Rad Na Gai is a delicious Thai gravy noodles dish that’s easy to make, flavorful, and super comforting! Charredfresh flat wide rice noodles are drenched in a warming and peppery gravy with chicken and veggies.
3–4 pieces Chinese Broccoli – stems thinly sliced at an angle, leafy parts cut into rough chunks
4 pieces Baby Corn (optional) – cut in half lengthwise, and then again widthwise
250ml Chicken Broth (see notes)*
1 TBLS Corn Starch + 2 TBLS Water – mixed together to make a slurry
To Serve (optional): Large red chili steeped in ¼ cup white vinegar, Thai chili powder
Marinate the chicken: Clean and trim off any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Then cut into bite-sized pieces and add to a bowl. Add the oyster sauce, sesame oil, and ground white pepper. Mix with a spoon until combined well, then set aside.
Prepare all the fresh ingredients: Roughly chop the garlic and red and green chilies. Then add to a mortar and paste and smash into a coarse paste. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Slice the yellow onion, baby corn, and Chinese broccoli as indicated in the “Ingredients’ section. If using noodle sheets and not pre-cut noodles, cut ¾ to 1-inch wide strands from the sheets.
Make the sauce: Combine the oyster sauce, yellow bean sauce, fish sauce, light soy sauce, white sugar, ground white pepper, and sesame oil in a measuring cup or bowl. Mix until evenly combined, then set aside.
Make the corn starch slurry: Mix the corn starch and water with a spoon in a measuring cup until a slurry has formed. Set aside.
For the Rad Na Gai:
Char the noodles: Heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil in a large nonstick wok or large deep sauté pan over high heat. Once hot, add the noodles and spread them out in the wok. Cook for 15-20 seconds, then toss and allow them to cook for another 15-20 seconds. The noodles will start to char around the edges. Add the sweet dark soy sauce and stir-fry for 30 seconds, then transfer to two serving plates. (It’s okay if the noodles clump a bit together during stir-frying as long as they get nicely charred.)
Cook the chicken: Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of canola oil over high heat in the same wok. Once hot, add the chicken and spread out all the pieces in the wok. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until no longer pink and the pieces start to brown.
Stir-fry aromatics and veggies: Add the onion and cook for 30 seconds, then add the garlic chili paste and stir-fry for 30 seconds to combine. Toss in the Chinese broccoli and baby corn and stir-fry for a few seconds to combine.
Pour in broth and sauce: Pour in the chicken broth and sauce, and stir to combine. Simmer for a minute until fragrant.
Add the corn starch slurry: Give the corn starch slurry a quick stir (the corn starch will have settled at the bottom) and stir it into the wok. Simmer for another minute until the gravy has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed (add more fish sauce, soy sauce, or sugar), then switch off the heat.
Serve: Pour the chicken gravy and veggies mixture on top of the noodles on the plates. Serve with chili vinegar and a sprinkling of Thai chili powder if desired.
Ingredient Notes, Cook’s Tips, FAQs
Chicken: Boneless and skinless breasts will work too.
Garlic chili paste: If you don’t own a mortar and pestle, you can finely mince the garlic and Bird’s Eye chilies. Alternatively, you could also use a mini blender to pulse the garlic and chilies into a coarse paste. Use as many or as few chilies as you like depending on your heat level preference. Deseed or omit the chilies to make this dish mild.
Chicken broth: I used an Asian style clear chicken broth which is not low sodium. If using low sodium chicken broth, adjust the amount of fish sauce and soy sauce after tasting the gravy in step 5. You’re welcome to use a homemade chicken broth, but you may need to adjust the seasonings depending on how salty it is.
Yellow Bean Sauce: Look for this at your Asian or Thai specialty grocery store, or order it online. In a pinch, you can leave it out and just add more fish sauce to flavor the gravy.
Can I use dried wide rice noodles instead of fresh rice noodles? In a pinch, you can use dried wide rice noodles. Prepare them according to package instructions and toss with a bit of oil to prevent sticking. If you’re interested, you can also make your own fresh flat wide rice noodles.
Can I make this ahead? You can make the chicken gravy and veggies mixture ahead. Char the noodles and cook with the sweet dark soy sauce when you are ready to serve. Reheat the gravy in a wok/pan on the stovetop for a few minutes until hot throughout, then pour over the noodles in the serving plates.
To make it with pork: Use 200 grams of thinly sliced pork tenderloin. Replace the chicken broth with water. The pork will flavor the water as it cooks and create a pork broth. Cook the onion, garlic chili paste, and veggies first, then add the pork and cook for 2-3 minutes. Then proceed with the rest of the recipe as per normal for steps 4-6.
To make it vegetarian: Omit the chicken marinade ingredients, use a veggie broth, vegan fish sauce, and mushroom flavored vegetarian oyster sauce. Make the gravy without the chicken, then pour the mixture on top of the noodles in the plates, and top with crispy pan-fried tofu cubes. To make crispy pan-fried tofu: Cut up a block of tofu into ¾-1-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Pan-fry in a bit of oil until golden brown on all sides. Alternatively, add fried tofu puffs to the gravy and allow them to heat through before pouring the gravy mixture onto the plated noodles.