thinner rice noodles (often labeled “linguini” noodles). Pad See Ew is distinctive in that it is made with fatter, wide rice noodles. The wide noodle is really what helps identify Pad See Ew right away, before ever taking a bit. The wider noodles provide a bed for sopping up the sauce. I encourage you to try getting your hands on some, if you can. See below for a little more about Pad See Ew wide rice noodles.
  2. The sauces: Pad Thai is sweeter, made with a sauce built on tamarind. Pad See Ew is more savory. Its sauce leans more into the salty, umami flavors of both dark soy sauce and light soy sauce.

What can you substitute for wide rice noodles?

This dish is traditionally made with wide rice noodles to fully maximize the sauce sopping abilities. But as wide rice noodles are very tough to find in the States, there are a couple of substitution options here that will still get you to the right flavor, though with a different noodle as the vehicle for that.

  1. Regular rice noodles (often labeled “linguini,”) are widely available and make a nice substitute. They’re just not as wide as traditional Pad Se Eew noodles are.
  1. If you care about the width, you can cut fresh lasagna sheets or par-boiled lasagna noodles into 1/2-inch wide strips. Just stir fry those in the sauce, along with the veggies. We’re sacrificing the rice aspect of the noodles here, sure. But we get the benefit of the wider noodle size, which helps capture so much sauce.
  1. To find wide rice noodles, you can check your local Asian markets as they are likely to carry some. Or, Amazon has several varieties of Thai and Asian-owned brands that would be wonderful, helping to really nail the authenticity of the dish.

    Print

    Pad See Ew (Thai Stir Fried Rice Noodles)

    This popular Thai noodle stir fry is easy and fast to prepare at home, thanks to some powerhouse ingredients that bring big flavor in very little time. NOTE: Wide rice noodles aren’t readily available in the States. So, I typically use the thinner varieties, or I will cut cooked lasagna noodles into fat, ½-inch strips (pictured here). Though not made of rice, these nicely mimic the size/shape of traditional Pad See Ew noodles. Broccolini makes a good sub for Chinese broccoli, as well. Customize it and make it perfect for YOUR dinner table tonight.

    • Author: Lauren McDuffie
    • Yield: Serves 4

    Ingredients

    UnitsScale

    For the sauce:

    • 1/4 cup soy sauce, plus more as needed
    • 1 tablespoon molasses
    • 2 teaspoons oyster sauce

    Noodles:

    • 16 ounces rice noodles, prepared according to package directions

    Or

    • 9-ounce package of lasagna noodles, cooked and sliced/torn to 1/2-inch thick strips (see NOTE)

    For the Stir Fry:

    • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
    • 1 package broccolini or broccoletti
    • 1 small sweet onion, sliced
    • 3 bell peppers, sliced (any color)
    • 6-ounce bag snow peas or shredded carrots
    • 4 garlic cloves, minced (minimum)

    Serving suggestion: Fresh basil, cilantro, and/or scallions for topping, extra soy sauce

    Instructions

    1. Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well mixed.
    2. Add the oil to a large wok or skillet set over medium-high to high heat. When it’s shimmering hot, add the broccolini and cook for about 7-8 minutes, stirring only occasionally so it picks up a good char (adds to the flavor). Add the onion, peppers, and snow peas/carrots. Stir fry for 3 or 4 minutes, to tenderize.
    3. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the garlic and cook for one minute.
    4. Add the sauce and noodles and gently toss until everything is coated. Cook for one minute more. Taste, and add more sauce ingredients as needed to suit your preferences. Enjoy.

    Notes

    NOTE: Pad See Ew is traditionally made with wide rice noodles to fully maximize the sauce sopping abilities, but as wide rice noodles are very tough to find in the States, there are a couple of options here that will still get you to the right Pad See Ew flavor, though with a different noodle as the vehicle for that.

    1. Regular rice noodles (often labeled “linguini,”) are widely available and make a nice substitute – they’re just not as wide as traditional Pad Se Eew noodles are.

    2. If you care more about the wideness, you can cut fresh lasagne sheets or par-boiled lasagna noodles into 1-inch wide strips, and stir fry those in the sauce, along with the veggies. We are sacrificing the rice aspect of the noodles here, but we get the benefit of the wider noodle size, which helps capture so much sauce.

    3. To find wide rice noodles, you can check your local Asian markets as they are likely to carry some. Or, Amazon has several varieties of Thai and Asian-owned brands that would be wonderful, helping to really nail the authenticity of the dish.

    Keywords: Pad See Ew

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