Pad See Ew: The Thai Takeout Classic You Can Whip Up in Minutes!

Pad See Ew Recipe

Pad See Ew is a classic Thai noodle dish that is a favourite Thai takeaway. Pad See Ew combines flat, wide rice noodles with chicken or beef and Chinese broccoli with a delectable sauce. But did you know that it is really easy to make and is a perfect weeknight dinner? Here I'll show you how to make it just like they do at your favourite Thai restaurant - pinky swear! This is a pushy recipe Dear Reader.

Pad See Ew came to Thailand via Chinese migrants, specifically the Teochew people who emigrated from Guangdong to Thailand in the early 1900s. This is why you will see ingredients like Chinese broccoli, oyster sauce and soy sauce and the flavours are a combination of Thai and Chinese cuisine. Interestingly, Char Kway Teow is a similar cousin to this dish and is also made using the same flat rice noodles which the Teochew people brought to Singapore and Malaysia. While I like Pad Thai, I prefer the flavour of Pad See Ew because it's sweeter and I find Pad Thai can be a bit dry and needs to be eaten straight away or it clumps up.

Pad See Ew Recipe

Tips for Making Pad See Ew

1 - Like with many Asian recipes, having a mise en place or having everything prepped and chopped before you start cooking really helps and this cooks very quickly once you have your mise en place.

Pad See Ew Recipe

2- What is the "chilli paste and soybean oil" condiment? The other name for this is Nam Prik Pao which is a Thai chilli jam that adds a punch of flavour to many Thai stir fry and soup dishes. You can find it at Asian grocery stores (by brands Pantai or Maesri) or at the supermarket where it is also called "Thai chilli jam stir fry paste" (by brand Ayam).

3 - I like using chicken tenderloins rather than chicken breast as they are a bit more tender. But by all means use sliced chicken breast if that's what you have.

Pad See Ew Recipe

4 - The best noodles to use for Pad See Ew are fresh, wide rice noodles. These are best found at Asian grocery stores. I prefer buying from these places because at the supermarket they refrigerate them but at Asian grocery stores they keep them at room temperature until the use by date (around 2 weeks). You can just leave them on the kitchen counter or in the pantry.

5 - It is also important to not separate the noodles while they are cold or unheated as they will break easily. To make rice noodles more pliable cut the top off the bag of fresh rice noodles and microwave them for 2-3 minutes (or put it on a plate if you don't like microwaving plastic). Remove from the bag and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes so that they are easier to handle.

Pad See Ew Recipe
Gai Larn

6 - How to cut the Chinese broccoli or Gai Larn: choose the thinner stems and cut off the base so that they are single stems. Then cut the stalk up into 2 inch pieces. If you can't get gai larn, spinach, silverbeet or kale (leaves only) can also work.

Pad See Ew Recipe

7 - I recommend only cooking 500g/1.1lbs of noodles at one time, otherwise your wok will be too crowded.

8 - Always fry using a hot pan as this makes it less sticky. I always fry the rice noodles without sauce first to give them a caramelised edge. I find that they remain intact this way too rather than breaking up in the pan.

Pad See Ew Recipe

Speaking of making things easy I have to share my favourite buy from last year because I've been telling my friends all about it too. This aren't sponsored items I paid for them myself. I know that I'm totally late to the party but we finally bought robot vacuums for the house, one for each floor and it has made my life so much easier.

Does that sound odd? Perhaps. But it has to do with my feet. I have horribly ticklish feet and I can't go anywhere bare foot. If I feel so much as a grain of dirt I get freaked out so I always wear slippers or shoes. I'm sure it's part of my OCD. But now I can go barefoot in my house which is a game changer. Prior to that we would vacuum once a week and by we I mean me because Mr NQN moans every time he has to do it.

We have two robot vacuums, one inexpensive and one a bit more high tech (we bought them on a Black Friday sale). We call the expensive one Bot Bot and we control it by app and it uses lasers and talks to us. The inexpensive one Baby gets its name because it isn't quite as fancy as Bot Bot and doesn't have an app or laser and basically bangs into everything to know where to stop so it's not fully developed in comparison. It also gets stuck at the top of the stairs and has a baby tantrum.

I run them each twice a day which may be overkill but when you don't have to actually do much apart from press a button it's easy to do. And I'm all about making your life easier whether it be easy ways to clean or cook food. I've told Mr NQN that I'm going to put googly eyes on them because I love them so much!

So tell me Dear Reader, do you like Pad See Ew? What is your best purchase from last year to make your life easier?

Pad See Ew Recipe

Pad See Ew

Did you make this recipe? Share your creations by tagging @notquitenigella on Instagram with the hashtag #notquitenigella

An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

  • Oil for frying
  • 500g/1.1lb fresh rice noodles
  • 220g/7.7ozs chicken tenderloins (around 3)
  • 1/2 bunch (around 125g/4oz) gai larn or Chinese broccoli
  • 2 eggs, beaten

For Sauce

  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon chilli paste with soybean oil
  • 1 tablespoon kecap manis
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Pad See Ew Recipe
Slicing the tenderloins

Step 1 - First heat up the noodles by cutting off the top of the packet and microwaving them for 2-3 minutes until soft. Remove from packet and allow to cool (they will be too hot to handle otherwise). Slice up the tenderloins diagonally against the grain. Then cut the bottoms off the gai larn to make single stalks into 2 inch lengths.

Step 2 - In a small bowl mix the garlic, fish sauce, oyster sauce, chicken broth, chilli paste with soybean oil, kecap manis, dark soy sauce and white pepper together well (make sure to break up the paste).

Pad See Ew Recipe
Caramelising the noodles

Step 3 - Heat the wok or frying pan on high heat. This may take a few minutes but when the wok is very hot, the food is less likely to stick to it. Add 3 tablespoons of oil and spread out the noodles and allow to caramelise on one side for a couple of minutes, then turn over and caramelise the other side. Remove from the wok and set aside in a bowl.

Pad See Ew Recipe
Then cooking the chicken

Pad See Ew Recipe
And then adding the gai larn

Pad See Ew Recipe

Step 4 - Add 2 tablespoons of oil and fry the chicken pieces for until mostly cooked. Add the gai larn and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the noodles back to the pan and add sauce on top. Gently turn the noodles so that the sauce coats everything. Add the beaten egg to the side and quickly fry for a minute until set and do one last turn of the noodles and place them on a serving plate.

Pad See Ew Recipe

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