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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-fried Soy Sauce Rice Noodles)

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-fried Soy Sauce Rice Noodles) with beef, Chinese broccoli, and eggs.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 1

Remember the Thai broccoli I got from the Farmers' Market in Alhambra? It sat in my fridge for several weeks before I got around to cooking with it. While this recipe is traditionally made with gai lan (Chinese broccoli), I've fallen in love with Thai broccoli for its sweeter and more tender taste. If neither varieties are available, you can substitute with broccolini, broccoli rabe, or regular broccoli. Yes, preferably in that order. (As an aside, did you know Albert R. Broccoli, whose family claims to have invented broccoli by crossing cauliflower with mustard, also created the James Bond series?)

Normally, I just lightly saute Thai broccoli with garlic. But since I had some fresh rice noodle sheets from the grocery store, I decided to make pad see-ew (sometimes spelled pad see-iew). The pad refers to anything stir-fried, see-ew means soy sauce in Thai-Chinese dialect. You know, Vietnamese-Chinese refer to soy sauce as xi dau... It's a slightly sweet Thai rice noodle dish with meat, broccoli, and eggs. My version uses oyster sauce for savoriness and hoisin sauce for the slight sweetness. You can use the traditional dark and light soy sauces with 1 tsp of sugar instead, but I've found the thicker oyster and hoisin sauces do a much better job of sticking to and flavoring the noodles and meat.

And vegetarian Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-fried Soy Sauce Rice Noodles) with Thai broccoli and eggs.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 2

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Rice Noodles)

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 3

For 2 to 4 servings, you'll need:
1 bunch of Chinese or Thai broccoli, remove bottom inch of stems where it tends to get woody and cut in 2-inch sections, keeping flowers and leaves
1 lb package of rice noodles, either flat, broad rice noodles or rice noodle sheets
1/4 lb beef, sliced or 2 small chicken breasts, sliced
3 eggs, scrambled or use my scrambled egg omelet technique
About 2 tblsp oyster sauce, or more according to taste
About 1 tblsp hoisin sauce, or more according to taste

Optional: Instead of my oyster and hoisin sauce combo, you can use 2 tblsp soy sauce and 1 tsp sugar

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 4

Separate rice noodles. I used rice noodle sheets. While you can slice this into wide noodles, I find the stir-frying separates the noodles into smaller pieces so it saves me one step.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 5

Turn wok or saute pan to high heat. Beat three eggs in wok, swirling wok so the eggs cook in a thin layer. When fully cooked, set aside.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 6

Add a little bit of oil to the wok and stir-fry the beef or chicken. When the meat is near done, add both oyster and hoisin sauces. I did a 2/3 oyster sauce, 1/3 hoisin sauce ratio. Be a little generous with the sauce because it'll have to coat the noodles and broccoli later.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 7

When chicken and sauce is thoroughly mixed, add noodles and make sure sauce is evenly coated. The rice noodle sheets will be broken up, but that's OK.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 8

Add broccoli and mix again thoroughly.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 9

Add the cooked eggs that had been set aside and mix again. You want to do this last so the eggs don't get mushy and overcooked, and the moisture from the broccoli doesn't make them soggy.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 10

The rice noodles will have absorbed the savoriness of the oyster sauce and the sweetness of the hoisin sauce.

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 11

Pad See-Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Soy Sauce Noodles) 12


Other noodle recipes you might like:
Mi Xao Don Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Crispy Chow Mein)  
Mi Xao Don Thit Bo (Vietnamese Crispy Chow Mein with Beef)  
Pho Ap Chao Bo (Vietnamese Pan-Fried Rice Noodles Sauteed with Beef)


  1. I've attempted multiple times to replicate the pad see ew from my favorite local Thai place, but have never succeeded. I think your trick with hoisin and oyster sauce is genius. I think I was just using Thai sweet soy sauce and lots of white pepper.

  2. Hi Elmo,
    I found that the soy sauce just isn't thick enough to coat the noodles or retain flavor. I was so happy when the oyster/hoisin sauce combo worked.

  3. Thanks for sharing. This is my favorite Thai dish. Don't forget to add chili powder and the other red/green pepper condiment that comes with the spice rack at Thai restaurants (not sure what it's called). It gives this dish a nice kick.

  4. Yiata,
    If I were I good Thai restaurant I'd have a condiment rack at the ready. But alas, I've just got a bottle of Sriracha instead. :P

  5. Late to the post, but we just made this two nights ago, and it was PERFECT! We'll be eating this on a regular basis from now on. It was so quick to make and really yummy. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

  6. Hi Caroline,
    Yay! I'm always so happy when someone cooks my recipes and likes it. :)

  7. I just made this for my roomies! They loved it and it was delicious. I made it using shrimp and chicken and it was equally yummy!

  8. kd1402,
    Yay! So glad the recipe turned out well for you.

  9. I followed this recipe but the result was totally inedible because it was so salty. Are you *sure* we should use that much oyster sauce? It's a very, very salty sauce and if you mix it in a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio with the hoisin sauce, making enough to coat the noodles, it's indescribably awful. Are there different types of oyster sauce? Is "nam pla" the wrong thing?

  10. Andrew,
    Nam pla is definitely NOT oyster sauce. It's fish sauce and is very salty. It cannot be substituted for oyster sauce at all. Look for a bottle of OYSTER SAUCE.

  11. Thanks! (This is Andrew) I checked the bottle again and it definitely says "Oyster Sauce" on it. I'll probably have better luck if I shop in an asian grocery store that has more variety, instead of my neighborhood supermarket!

  12. Hi Andrew,
    You didn't say, but how much sauce did you use? Also, if you're not familiar with oyster sauce, I'd start out with only 1 tblsp and gradually increase until it's to your liking. Good luck!

  13. I used sweet chili sauce for sweetness (in addition to soy and sugar) --I was at work microwaving left overs I had made and that's all I had in the fridge...worked wonders! --I'm definitely trying it next time I make pad see ew! I'll also try hoisin and oyster sauce, I think it will add that extra layer it was missing!

  14. Amber,
    Sweet chili sauce would be great too. I think it might be better with pad kee mao though?

  15. I love the rice noodles...I should roam around Kowloon City (Thai area in HK) to search for this noodle. I always pour loads of sauce to ensure that i get super tasty noodles hehehe. Btw, are you using your new baby? ^_*

  16. Yum and yum. This looks so delicious. I really like the different textures, colour and flavours.

  17. I just bought a couple of bunches of Thai broccoli at my farmer's market! They called it Thai curry flower leaves or something, which is new to me. I've always just called it Thai broccoli. Anyhow, I think it tastes better than gai lan too.

  18. I enjoyed reading your version of Phat Siew. I'll have to give it a try next time I make it. (My version is described here: http://whatsinthepot.blogspot.com/2007/12/enjoying-well-stocked-kitchen.html)
    It is truly an art to avoid the noodles sticking!

    I think Thai broccoli and kale might be the same thing but I'm not sure. Either way, the Thai name is pak kana. Perhaps that will help your readers find it to follow your recipe.

  19. MCR,
    Not yet. These pics are still from my old camera. I'm still learning how to use it. Hopefully, I'll one day be able to take pics as nice as yours!


    I like Thai broccoli a lot b/c I find it more tender and sweeter than Chinese broccoli. Curry flower leaves? But it doesn't taste anything like curry?

    The Thai kale in your photo doesn't look the same as Thai broccoli. Looks good though. I'll have to keep an eye out for it too.

  20. Hi,

    The recipe sounds like even I can so this! I live in the glendale, ca area and need to know where you buy the rice noodles sheets & fresh noodles. Id love to try it! I love pad see ew!


  21. Jane,
    I do most of my grocery shopping at the San Gabriel Superstore. You can see my post about the market in my restaurant index. But you could also find the rice noodles at most Asian supermarkets.

  22. Hi, I was wondering whether the Gai Lan should be steamed for a few minutes first before adding it to the Pad See-Ew or does it cook so quickly that adding it raw toward the end is sufficient?

    thank you,

  23. Dave,
    It depends on how much you like gai lan? If you don't mind the rawness, then it's cooked enough with the stir-frying. If you prefer it more cooked, then do steam it first. Or you can just stir-fry the gai lan first and set it aside, and add it in again at the end.

    I used Thai broccoli, which is thinner and sweeter so tossing it in at the end was sufficient.

  24. Hi Wandering,

    Thanks for your response. Stir Frying it in some oil first sounds like a good idea. I will have to try Thai broccoli. I have seen it in markets but didn't realize that's what it was.


  25. Oh, In general when cooking Thai food can I use Canola or Sunflower oil?

    thank you.

  26. Dave,
    Traditionally, since this is a Chinese-influenced dish, gai lan is used. I just like the tenderness of Thai broccoli instead.

    You can use any oil you want but I generally stick to flavorless oils for stir-frying. Unless I specifically want the taste of sesame oil. But I've used olive oil just fine to. It's up to you.


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