Garlicky Pad See Ew (Thai Rice Noodle Stir Fry)
Homemade Pad See Ew is a quick and delicious Thai noodle stir fry! Chewy rice noodles tossed in a brown sauce with Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan) and fried garlic. This tastes just like your favorite Thai restaurant, but it’s easy enough to make at home!
Pad See Ew is a staple when you go out for Thai food.
But it’s actually one of the simpler noodle stir fry dishes that you can easily make at home. The sauce is as simple as tossing ingredients in a jar and giving it a few shakes. And the stir fry uses thinly sliced chicken breasts, eggs, Chinese broccoli, and fresh minced garlic.
This stir fry may not look the prettiest, but the flavors are out of this world!
What does Pad See Ew Mean?
Pad See Ew literally translated means soy sauce stir fry. It is common street food in Thailand that uses wide rice noodles, dark soy sauce, and pretty much any kind of protein you like. Vegetarians can use fried tofu or shiitake mushrooms to make this stir fry. Shrimp and steak are also excellent in this Thai noodle stir fry!
What do you need to make Pad See Ew?
- Chicken: Either chicken breasts or chicken thighs would work for this recipe. You just need to be sure to slice the chicken thinly. You could even use thinly sliced sirloin beef if you prefer!
- Rice noodles: for this recipe, you can use fresh or dried rice noodles. Dried rice noodles are easier to find in mainstream grocery stores. For fresh rice noodles, you usually have to visit a specialty Asian grocery store. Keep in mind that you’ll need just under double the amount if you’re using fresh noodles for this Thai stir fry.
- Chinese broccoli: Chinese broccoli is called Gai Lan at Asian grocery stores. It’s a leafy green vegetable that has a stem similar to broccolini and wide, flat leaves. You may even see small florets that are similar to broccoli.
- Garlic: Pad See Ew is made with quite a bit of garlic in a couple of different forms! We use fresh garlic when stir-frying the noodles; then we add fried garlic on top right before serving. Fried garlic is sold in Asian grocery stores in jars (find it here) and is used as a condiment in many dishes.
- Eggs: We add scrambled eggs to this stir fry (similar to fried rice) before tossing the Thai stir-fried noodles with the sauce.
- Homemade stir fry sauce: I’ll share the ingredients for that below:
Homemade stir fry sauce ingredients:
- Low sodium soy sauce: I like to use low sodium soy sauce for this recipe because all the sauces bring salt to the dish. Using the low sodium kind helps me make sure we don’t make the dish too salty!
- Dark soy sauce: this is a dark, viscous sauce that reminds me of molasses. It is not like traditional soy sauce. It has a deep palm sugar flavor and is often used in Thai cooking. You can buy black soy sauce here.
- Seasoning sauce: This is the one I’ve been able to find in mainstream grocery stores but Golden Mountain Sauce is another one you can use. This ingredient is one that you should keep on hand if you make Thai food often, I’ve used it in my cashew chicken as well.
- Fish sauce: adds umami to the sauce
- Oyster sauce: Be sure to use oyster mushroom sauce if you are allergic to oysters. This is a vegetarian sauce made with oyster mushrooms
- Sugar: The sugar helps balance all the umami and salty flavors of the stir fry.
- White pepper: ground white pepper adds a bit of heat and a unique flavor to the stir fry.
How to hydrate dried rice noodles:
When you purchase dried rice noodles, the instructions on the bag usually state to boil the noodles for a few minutes. I’ve done this and often find that the noodles end up overcooking if I boil them and then add them to a skillet to stir fry with a sauce.
Now I just hydrate the noodles with hot water in a glass bowl instead of on the stovetop. All you need to do is heat a kettle with hot water until boiling. Then, add the noodles to a bowl large enough to hold the noodles and enough water, so the noodles are completely submerged. Once the water is boiling, I just pour it on top of the noodles and rehydrate the noodles for 1 minute more than what the package says to boil them for. For example, if the package instructions state to boil for 4 minutes, I usually rehydrate in hot water for 5 minutes. Drain immediately and keep the noodles ready to go before you start on the stir fry.
How to make homemade Pad See Ew:
Once you’ve rehydrated your noodles, it’s very quick and easy for the stir fry to come together.
- Make the sauce: this is the easiest thing ever! Just add everything to a mason jar and shake until the sugar dissolves.
- Marinate and cook the chicken. While the noodles are rehydrating, add the chicken to a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of soy sauce to give the chicken some flavor and color. Heat a wok or a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a tablespoon of oil and let it heat through so that it starts to shimmer. Add the chicken and cook the chicken for a couple of minutes flipping as needed to cook the chicken all the way through. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside for now.
- Stir Fry: Add the remaining oil to the skillet and let it heat up all the way. Then, add the chopped garlic and sauté it for a quick 10 seconds before adding in the eggs. Scramble them in the skillet, and when they’re sit runny, add the stems from the Chinese broccoli and cook for 30 seconds. Then, add the leaves and cook for roughly 15 seconds before you add the rice noodles. Once the noodles are in, you want to drizzle the sauce on top and give everything a good toss to coat everything in the sauce. Spread the noodles out in the pan and let it sit for 20-30 seconds and that and sizzle. This is the part where the noodles get charred and the sugar caramelizes and develops that Pad See Ew flavor. Add the chicken back to the wok, toss everything. Then remove the stir fry to a plate and top with fried garlic!
FAQs about Pad See Ew:
- Can I replace the seasoning sauce with something else? I’ve never used anything but seasoning sauce in this Thai stir fry noodles recipe. But if you can’t find seasoning sauce, I’m seeing online that you can make your own using equal parts Worcestershire sauce and soy sauce.
- What can I use if I cannot find Chinese broccoli? If Gai Lan is not available in your area, I suggest using bok choy or broccolini. Keep in mind that if you use bok choy, the cooking time will be significantly less than Chinese broccoli. Broccolini has about the same cooking time.
- Why do you suggest discarding the juices from the chicken instead of adding them to the pan? The juices from the chicken would add too much liquid to the noodles causing them to steam rather than fry in the sauce. For this reason, it’s okay to discard the chicken juices that may have collected on the plate.
If you like this recipe, you might also like:
- Asian Sesame Chicken Salad
- Mongolian Beef Meatballs
- Garlic Lovers Pepper Steak Stir Fry
- Crazy Good Quick Garlic Noodles
- Super Tender Mongolian Beef
- 15 Minute Fried Rice
- Black Pepper Chicken Stir Fry
- Best Broccoli Beef Stir Fry
- Sesame Ginger Tofu Stir Fry
- 20-Minute Teriyaki Chicken
- 10 ounce dried wide rice noodles (use 19 ounces if fresh)
- 8 ounces thinly sliced chicken (or sirloin beef)
- 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
- 5 stalks of Chinese broccoli (Gai Lan), thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 large eggs, whisked
- Fried garlic, for topping (optional)
- 2 tablespoons EACH: low sodium soy sauce AND dark soy sauce (or Thai soy sauce)
- 2 teaspoons seasoning sauce (such as golden mountain sauce)
- 2 teaspoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon EACH: water AND oyster sauce
- 5 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- NOODLES: Rehydrate the noodles according to package directions. Be sure to undercook the noodles if your package says to boil them. Check post for more details.
- CHICKEN: Combine the chicken and a tablespoon of soy sauce together in a small bowl. Allow the chicken to marinate for at least 5 minutes.
- SAUCE: In a small bowl or mason jar whisk together all the ingredients listed under the ‘sauce” section.
- COOK: Add a tablespoon of oil to a hot skillet or wok over high heat. Allow the oil to heat through until shimmering. Add the chicken. Stir and cook until the chicken cooks through. Remove the chicken to a plate, set aside for now. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the skillet allow the oil to heat through. Add the chopped garlic and let cook for a quick 10 seconds. Add the eggs into the wok and quickly scramble them. When the eggs are semi-set, add the stems of the Chinese broccoli into the wok and give it a quick toss or two before adding the leaves, cook for a quick 15 seconds before adding the rice noodles.
- STIR FRY: Shake the sauce in the jar quickly and add it to the rice noodles. Toss the noodles to coat them in the sauce evenly. Spread the noodle into an even layer and allow them to sit in the pan for 15 seconds and toast and sizzle. Toss the noodles, then add the chicken back into the wok, DO NOT ADD ANY JUICES THAT MAY HAVE COLLECTED FROM THE CHICKEN. Once the chicken and noodles have combined, remove the stir fry to plates, top with fried garlic (1 teaspoon or up to 2 tablespoons), and serve immediately!
- You can use bok choy or broccolini if you can't find Chinese broccoli in your area!