On the table in 15 minutes, Pad See Ew (which means “stir fried soy sauce noodles”) is an extremely popular Thai street food meal. While Pad Thai is sweeter and nuttier, Pad See Ew is salty, balanced with a touch of sour and a wonderful char-grilled flavor which you can create at home!
This authentic version is made with chicken and egg scrambled throughout it –
Traditionally made with Sen Yai, which are wide, thin fresh rice noodles which you can get from Asian grocery stores. But it is perfectly acceptable, and just as delicious, to make them with Rice Stick Noodles or Pad Thai Noodles.
Pad See Ew is made with thin slices of chicken, Chinese broccoli and with an egg which is scrambled in the wok while you are stir frying the chicken. You can substitute the chicken with other proteins that are suitable for stir frying, and you can substitute the Chinese broccoli with other vegetables – preferably similar leafy Chinese greens such as pak choy or bok choy, you can also make this using whatever vegetables you might have leftover at the end of the week, such as sliced carrots, onion or bean sprouts.
The 3 components to this dish are the noodles, the sauce, and the ingredients to stir fry. Have all of them ready to toss into the wok as once you start cooking, it only takes a few minutes so you don’t want to be scrambling around the kitchen.
8oz/200g rice stick noodles
2 tablespoons sweet dark soy sauce
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp peanut or vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic cloves
1 cup chicken, sliced into ¼” / 0.5cm slices
1 large egg
4 cups (packed) Chinese broccoli, leaves separated from stems (cut stems vertically into thin sticks)
Prepare the noodles according to packet instructions. Some just require soaking in boiling water for 5 minutes, others require cooking in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. Drain when ready.
Meanwhile, combine sauce ingredients.
Mince the garlic straight into the wok with the oil. Place wok high heat. As the oil is heating, the garlic will gradually heat too and infuse the oil with flavor.
When the oil is hot and the garlic is starting to turn golden, add the chicken and Chinese broccoli stems and stir fry for 1 minute.
Move the chicken and Chinese broccoli to one side and crack in the egg, and scramble it. Don’t worry if some of it sticks to the wok, it will char as you continue cooking – you want that char-grilled flavor!
Add the noodles, Chinese broccoli leaves and the sauce. Fold gently to combine, for the sauce to coat the noodles evenly and to caramelise, and the leaves to just wilt. They only need to be just wilted because they will continue to cook while you are plating up.
1. Sweet dark soy sauce is thicker and sweeter than normal soy sauce, and has a more complex flavor. It is available in Asian grocery stores and in the asian section of some large supermarkets. A great substitute is kecap manis which is an Indonesian sweet soy sauce. Hoisin sauce would also be an acceptable substitute. Otherwise, to make your own substitute, use 1½ tbsp soy sauce with 1 tbsp honey instead of 2 tbsp sweet soy sauce.
2. If you can’t find Chinese broccoli, you can substitute with other leafy Chinese vegetables such as pak choy or bok choy. You can also add other vegetables if you wish.
3. You can substitute the chicken with other proteins suitable for stir frying, even tofu or prawns.
4. You can use other noodles if you want, fresh or dried, rice or egg noodles. However, It’s not recommended using vermicelli as it is too thin for the strong flavors of the sauce.
5. If you accidentally add the noodles into the pan before checking they are properly rehydrated, simply add ½ cup of water to the pan and bring it boil, tossing the noodles to finish “cooking” them. It won’t take long because rice noodles do not require much cooking – maybe 1 minute or so, and the dish will still come out fine (though if you already added the broccoli leaves then they will be very wilted rather than just slightly wilted).