Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)

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Quick and easy Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles) using fresh rice noodles or dried noodles, beef and vegetables. Have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

white plate with noodles, broccoli and beef, garnished with red chillies and cilantro

Asian Noodles

There are a few popular Asian grocery stores in Zurich which cater to the very small Asian population living here. But they are so popular that they often sell out of their fresh produce on the same day that they receive their shipment.

I was lucky enough to visit the Asian grocer the other day just as they were unpacking their newly delivered shipment. I immediately eyed the fresh rice noodles (which are homemade by a small business in Paris) and promptly picked up a few packets, together with a bundle of fresh coriander (cilantro) and my other cooking staples.

At home, I frequently make my own rice noodles, which are not exactly complicated to make, but they do take a bit of effort and they do make a bit of a mess of the kitchen.

So to find ready-made fresh rice noodles at the Asian grocer was like winning the lottery for me (ok, not quite!), and the only dish I had in mind was Pad See Ew.

pad see ew, thai stir-fried noodles on white plate with cilantro

Pad See Ew Recipe

Pad See Ew is Thai stir-fried rice noodles. Unlike its popular cousin, the ubiquitous Pad Thai, Pad See Ew contains fewer ingredients, making it an easier dish to comtemplate on those busy weeknights.

What I love about this Pad See Ew recipe is that I usually have most of the ingredients on hand in my fridge and pantry.

If you cook a lot of Asian food, it is worth making the trip to an Asian grocer to buy pantry staples like dark soy sauce, oyster sauce, and Chinkiang vinegar. They are usually more reasonably priced than the brands you will find in mainstream supermarkets, and they are more authentic in taste.

Dried Flat Rice Noodles

If you cannot find fresh rice noodles, you can, of course, use dried flat rice noodles (e.g. Pad Thai noodles); they have a slightly different texture when cooked, but they are still delicious in this recipe.

If you are using dried flat rice noodles, I recommend buying those which are about 1 cm wide, but any sort is fine, so long as they are flat.

The advantage of using dried flat rice noodles is that they can be found in most supermarkets, saving you from making a trip to a specialty Asian grocer.

Plus, they are handy to have on stand-by in the pantry so that you can make dishes like Pad See Ew or Pad Thai at a moment’s notice.

fork of thai stir fried noodles, pad see ew, on white plate

How to Make Pad See Ew

Cooking a stir-fry requires fast cooking on high heat, so it makes sense to prepare all of your ingredients beforehand.

The preparation can feel a bit time-consuming, but once your start cooking, the dish will be ready in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.

First start by prepping the noodles. If you are using fresh rice noodles, they usually come in one large block which you can slice into thick noodles, about 2 to 3 cm in width.

If you are using dried flat rice noodles, cook them according to the packet instructions, but cook them for slightly less time as you will finish cooking them in the sauce later.

how to make pad see ew, sliced fresh rice noodles on wooden board

Mix all of the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.

how to make pad see ew, sauce ingredients in a white bowl

Heat some oil in a large non-stick pan (or a non-stick wok, if you have one) and sear the beef until golden and caramelised on one side.

Turn the beef over and season generously with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper.

Use a slotted spoon to remove the beef to a large plate.

how to make pad see ew, seared beef in non-stick pan

Add a dash more oil to the pan, and sauté the onions and garlic for 1 to 2 minutes.

how to make pad see ew, sauteed onions and garlic in non-stick pan

Add the broccoli to the onion and garlic mixture. I like to keep the broccoli florets quite large in this dish so that they don’t disintegrate into the stir-fry later.

how to make pad see ew, stir-fried broccoli, onions and garlic in non-stick pan

Place a lid on the pan to quickly steam the broccoli for a few minutes to help it cook more quickly and evenly.

how to make pad see ew, non-stick pan with glass lid on

Push the vegetables to one side of the pan, and then crack two whole eggs into the pan. If you prefer, you can crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk them first, but there is really no need to.

how to make pad see ew, non-stick pan with vegetables and two whole eggs added

Use a wooden spoon to quickly scramble the eggs. As the eggs cook, they will become firmer. I like to then break up the scrambled eggs into large chunks so you can taste them in the dish later.

how to make pad see ew, non-stick pan with vegetables and scrambled eggs

Add the noodles to the pan, together with most of the sauce.

Depending on what type of noodles you use, as well as how much meat and vegetables you have in the pan, you might not need all of the sauce.

how to make pad see ew, non-stick pan with vegetables, noodles and sauce

Give everything a good mix and taste for seasoning. If the vegetables and noodles need more flavour, add the rest of the sauce.

Lastly, return to the meat to the pan and give everything a good mix.

how to make pad see ew, non-stick pan with noodles, broccoli and beef

FAQs

Where to buy Pad See Ew noodles? The best noodles to use for Pad See Ew are fresh rice noodles, which you can often buy from most Asian grocery stores in the refrigerated section. If you can’t find fresh rice noodles, you can also make Pad See Ew with dried flat rice noodles.

How long does Pad See Ew last? It is best to eat Pad See Ew as soon as it is cooked, but any leftovers in the fridge will keep for 1-2 days.

How to reheat Pad See Ew? You can gently reheat any leftover Pad See Ew on a non-stick pan with a touch of oil, but it will taste a bit drier than when the dish is freshly made.

What to serve with Pad See Ew? I recommend serving Pad See Ew with some Pickled Chillies on the side. The sourness from the Pickled Chillies adds another layer of flavour to the dish.

Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles)

Quick and easy Pad See Ew (Thai Stir-Fried Noodles) using fresh rice noodles or dried noodles, beef and vegetables. Have dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes!

  • Author: eatlittlebird.com
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 3 to 4
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stir-Fry
  • Cuisine: Thai

Ingredients

For the sauce

For the stir-fried noodles

  • 500 g fresh rice noodles
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • 200 g rump steak or skirt steak, cut into thin strips
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • 1 large brown onion, thickly sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 g broccoli, trimmed and cut into large florets
  • 2 eggs

To serve

  • coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
  • red chillies, finely sliced or Pickled Chillies
  • limes, cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. Prepare the sauce by mixing all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. If you are using fresh rice noodles, cut the block of noodles into thick slices, about 2 to 3 cm wide (about 1 inch). Soften the noodles by placing them into a large colander and pour boiling water over them.
  3. If you are using dried noodles, please prepare them according to the packet instructions, but soak them for slightly less time so that they still have some bite.
  4. Heat a large non-stick pan or wok over hight heat with some vegetable oil.
  5. Add the beef and spread it around the pan evenly.
  6. Do not stir or turn the beef for a few minutes. This will allow the beef to develop a sear with a nice, caramelised crust.
  7. Once the beef has developed a nice sear, use a spoon to turn the meat over.
  8. Immediately season the meat generously with sea salt and freshly cracked white pepper.
  9. You do not need to cook the meat completely.
  10. Remove the beef with a slotted spoon to a large plate.
  11. Add a bit more oil to the pan.
  12. Sauté the onions and garlic for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the onions have softened slightly.
  13. Add the broccoli florets and stir everything together.
  14. Cover the pan with a lid for 1 to 3 minutes, or until the broccoli is cooked but still crisp.
  15. Push the vegetables to one side of the pan. Or, if your pan is quite small, simply remove the vegetables to a large plate.
  16. If necessary, add a touch of oil to the pan.
  17. Break both eggs into the pan.
  18. Immediately, start scrambling the eggs with a wooden spoon.
  19. Cook the scrambled eggs until they have just set.
  20. Try to break up the scrambled eggs into large chunks.
  21. Add the noodles to the pan, together with the vegetables and most of the sauce. Reserve 1-2 tablespoons of the sauce for later.
  22. Stir everything together to distribute the sauce evenly.
  23. Continue to cook over high heat for a few minutes until all of the ingredients are piping hot.
  24. Taste for seasoning. If the stir-fry needs more flavour, add some or all of the remaining sauce.
  25. Stir the cooked meat through the mixture, together with any meat juices on the plate.
  26. Garnish with coriander (cilantro) and red chillies or Pickled Chillies (if using).
  27. Squeeze lime juice over the noodles immediately before serving.

Kitchen Notes

CHICKEN
You can substitute the beef in this dish with thinly sliced chicken breast fillets, or thickly sliced chicken thigh fillets.

SHRIMPS OR PRAWNS
For a seafood version, you can substitute the beef in this recipe with peeled and deveined shrimps or prawns. Cook the prawns or shrimps for a few minutes on each side until they are lightly golden and the flesh is just cooked.

TOFU
For a vegetarian version, you can substitute the beef in this recipe with firm tofu which has been cut into chunks. Sauté the tofu in some oil until they are nicely browned on all sides.

VEGETABLES
Instead of broccoli, Chinese broccoli (gai larn), bok choy or pak choy are also delicious in this dish.

STORAGE TIPS
Pad See Ew is best eaten as soon as it is cooked. However, leftovers can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days and gently reheated in a non-stick pan.

CONVERSIONS
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.

Did you make this recipe?

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