Pad See Ew
Pad See Ew is a classic Thai street food noodles stir-fry that’s quick and easy to make at home, and incredibly delicious! Tender pork slices, chewy and charry rice noodles, Chinese broccoli, scrambled egg, and crispy egg tofu are wok-fried in a tantalizing savory-sweet sauce. Feel free to customize it with your favorite protein.
Savory-sweet wok-fried charry rice noodles, tender pork pieces, crispy on the outside and silky soft on the inside pan-fried egg tofu, scrambled egg, and leafy Chinese broccoli tossed is the most delicious savory-sweet sauce. Does that sound good for dinner tonight? I think it sounds good for dinner (or lunch) on ANY night!! 😍
I recently shared a classic Cantonese/Chinese stir-fried rice noodles dish – Chicken Chow Fun. Today I’m sharing a recipe for its tasty and popular Thai cousin – this Pad See Ew! You may have tried it at a Thai restaurant, or on the streets of Bangkok from a food hawker stall.
What’s the difference between Pad See Ew and Chow Fun?
Both of these dishes involve flat wide rice noodles, and they’re both stir-fried in a soy sauce based savory sauce. In fact, Pad See Ew literally translates to “stir-fry soy sauce”. The main difference between these two iconic dishes lies in the veggies and proteins that are traditionally used for them.
While Chow Fun usually calls for beef and yellow Chinese chives, Pad See Ew is most commonly made with chicken and Chinese broccoli. But as with most of my recipes, you can always customize proteins and veggies to suit your preference. 👌
I’ve used pork fillet and egg tofu in this version, but feel free to use chicken, beef, pork, shrimp/prawns, or pan-fried firm tofu, etc. if you like.
Why This Recipe Works
- It’s easy to make on any given weeknight in just 35 minutes.
- It requires mostly basic ingredients, and a little bit of technique to get the noodles all nice and charred like restaurant versions…even if you don’t have their mighty hot burners at home!
- You can customize it with your choice of protein, and make it vegetarian or gluten-free if needed too.
- Marinated Pork: I used pork fillet (tenderloin) and sliced in into thin pieces. It’s a tender cut, and results in juicy flavorful pieces once cooked. It also takes on the flavors of the simple marinade (light soy sauce, fish sauce, and ground white pepper) even if the meat is just briefly marinated while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You can also use thinly sliced pork scotch fillet instead, which is a slightly fattier cut but results in tender meat once cooked too.
- Silken Egg Tofu: This comes in plastic tubes and can be found in Asian supermarkets, and wet markets if you’re based in Asia. It’s made with egg, but some have an eggier flavor than others. I personally don’t like the eggier flavored ones so prefer to buy egg tofu that is off-white in color and not very yellow. But either will work for this recipe. In terms of texture, this tofu is soft and silky. It tastes wonderful when pan-fried (which we’ll be doing for this recipe), deep-fried, or either pan or deep-fried then briefly braised in a sauce.
- Chilies: Although Pad See Ew is generally a mild noodles dish, I like to use plenty of hot Thai red chilies (Bird’s Eye), a few small but FIERY hot Thai Prik Kee Nu green chilies, and a mild large red chili for color in my version. Use as many or as few chilies as you like, or omit them if you prefer to make this dish mild.
- Chinese Broccoli: Also known as Chinese kale or ‘gai lan’ – 芥蘭. Look for this in an Asian supermarket (or wet market if you’re in Asia). If unavailable, you can substitute with broccolini as that’s the closest in flavor and texture.
- Fresh Flat Wide Rice Noodles: I purchase fresh rice noodle sheets from a shop that sells fresh noodles and dumpling wrappers here in Hong Kong. But you can find this in the refrigerator section of an Asian supermarket if you’re based outside of Asia. You can use either the noodles sheets and cut (or gently tear) them up into wide 1-inch to 1 & 1/4-inch-wide strands. Or buy the pre-cut less wide version like the ones I’ve used in my Chicken Chow Fun. They’re known as ‘hor fun’ or ‘ho fun’ in Cantonese, and ‘shahe fen’ (沙河粉) in Mandarin. (Note: Fresh flat wide rice noodles are traditionally used in Pad See Ew and they have a wonderful, incomparable chewy texture. I 100% encourage you to try to find them. However, you can substitute with dried wide rice noodles in a pinch, and they are available in most supermarkets. See the recipe card for preparation instructions before using them for this stir-fry. Alternatively, you can have a go at making your own fresh wide rice noodles at home to use in this stir-fry.)
- Oil: I used canola oil here, but any neutral flavored oil with a high smoke point is fine to use.
- Light Soy Sauce: To add savory flavors to the noodles. I used a Thai one, which is generally less salty than Chinese and Japanese soy sauces. If using a non-Thai soy sauce, I recommend using low sodium light soy sauce.
- Sweet Dark Soy Sauce: This is mainly used for color and is less salty than regular light soy sauce. It has a hint of sweetness from sugar (usually molasses), and the sugar helps to get the noodles nicely charred.
- Oyster Sauce: An Asian pantry staple that is thick and sticky in texture, and savory-sweet in flavor. In spite of the name, it doesn’t have a strong oyster flavor. Look for it in an Asian supermarket, or the Asian sauces aisle of a well-stocked supermarket.
Full ingredient list and amounts are in the recipe card below.
How to Make Pad See Ew
1. Pan-fry the egg tofu. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the egg tofu discs and pan-fry for a few minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown and crisp. Transfer to a clean plate.
2. Cook the pork. You can use the same oil you used for the tofu and add a little more if needed. Heat the oil in a wok over high heat. Add the marinated pork and allow to sear for 1 minute. Then then stir-fry for another 1-2 minutes until just cooked and slightly browned. Transfer to a clean bowl using a slotted spoon. Discard any cooking liquid in the wok and wipe it out with a paper towel.
3. Sauté garlic and chilies. In the remaining oil and over medium-high heat, until fragrant.
4. Cook the egg. Push everything to one side of the wok. Add the egg and scramble, then toss to combine everything else in the wok.
5. Add the Chinese broccoli and pork. Stir-fry for 30 seconds to combine, until the Chinese broccoli leafy parts are slightly wilted.
6. Add the noodles and sauce. Stir-fry until everything is combined and the noodles are evenly coated in the sauce. Let the noodles sit undisturbed for a few seconds, then toss and let sit again for another few seconds until they have slightly charred.
7. Season with ground white pepper and add egg tofu. Let everything sit for a few seconds, then gently toss for a few seconds to combine. Switch off the heat.
8. Serve! Divide the Pad See Ew, pork and tofu evenly onto plates. Serve immediately with some Thai chili powder and chilies steeped in vinegar if desired.
Full detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.
- Heat the rice noodles in the microwave if they’re cold, clumped together, and have just come out of the refrigerator. Heat for 20-30 seconds until they are slightly warm and pliable so that they can be easily separated. Do the same if using noodle sheets and not pre-cut noodles.
- Be patient and allow the noodles to char. Although this is a quick stir-fry, you need to let the noodles sit in the wok so that they can get nicely charred. Resist the urge to constantly stir-fry when you reach steps 6 and 7 to maximize charring of the noodles.
- Cook in batches if doubling the recipe. If you overcrowd the wok, too much steam will build and the noodles will become soggy in the sauce and not char well.
- Use a large nonstick wok (or a well-seasoned wok made from another material) or heavy bottomed frying pan to prevent sticking.
Fresh flat wide rice noodles are really special and are preferred for this dish. However, you can substitute with 150 grams / 5.3 ounces dried wide rice noodles. Prepare them as per package instructions. Drain and toss them with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. Then use them for this recipe as indicated.
Some versions do, and some don’t. It depends on the chef. This version only calls for fish sauce in the pork marinade and not the stir-fry sauce for the noodles. If you wish, you can leave out the fish sauce in the marinade and substitute with more soy sauce instead.
Pad see ew literally translates to “stir-fried soy sauce”. But pad see ew is simply a classic Thai street food rice noodles dish with meat (chicken or pork usually), flat wide rice noodles, Chinese broccoli, sometimes scrambled egg, and a savory-sweet sauce which incorporates both light soy sauce for flavor, and sweet dark soy sauce for color and a hint of sweetness.
Not this version. Although, some restaurant versions might. It’s best to check with the chef and request that they not add any if you’d rather not eat MSG. In terms of flavor, the wok fried charry noodles and seared meat make pad see ew incredibly flavorful! I personally don’t feel any MSG is needed to amp up the flavors further.
- Make it vegetarian/vegan. Omit the pork and pork marinade. Use 2 tubes (about 280-300 grams) of egg tofu (or crispy pan-fried tofu) instead for the protein. Also, use a vegetarian oyster sauce. To make it vegan, same as for making it vegetarian, but use regular pan-fried firm tofu instead of egg tofu.
- Make it gluten-free. Use gluten-free light soy sauce, sweet dark soy sauce (like this gluten-free kecap manis), and oyster sauce. Also make sure that the fish sauce you’re using is GF certified as some versions aren’t.
- Swap the protein. Use thinly sliced boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs, beef flank steak, or peeled and deveined shrimp or prawns instead of pork. If using shrimp or prawns, I recommend using jumbo sized (size 16/20) ones.
More Stir-fried Noodles
- Spicy Pork Pad Thai
- Pad Mee Korat (Pad Thai’s spicier cousin)
- Pad Kee Mao Gai (Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken)
- Rad Na Gai (Thai Gravy Noodles with Chicken)
- Chicken Chow Fun
- Stir-fried Kimchi Chicken Noodles
- Or browse the entire noodles and stir-fry recipe collections.
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Pad See Ew
A classic Thai street food noodles stir-fry that’s quick and easy to make at home, and incredibly delicious! Tender pork slices, chewy charry rice noodles, Chinese broccoli, scrambled egg, and crispy egg tofu are wok-fried in a tantalizing savory-sweet sauce.
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 2 1x
- Category: Dinner
- Method: Stir-fry
- Cuisine: Thai
For the Pork Marinade:
- 100 grams / 3.5 ounces Pork Fillet (pork tenderloin) – excess fat removed and thinly sliced
- ½ TSP Light Soy Sauce
- ½ TSP Fish Sauce
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
For the Sauce:
- 1.5 TBLS Light Soy Sauce
- ½ TBLS Sweet Dark Soy Sauce
- 1.75 TBLS Oyster Sauce
- ½ TBLS Distilled White Vinegar
- 1 TSP White Sugar
- ½ TBLS Water
- ½ TSP Sesame Oil
For the Egg Tofu:
- 1 tube (150 grams / 5.3 ounces) Silken Egg Tofu – sliced into ½-inch wide discs
- 1 TBLS Canola Oil, for frying
For the Pad See Ew:
- 2 TBLS Canola Oil
- 4–5 Garlic cloves – minced
- 2–8 Thai Red Chilies (I used Bird’s Eye chilies, but any small hot chilies will work), to taste – chopped
- 3–4 Thai Prik Kee Nu Green Chilies (optional), to taste – chopped
- 1 Large Red Chili – thinly sliced at an angle
- 1 Egg – lightly beaten
- 4 pieces Chinese Broccoli – stems peeled and thinly sliced at an angle, leafy green parts cut into rough chunks
- 350 grams / 12.35 ounces fresh Flat Wide Rice Noodles
- ¼ TSP ground White Pepper
- To Serve (optional): Thai chili powder, fish sauce with chopped chilies (Prik Nam Pla), large red chili slices steeped in vinegar (see notes)*
- Marinate the pork: Thinly slice the pork filet and to a medium-sized bowl, followed by the light soy sauce, fish sauce, and ground white pepper. Mix well with a spoon to combine, then set aside.
- Make the sauce: Whisk together the light soy sauce, sweet dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, distilled white vinegar, white sugar, water, and sesame oil in a small measuring cup (or bowl).
- Prepare the fresh ingredients: Chop/slice the garlic, Thai red chilies, Prik Kee Nu green chilies (if using), large red chili, and Chinese broccoli as indicated in the ‘Ingredients’ section. Lightly beat the egg in a small bowl. Use a knife to cut through the center of the packaging of the egg tofu. Press the ends of the packaging to gently squeeze the tofu out onto a cutting board. Slice the tofu into ½-inch wide discs (7-8 pieces). If using rice noodle sheets and not pre-cut noodles, cut (or gently tear) 1 to 1 & 1/4-inch wide noodle strands from the sheets. Set aside.
For the Pad See Ew with Pork & Egg Tofu:
- Pan-fry the egg tofu: Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the egg tofu discs and pan-fry for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally with a silicone spatula, until browned and crisp on both sides. Transfer to a clean plate and set aside.
- Cook the pork: Transfer the oil you used to pan-fry the tofu to a large wok (add more oil if needed until there is 1 tablespoon of oil in the wok) and heat over high heat. Once hot, add the marinated pork and immediately spread out the pieces in the wok. Allow to sear for 1 minute, then stir-fry 1-2 minutes until just cooked and slightly browned. Use a slotted spoon to transfer to a clean bowl. Discard the oil and cooking liquid from the pork (if any), and wipe out the wok with a paper towel.
- Sauté garlic and chilies: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in the wok over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the garlic, Thai red chilies, green Prik Kee Nu chilies, and large red chili. Stir-fry for a minute or until fragrant.
- Cook the egg: Push the garlic and chilies to the side of the wok. Add the egg and scramble immediately. Toss to combine with the garlic and chilies.
- Add the Chinese broccoli and pork: Add the Chinese broccoli and pork into the wok. Stir-fry for 30 seconds to combine, until the Chinese broccoli leafy parts are slightly wilted.
- Add the noodles and sauce: Add the rice noodles and pour the sauce on top. Stir-fry until everything is combined well and the noodles are evenly coated in the sauce. Let the noodles sit undisturbed for 20 seconds, then toss and let sit again for another 20 seconds until slightly charred.
- Add the ground white pepper and egg tofu: Season with ground white pepper and add the pan-fried egg tofu. Let sit for 10 seconds to reheat the tofu and continue charring the noodles, then gently toss for 20 seconds to combine. Switch off the heat.
- To Serve: Divide evenly onto plates. Serve immediately with Thai chili powder, fish sauce with chopped chilies, and chilies steeped in vinegar if desired.
- Asian ingredients: Fresh flat wide rice noodles can be found in noodles shops in Asia, or in the refrigerator section of an Asian supermarkets outside of Asia. Look for Chinese broccoli in Asian supermarkets. Substitute with broccolini if unavailable. Sweet dark soy sauce is mostly used for color and it is less salty and thicker than regular light soy sauce. I used a Thai one, but kecap manis (Indonesian thick sweet dark soy sauce) is fine to use too.
- Chilies: Feel free to adjust the amount of Thai red chilies to suit your heat level preference. Thai Prik Kee Nu green chilies are optional as not only are they FIERY hot and should be used with caution, they can also be difficult to find outside of Asia. Omit them and the Thai red chilies if you’re not big on heat and prefer to make this dish mild. The large red chili (spur chili) is mild and similar to bell pepper in flavor. Feel free to use a few strips of red bell pepper instead if unavailable.
- If using dried wide rice noodles: Prepare 150 grams / 5.3 ounces of noodles according to package instructions. Toss them with a bit of oil after draining to prevent sticking. Then use as instructed for this recipe.
- Thai chili powder, Prik Nam Pla, and chilies steeped in vinegar: These are optional condiments, and the chilies steeped in vinegar (pickled red chilies) is traditionally served with Pad See Ew. However, since this dish incorporates fresh chilies, you may not need or want these optional condiments for extra heat! However, if you’re making this dish mild, you may want to serve it with the pickled red chilies. To make it, slice a large red mild chili into rings. Then place the chili into a small bowl filled with ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar. Allow to steep for 20 minutes before using.
- See ‘Variations’ section in the post for protein swaps, and if you’d like to customize this recipe for special diets.
- Serving Size: 1 plate
- Calories: 761
- Sugar: 19.3g
- Sodium: 1368.2mg
- Fat: 33.2g
- Saturated Fat: 8.1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 24.8g
- Trans Fat: 0.1g
- Carbohydrates: 89.8g
- Fiber: 9.3g
- Protein: 33.1g
- Cholesterol: 129.9mg
The nutritional information provided is approximate and can vary based on several factors. It should only be used as a general guideline. For more information, please see our Disclosure.
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