Pad See-Ew (ผัดซีอิ๊ว)


Pad see-ew with pickled chilies

Pad See-ew, in my opinion, should never be without vinegar with pickled chilies served alongside.

To bring you this post, I had to use the little charm I had not only to gain access to the kitchen of a Thai restaurant after they had closed for the night, but also to get them to make a plate of Pad See-Ew* when the people were cleaning up and getting ready to leave.

Did I know no shame? Perhaps not. I did it all for the sake of my readers, you see. Besides, I wanted to make a very important point.

And that point is that unless you’re blessed with a commercial-style range with 17,000 or more BTU burners, your chances of producing the kind of Pad See-Ew (ผัดซีอิ๊ว – literally “soy sauce stir-fry“) they do on the streets of Bangkok or in Thai restaurants overseas are quite slim. If you’ve attempted to make this dish at home and it turned out not exactly like what you had at your favorite Thai restaurant, it’s probably not your fault or the recipe’s; your gas range is a bit wimpy. See how the cook kicked up the heat in the video (below)? If you have an electric range with coil elements, …. (backing away slowly with both hands up).

In the dialogue, the cook is sharing with me the importance of using high — very high — heat in order to get what he calls, “the wok smell.” Chinese cooks know this well: you can’t make good fried noodles or rice without a well-seasoned wok and high heat. If you ever wonder why the fried rice you make at home, though tasty, doesn’t have that familiar toasty fragrance — the secret smell — that you get from restaurant fried rice, what is missing is this “wok smell.” You’ll never get that from using moderate heat. It’s even more difficult, if not virtually impossible, to get that desired fragrance when you use a nonstick pan.

Please don’t shoot me; I’m just the messenger.

pad see ew recipe

Not having Chinese broccoli that day, I had to settle for broccoli.

Having said that, I wouldn’t want you to be discouraged from giving Pad See-Ew a try at home. What I’m saying is not that homemade Pad See-Ew is unacceptable; I wanted to make sure you know that if the fried rice or fried noodles you make at home, even under the guidance of the best of recipes, don’t turn out the same as what you get from the restaurant, it’s not necessarily your fault. And though you can’t exactly replicate the restaurant dishes, you can still produce delicious fried rice and noodles.

Besides, there’s a way to get around that, and that is to use the highest heat setting your range allows when you make Pad See-Ew and not be afraid to let things brown up at the bottom of the pan. If you can’t get the so-called “wok smell” like they do in the restaurants, at least try to get that “nutty,” toasty caramelized bits at the bottom of the pan or wok that would add tons of flavor to your fried noodle/rice dish and a bit of “restaurant” flavor — the secret smell – to your homemade creations.

Important: You should never make more than 2 servings at a time. The bigger the batch, the soggier your noodles become. The soggier your noodles, the more likely they will fall apart. Respectable Thai street food vendors make this on demand and never more than 2 servings at a time.

*The standard transliteration is Phat Si-io. But it’s more popularly spelled Pad See Ewe, Pad Si Ewe, Pad See Ew, Pad See-iw, Pad See-Euw, etc. To pronounce this the way literate native Thais do, make sure you pronounce the first syllable “putt” (as in “Let me show you how to sink more putts and reduce your golf handicap”). The second syllable is pronounced exactly like “see,” and the last syllable rhymes with “cue.”

pad see-ew

4.9 from 7 reviews

Pad See-Ew Recipe (ผัดซีอิ๊ว)
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish, Entree, Noodles
Cuisine: Thai, Chinese
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • ⅓ cup plain vegetable oil
  • 8 ounces of fresh, flat and wide rice noodles (not dried)
  • One large egg
  • 2 tablespoons of sweet dark soy sauce.
  • Mixture of 2 tablespoons oyster sauce, 2 teaspoons light (or “white”) soy sauce, 2 teaspoons sugar, 2 teaspoons white vinegar, and 1 medium clove of garlic (peeled and minced)
  • 4 ounces sliced meat of choice, marinated in 2 teaspoons light soy sauce and a teaspoon of baking soda
  • One and one half cups of Kai-Lan (Chinese broccoli) or, if you really can’t find it, broccoli florets, loosely packed
Instructions
  1. Follow the steps in the video. Add the partially-cooked meat to the pan at the same time as you do the vegetable.
Notes
If wide rice noodles come super fresh (made earlier the same day), you can skip the blanching; you don’t need that (if you live in Southeast Asia where fresh noodles are available any time, anywhere, you certainly don’t need to blanch your noodles). Blanching is recommended only for the thick, doughy flat rice noodles which have been sitting on the shelf for days (most of the time, those are what you get). If you don’t have a high-BTU gas range, don’t try to shake the pan and flip the noodles around as shown in the video. Turn up the heat to the highest setting and let the sweet soy sauce-drenched noodles sit until you can smell that something is just starting to get too browned. Before the fire alarm goes off, give the noodles a stir. Add the meat, then the vegetable, wilt it quickly, and you’re done.

 

133 Responses to Pad See-Ew (ผัดซีอิ๊ว)

  1. Danielle June 3, 2010 at 6:19 am #

    This reminds me why I loathe the electric coil stove burners…

  2. pigpigscorner June 3, 2010 at 9:27 am #

    I do agree, the wok smell is pretty important!

  3. Rick June 3, 2010 at 10:10 am #

    So extreme high heat is the key.

    My poor Wolf range has been weighed in the balances, and found wanting…. longing for a burner with an After Burner from a jet engine… plus they just look cool

    • Wayners November 9, 2013 at 8:04 pm #

      I’ll stick with my home stove. At least I don’t have to pay the restaurant’s ginormous gas bills.

  4. Angry Asian June 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    i feel jipped that i have a wimpy stove. having lived in bangkok for 3 years i’ve been spoiled.

    i fear that this is a dish that i would just have to order, the high temp and huge amt of oil used freaks me out. (raises hand and ashamedly admits to being a wimp)

  5. Honey June 3, 2010 at 8:43 pm #

    That looks amazing… but I’m not sure how i’d make it with an electric stove.
    The fire everywhere would scare the hell out of me… I’d order it at a Thai place :-)

  6. Leela June 3, 2010 at 9:49 pm #

    Honey – You can make a decent version with an electric stove. Just have to let the delicious, smoky brown crusts develop on the bottom of the pan. :)

  7. lisaiscooking June 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm #

    Sadly, the heat from my stovetop isn’t the only reason my dishes at home just aren’t the same! But, I keep trying. This looks delicious by the way.

  8. The Duo Dishes June 3, 2010 at 10:48 pm #

    Cooking is all about the senses. Now, we all have to tune our noses to the wok smell. Is there a special technique to larb? We’ll be making it this weekend. :)

  9. Ted Coley June 4, 2010 at 12:45 am #

    “Wok smell” is called Wok Hei in Chinese. I figured out how to achieve this at home – use a turkey fryer. It throws out 17,000 BTUs of heat, at a minimum. Use a good glove though and don’t even think about running into the house to get an ingredient you forgot, your pad see eew will burn to a crisp before you get back to the wok.

  10. Leela June 4, 2010 at 12:49 am #

    Ted – Brilliant! If there’s any reason for me to buy a turkey fryer, this would be it. Thanks.

  11. Kristen June 4, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    Fantastic! I knew it had to be hot, but just how hot is always my issue. I tend to over think things. This is the favorite dish of my eldest boy. Maybe we will have to make it tomorrow for lunch :)

  12. catty June 4, 2010 at 4:43 pm #

    I adore ADORE ADORE pad see ew and wish I could cook it at home. I’m sure even with the right heat I wouldn’t get it right.. and it’s one of those things that aren’t too expensive so I end up getting take out! :)

  13. Anonymous June 7, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    Why do you marinate the meat with baking soda?

  14. Leela June 7, 2010 at 11:10 pm #

    Anonymous – In a nutshell, the baking soda helps tenderizes the meat. I’m writing a full post on that. Coming up in the next few days.

  15. Anonymous June 8, 2010 at 7:12 pm #

    I had no idea baking soda tenderizes meat! Thanks for the useful tip.

  16. Anonymous October 10, 2010 at 3:06 am #

    Yea! Thank you so much for posting this video and recipe. Pad See-Ew is my favorite Thai dish and I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, for years to make it at home. When in Thailand last year I ate Pad See-Ew as often as possible jotting down notes as I watched many of the vendors make it… even had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner one day! Anyway, just tried making it again tonight with your recipe. Even if I do have a wimpy electric range it still turned out great and was the closest to restaurant quality that I’ve ever been able to produce at home. Thank you for fueling this addict with the knowledge needed to feed her pad see-ew addiction without leaving home!

  17. Leela October 10, 2010 at 3:22 am #

    Anon – Thanks for the report. Glad the video helps, because it would have been a very long post without it. Pad see-ew addiction, from what I’ve heard, cannot be cured. I suggest you do what I do, I.e. refrain from fighting it. :)

  18. Liz October 26, 2010 at 4:47 am #

    Tried this tonight and it was great! Thank you!

  19. Chris November 13, 2010 at 8:22 pm #

    I tried this just now and it was excellent. Not sure someone from Thailand would agree but for a twenty-something guy from the UK i thought i did alright! :)

    This is one of my favourite blogs/sites – keep it up!

  20. Leela November 13, 2010 at 8:40 pm #

    Chris – Thanks for the report. :) The dish isn’t very hard to make at all. Once you know the tricks, e.g. scramble the egg first, high heat, lots of oil, the rest is easy. Glad you liked it.

  21. Anonymous November 14, 2010 at 6:15 am #

    L,

    Awesome research, recipe and video post. Makes it easier to understand the process and techniques used behind those swinging doors. Nice! =)

    What type of wok do you use? (type of metal and style)

  22. Leela November 14, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    Anon – Thanks. I have an ugly but very well-seasoned carbon steel wok which has been used for years. Looks kind of like this, but uglier. I recommend against stainless steel woks. You’ll never get the seasoned patina on them like you do carbon steel woks.

  23. Anonymous November 16, 2010 at 5:03 am #

    Thanks L…good to know about using stainless steel.

    As for ugly? Not the most elegant of all the cooking vessels but I do love the patina of a nice used wok.

    Again, great recipe. Just made the dish tonight–and very tasty I might add. Looks like I’ll be cooking this one often to hone the technique. =)

  24. Jolva December 13, 2010 at 3:13 am #

    I wonder if pre-heating a cast-iron (or otherwise oven safe) wok in a 500 degree oven would help achieve the elusive ‘wok-smell’?

  25. Leela December 13, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    Jolva – hmm.. That might actually work. Worth a try. Will you please let us know how it goes?

  26. Sara December 14, 2010 at 1:17 am #

    Genius! Utterly tasty with a well seasoned wok. So far every recipe I’ve tried from your site has be delightful! My deepest, deepest thanks from under 20″ of snow in frigid Minnesota! :) Yum!

  27. Leela December 14, 2010 at 1:19 am #

    Sara – How kind of you! Thanks! A well-seasoned wok makes all the difference in the world, doesn’t it? Glad you liked the dish. :)

  28. Dean December 18, 2010 at 4:33 am #

    I have a giant propane fueled burner with a really big wok. If I ran the kitchen fan, opened a window, and kept my burn time down, would this be safe?

  29. Leela December 18, 2010 at 6:25 pm #

    Dean – I would think so. Good luck!

  30. Joe January 9, 2011 at 4:18 pm #

    I have this at least every other day, and like so many of the classic Thai ‘market foods’, it is an art form to make it well. The slightly charred flavour is definitely key and for some reason it never tastes as good when cooked in more sterile kitchens like the food courts. I’ll have to start practising how to make it for when I don’t live in Thailand. Definitely an addict!

  31. Leela January 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

    Joe – You’re absolutely right about food court pad see ew! Great observation.

  32. es0ul January 15, 2011 at 1:50 pm #

    I’ve made this dish numerous times using recipes I’ve found on YouTube. Pad See Ew is my favorite Thai dish at restaurants and I’ve only recently tried making it myself. Every recipe I’ve tried didn’t match the taste I’ve gotten at my favorite Thai restaurant. THIS, however, was the best. I followed the recipe for the sauce mix but I used six times the amount because I was using two pounds of noodles. I added Sambal chilli paste, red pepper flakes and honey to the sauce. Perfection. THANKS FOR THIS!

  33. Leela January 15, 2011 at 4:25 pm #

    es0ul – Wow. Thanks for reporting back your results! Glad you liked it. :)

  34. Anonymous January 21, 2011 at 3:52 pm #

    What brand of rice noodles do you use? A picture in your pantry section would be great! Thanks.

  35. Leela January 21, 2011 at 4:15 pm #

    Anon – The brand that I use is local which you probably can’t find where you are (Asian grocery stores in your hometown carry their own local brands too, I’m sure). In any case, we’re talking fresh rice noodles (often called “flat” or “wide” rice noodles) — the kind that comes in stacked layers which you have to separate or cut and separate yourself. They look like this. We usually don’t use dried noodles which require pre-soaking (e.g. Pad Thai rice stick noodles) for this, although if you prefer those dried noodles *can* be used as well; the end result just won’t be the same as you’ve had.

    But I do have a secret dried “noodle” substitute which is very, very handy and which I’ve come to love more than the traditional fresh wide/flat rice noodles. In fact, the batch I made for this post (see the photos) was made with this secret sub. I’ll post about this very soon, so please stay tuned.

  36. Jorge Cardoza January 27, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Any form of sodium denatures protein, but ordinary table salt contains other minerals, especially iodine, and can soak up to 10 times its weight in water, so you’ll end up with a bitter aftertaste and dry food. Baking soda worls best on small cuts of protein and left to act for no longer than 20 minutes.

  37. Leela January 27, 2011 at 4:05 am #

    Jorge – Thank you.

  38. ttovie January 27, 2011 at 9:17 pm #

    I love pad see-ew. I can’t wait to give this a try!

    One thing, though, I’ve watched the video several times and I can’t seem to catch when they add the meat? They simmer it at the beginning but when does it go in the wok?

  39. Leela January 27, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    ttovie – The meat goes in just before the gailan. :)

  40. Anonymous February 4, 2011 at 11:49 pm #

    Do you add the oyster sauce mixture at the same time as the sweet soy sauce?

  41. Leela February 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm #

    Anon – Yep.

  42. Cinnamon and Truffle February 10, 2011 at 5:12 pm #

    I love Pad See Ew, so thank you for the recipe. And most of all, thank you for explaining the high temperature/wok issue! There’s one mystery put to rest.

    Best

    Truffle

  43. Adrienne April 17, 2011 at 4:51 am #

    PERFECT recipe and easy to follow! THANK YOU!

  44. Anonymous April 18, 2011 at 1:39 am #

    I’ve been craving to eat Phat Si-iw as i saw your vdo. The last time i had it was 5 years ago. Your Phad Si-iw recipe looks very simple to cook..your tips are very helpful! thank you!. would like to follow up on what you mentioned about substituting dried noodles in cooking this recipe. here in the my country we don’t have have flat noodles only dried noodles that are commonly used in cooking Phad Thai…how can i cook it the right way to make it taste better?

  45. Leela April 18, 2011 at 1:53 am #

    Anon – I will blog about that very soon. In the meantime, please go ahead and use the dried rice sticks — the kind that is used to make Pad Thai, if that’s all you can find (it won’t be traditional, but it will do). If it’s the thin kind (~3 millimeter), all you have to do is soak the noodles in water for 10-15 minutes and drain them, then they’re ready to use. Be sure to add a little bit of water to the pan after you add the noodles, because rice sticks need more moisture to get soft as opposed to fresh flat rice noodles which turn soggy in the presence of too much moisture. But if you use the wide kind (~5 millimeter++), you will need to boil them first (until they’re soft enough to eat — which is the texture of fresh rice noodles) and drain them very, very well before adding them to the pan.

  46. Za April 19, 2011 at 5:21 am #

    Thanks for the recipe! I usually have to drive 40 minutes to the nearest Halal Thai restaurant here in Seattle. So I tried your recipe tonight and it was such a winner my hubby was suggesting that we could skip the restaurant cos mine tasted better and he didn’t need to do the driving!! Now is that gd news or bad?

  47. Leela April 19, 2011 at 6:59 pm #

    Za – Definitely good news for your husband! :)

  48. dragonchef April 30, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    Summer comes around and It’s definitely time to try and crank out the outdoor wok burner I have from outdoorstirfry.com. Actually, I only use a induction stove in our domestic kitchen, but what I found sufficient is the use cast iron wok. I have a light weight wok with enmal coating on the outside, and cast iron on the inside.

    For those who don’t have sweet soy sauce available, I actually added a touch of ABC Kecap manis. The end result was actually quite decent:)

  49. Leela April 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    dragonchef – Thanks for the tips!

    Sweet soy sauce and kecap manis are actually the same thing; any differences from brand to brand have more to do with the slightly different formulae used by different manufacturers.

  50. LOM May 5, 2011 at 9:58 pm #

    What is the chef squeezing into the wok around 1:21? It’s a clear liquid…is it vinegar?

  51. Leela May 5, 2011 at 10:31 pm #

    LOM – I believe so. They also have what I believe to be simple syrup (one part water: one part sugar mixture) in a squeeze bottle handy too.

  52. David May 22, 2011 at 10:51 pm #

    First time posting here; first time to this site–I like what I see. Any discussion that involves good food and high heat has my favor.

    Commercial burners, like what we use every day in the kitchen, set to high are approximate 30k BTUs if using Nat and slightly less if LP–simple because NatGas burns hotter than LP. Wok burners as seen here can reach upwards of 100k BTUs. Most home ranges can compete with the quotes 17k BTUs, but that is simply not enough heat to achieve what is necessary to sear even the wettest of ingredients, after all, searing is what we so desperately seek. That crispy yummyness of the Maillard reaction requires intense heat.

    The turkey fryer is a good suggestion, but to those on electric or cooking indoors all the time, try an induction burner set to high. Most woks you purchase will work on induction and the heat achievable is amazing for something you plug into the wall. Give it a try.

    Thanks
    David
    Lexington, SC

  53. Leela May 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

    David – Thank you. Very helpful.

  54. dhershey June 10, 2011 at 7:53 pm #

    My wife is allergic to seafood, is there anything that can be substituted for the oyster sauce? I suspect it adds flavor components that can’t be easily obtained elsewhere, but I’d like to achieve something relatively close. Thanks!

  55. Leela June 10, 2011 at 10:38 pm #

    dhershey – Try vegetarian “oyster” sauce that is made from mushrooms or mushroom extract. There are many different brands. Some examples include Weitei and Lee Kum Kee (labeled vegetarian stir-fry sauce, but I’ve used it before — very close to oyster sauce.

  56. Ish August 17, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    Dear Leela,

    My wife’s favorite Thai dish (since I introduced her to Thai cuisine) is definitely Pad See-Ew. I’ve recently been motivated to try cooking Thai food for us at home and when I found your site I was delighted.

    A couple of weeks ago I finally tried my hand at cooking us Pad See-Ew with chicken. A week before, for this purpose, I bought a hand-hammered carbon-steel Chinese wok as well as all the required ingredients. The result looked very much like Pad See-Ew but in terms of taste it was not really the real thing:

    I am not talking here about lacking some zest or extra smoked smell/taste you’d only find in the restaurant. It came out somewhat more bitter/sour than the real dish and with a much stronger soy flavor.

    I am wondering what I did wrong. It’s hard to tell since the video does not quite convey the steps needed to make the dish from start. My suspicion is that one of the following may have happened:
    1. I used too much soy sauce or too much dark soy sauce. Which one?
    2. Too much oyster sauce?
    3. Generally I cooked twice the amount listed above so I doubled the amount of ingredients. Maybe that’s the issue? I’d expect that to perhaps hurt the texture of the noodles but not the flavor.
    4. Lousy ingredients?

    Not knowing the exact steps I put dark soy sauce on top of the noodles after cooking them very briefly in boiling water. Later, in the wok I added a bit more dark soy sauce (as well as normal soy sauce).

    Any suggestions would be appreciated. I really want to pull this off so I can cook this regularly for my wife and me.

  57. Admin August 17, 2011 at 5:24 pm #

    Ish – First thing that comes to mind is the bitterness could come from the excess starch in the noodles. That has happened to me many times until I’ve learned not to overcrowd my wok. Instead of getting the caramelized, charred bits, you get strange, almost-raw starch flavor (like undercooked gravy). So overcrowding your wok not only affects the texture, but the flavor.

    If that doesn’t apply, then it’s 1. this recipe doesn’t produce the kind of PSE you like, or 2. like you said, lousy ingredients. What brands of soy and oyster sauces do you use?

  58. Ish August 19, 2011 at 3:01 am #

    Thanks for the reply, Leela.

    I’ve used a 16 inch wok and put a full package of fresh wide rice noodles (I think that’s 1lb). I’m not sure if this was overcrowding, but I’ll try to put less next time. I still suspect that too much of either type of soy sauce could be the reason, though I’m not sure which one (I did drip both at various points so I probably exceeded in at least one of them the double amount I intended to use).

    In terms of ingredients I used:
    1. Kikkoman Less Sodium Soy Sauce – green bottle (would this fit as a light soy sauce?).
    2. Pearl River Bridge Superior Dark Soy Sauce.
    3. Star – White (Blanco) Wine Vinegar. Come to think of it, is there a difference between white wine vinegar and what’s simply called white vinegar?
    4. Wok Mei – All Natural Oyster Flavored Sauce (“Made for Stir Fry”). I chose this one since it does not have MSG.

    In order not to overcook the noodles, how long should I simmer them in boiling water and how long should I toss them in the wok?

    I am eager to try this once more after I get some pointers…

    Thanks,
    Ish

  59. Admin August 19, 2011 at 3:43 am #

    Ish – Ah, all the culprits are there. This post will help you navigate the murky water of soy sauces used in modern, Chinese-y Thai dishes.

    Light soy sauce in the context of Thai cooking doesn’t refer to low-sodium soy sauce; it refers to the kind of thinner, less concentrated soy sauce referred to as “white” soy sauce as mentioned in the post I was linking to.

    Kikkoman is a soy sauce made for Japanese food and should never be used in Thai cooking.

    White wine vinegar should never be used in Thai cooking either. Use white vinegar as instructed in the recipe. It’s the simplest, cheapest distilled vinegar on your supermarket shelves — the kind that some people use to clean their windows with. Do not use rice vinegar in this either.

    I have never used Wok Mei, so can’t comment on that. I’m pretty sure, though, that it’s not a common brand among Thai cooks. So if you use that brand for its lack of MSG (which is fine), you may have to settle for something that may not taste like the PSE you’ve had at your favorite Thai restaurants.

    The rule of thumb is to stick to Thai products as much as possible when making Thai dishes. Not all Asian soy sauces are the same. For example, just as you wouldn’t serve sushi with Healthy Boy or Golden Mountain soy sauce, you wouldn’t want to use Kikkoman in Thai food.

    The noodles don’t need to be cooked too long. Actually, the purpose of the par-boiling is to make them pliable more than to soften or cook them. Sometimes, when fresh rice noodles sit on the store shelf for a day or two, they become stiff. Blanchong them quickly helps make them pliable and more ready to absorb the flavors.

    Regarding the overcrowding of the pan, notice how big the wok in the video is. That’s a pretty big wok. And the cook wouldn’t make more than half a pound’s worth of noodles at a time. So if your wok is smaller than his and you put one pound of noodles in it at once, that will definitely keep you from getting good results. You need room for the sauce to cling to the noodles, caramelize, and evaporate VERY quickly. You need room to stir things around. When you overcrowd the pan, the noodles sit in the wet seasoning, stewing, getting soggy and falling apart.

  60. Ish August 19, 2011 at 5:11 pm #

    Thanks a lot, Leela both for the detailed and useful reply and for it being so fast.

    This is actually really good news – seeing how many things were specifically broken, gives me a lot of concrete things to do to fix things and I am hoping that the next iteration will come out much better.

    It’s all in the small details and shame on me for making assumptions and not studying the recipe a bit more closely before trying :)

    Let me ask a few more questions and I will report back after I’ve tried to do it again (this may take a week or two, though I’m eager for this to take place sooner!).

    - Vinegar: That’s easy to fix.

    - Dark Soy Sauce: You did not mention this but reading the related link, I am now not sure if I have the “dark” type or the “sweet dark” type and my understanding is that the “sweet dark” is the one needed. Do you if the one I mentioned (Pearl River Bridge Superior Dark Soy Sauce) is a “sweet dark” one? Do you have any common brands you can recommend?

    - Light Soy Sauce: Any brands you can mention? Otherwise, would any “thin” or “light” soy sauce do?

    - Oyster sauce: Hopefully this is a minor issue. I also found that Lee Kum Kee carry a no-MSG Oyster sauce. See for example, http://us.lkk.com/faq#MSG

    - Overcrowding: I will certainly go with the 8oz version next time.

    Thanks,
    Ish

  61. Admin August 19, 2011 at 11:04 pm #

    Ish – Can’t say for sure if Pearl River Bridge is dark sweet soy or just dark soy since I’ve never seen it in person. My guess is that it’s not sweet dark soy. A good test would be to look at the consistency. If it’s not sticky or doesn’t have the consistency of thin-ish molasses, it’s not.

    This picture in my soy sauce post shows both sweet dark soy sauce and thin/light soy sauce made by Healthy Boy. I recommend this brand based solely on the fact that it’s widely available and most people can find it either in the store or online.

    And thanks for the heads up on Lee Kum Kee. That’s a good brand. I like it.

  62. Ish August 28, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Hi Leela,

    I’m not sure my post of a few days ago got through, so here’s a quick repeat:

    I gave the Pad See-Ew another go and it came out much better. I used the proper ingredients this time (Inodonesian Kecap Manis as a sweet dark soy sauce, because the local Asian supermarket did not carry any sweet soy sauce from Thailand). It still was off a bit but mainly due to specific mistakes which I’m hoping to fix next time.

    I am enjoying improving and trying things out. Thanks again for your help.

    Cheers,
    Ish

  63. Lorianne September 30, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Hi Leela,

    After two attempts at pad see ew (the first one was great, but definitely missing a thai restaurant element – I suspect the sweet dark soy), and last night’s batch was gross in my opinion, though my boyfriend devoured it (I think because I got chinese thick soy). I finally sucked it up and ordered the Healthy Boy Dark Sweet Soy online.

    My question to you – I noticed your recipe doesn’t use fish sauce. Is this because you’re using light soy? I have both, but most recipes call for the fish sauce. Do you think it’s better without the fish sauce?

  64. Admin September 30, 2011 at 9:33 pm #

    Lorianne – Not sure if I understand you correctly. Did you omit the sweet dark soy sauce (which this recipe calls for) when you made the first batch?

    This recipe is based on the version served at a Thai restaurant and they don’t use fish sauce over there. But, yes, even when I make it my way, I don’t use fish sauce (but add fermented soy bean sauce instead). You’ll see different variations. Just like most dishes, there’s no one definitive recipe.

    But I’d say as long as you have the sweet dark soy sauce in there, the taste wouldn’t be too far off from the norm. That’s the ingredient that makes PSE what it is.

  65. Lorianne October 4, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    Hi,

    Thanks so much for responding.

    To clarify, in my first attempt, I used a bottle of “sweet soy sauce.” It was thin, like a regular soy sauce with sugar added to it, so I knew that wasn’t what I was looking for.

    The second time, I bought “thick soy sauce”, which contained molasses as the main ingredient. The sauce is made in Hong Kong, and I think it was what gave my second batch the bizarre taste (i also think I may have used too much – I’m so used to cooking by instinct, its odd when youre unfamiliar with the ingredients and can’t play with the sauces by taste).

    So now, I’m going to give your exact recipe a try when the Thai sweet dark soy arrives. I’ll omit the fish sauce too.

    This dish has become a vendetta to me!

    Thanks so much!

  66. Anonymous November 21, 2011 at 11:41 pm #

    I will master this recipe yet! I’ve just tried it for the second time, and I’m wishing I’d read through the comments before beginning. I can only get dried noodles out here, and I didn’t know you had to pre-soak them.

    My first attempt yielded a dish of very tough noodles and was too salty, so I halved the sauce and cooked the noodles forever this go around. The noodles were slightly over done, and the dish was too bland!

    I think once I adopt pre-soaking, I’ll get it right on the head. The sauce recipe is dead on, and I’ve never made such good “stir fried” chicken before. The baking soda/soy sauce marinade is amazing, as is the par boil.

    After a post-Thanksgiving fast, I think my waistline will be able to manage a third attempt.

  67. Admin November 21, 2011 at 11:51 pm #

    Anon – If you use dried noodles, you may find the post I’ve written on how to prepare dried noodles for Pad Thai useful.

  68. Admin November 21, 2011 at 11:55 pm #

    Anon – One more remark – the estimated soaking time which I’ve stated in one of the comments (10-15 minutes) may not apply to the noodles you’re using, so it’s best to go by the “twirl around the fingers” (explained in the post I’ve linked to) rule.

  69. Anonymous December 17, 2011 at 7:01 am #

    The home “pseudo-commercial” stoves like the Wolfe do NOT get any hotter than a GE with a ‘hot” burner. They look cool but don’t fool anybody who cooks. Several thousands of waster money is a lot to look cool.

    I have bought fresh rice noodles and have a very difficult time separating them. Even warm water soaks don’t seem to help, Any secrets?

  70. Admin December 17, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Anon – The only method that has worked for me is steaming — gentle and brief. This is most easily done by cutting the stack into strips, putting the unseparated strips into a heatproof bowl, covering the bowl tightly with a piece of plastic wrap, and microwaving on medium for 30-40 seconds or just until they’re soft enough to separated (don’t overdo it).

  71. Brianna January 9, 2012 at 4:15 am #

    I’m so happy I found your blog! I cook in a respected Thai restaurant in Windsor, Ontario, Canada and I still get disappointed with the taste difference of my food cooked at home versus in my commercial kitchen. I’m excited to try your Pad See Ew recipe as it is slightly different than the one I am used to, and much less complex to be honest!

    For those having issues with heat – you could try preheating the wok on high heat, until the point where it almost begins smoking, then adding the oil. Wait about 5 seconds, swirling it in the pan, then add a prescrambled egg and the results tend to be decent for a home kitchen. Please note that if you do this with a non-stick wok, it will give off plenty of chemicals and you will taste them! It is only intended for seasoned stainless steel woks.

    And this may sound unsanitary, but do not use soap on your wok. Wipe it clean (we use a bamboo brush) and rinse it, then burn off most of the water and re-season your wok.

    Dean, if you happen to log on to this page again, please know that using a propane burner inside is very dangerous! Commercial kitchens with woks are inspected by fire departments every six months (versus any other kitchen every 12 months) because they are so risky (Canadian law, American law is likely different)… but we also have to use special hoods. I don’t believe a kitchen fan would have comparable power and propane, high heat, and the possibility of flames all could lead to house fires very quickly.

    Thanks for a great blog – I am looking forward to trying so many great looking recipes!

  72. Admin January 9, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    Brianna – Thanks for your kind words and for dropping by and sharing your knowledge with us. LOVE comments like this.

  73. dizzy5 January 19, 2012 at 1:55 pm #

    …maybe the angry asians should stay away from E-”jipp”-tians. They’re angry, too.

  74. Belle January 19, 2012 at 5:47 pm #

    This is great!

    Do you know what sauces are used to make pad kee mao?

  75. Admin January 19, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    Belle – It would be pretty much the same sauces in slightly different proportions. I see pad khi mao (as made in the US, anyway) as a mashup between pad see-ew and pad ka-prao.

  76. vine January 20, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

    Hi,

    I am glad that I discovered your blog – this is great. I have always been a fan of rice noodles from the time that I used to live in Malaysia. I thoroughly enjoy the Thai rice noodle dishes. Pad see ew, pad thai, and Pak kee mao. I do not have much success with the dried noodle variety as they never seem to have the same texture are the restraunts that use the fresh one.

    You mentioned that you have a “secret” substitute for rice noodles and that you would be blogging about it. I have searched your blog but do not find any such entries. Could you please share what this is?

    Also, I would really appreciate the following two recipes
    1) Pad Kee Mao
    2) Thai bamboo (not sure what it is called in thai – but the description is ” spicy – sauteed with bamboo shoot, bell pepper, basil and garlic chilli sauce “. I am pretty sure it uses “nam prik pao”

  77. Admin January 21, 2012 at 3:14 pm #

    Vine – Thanks for the kind words.

    Sorry. I haven’t gotten around to posting that. I will very soon.

    Regarding the requests:
    1. That’s to come in the future.
    2. Is that a bamboo stir-fry or a noodle dish? I’m positive there’s not a dish that is called “Thai Bamboo.” Some of these dishes are unique to the restaurants that make them, and the way Thai restaurants overseas name their dishes is wildly arbitrary.

    Can you describe it for me? This could be a well-known dish; I just can’t tell from the way it’s named or described.

  78. Tyler & Joanna January 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    When you say 8 oz. of rice noodles I’m assuming you’re referring to fresh rice noodles. Any idea what that would equal with the dry variety?

  79. Admin February 2, 2012 at 6:09 am #

    T&A – Yes, this recipe is for fresh rice noodles. I currently do not have access to a kitchen (or dried noodles, for that matter), so I can’t tell you the measurement. Start with 2 ounces and see where that leads. I can’t be absolutely sure until I experiment with this, but I think it’s most likely in that neighborhood.

  80. More Cowbell March 8, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    I see you’re still responding to comments on this post, so I’ll ask my question. Would an induction burner/stove give you the heat you need at home?

    I’m not really clear on the science, but from what I’m reading, induction gives you a hotter hot. And since it requires something like cast iron (at least something magnetic), I was wondering of it might do the trick. Do you have any idea if this is feasible, or am I totally off base?

    Thanks! (I had some glitches posting this, so I hope it doesn’t show up half a dozen times.)

  81. Admin March 9, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    More Cowbell – It might. I don’t have one, so haven’t had first-hand experience. Is that the kind of stove you have at home? Would you give it a try and report back? Thanks.

  82. Kira March 27, 2012 at 10:42 pm #

    I’d love to make this. It looks soooo good and I love Pad See Ew from restaurants, but, like lots of the others on here, I don’t think my stove has enough heat. I’m a bit of an amateur cook, but this recipe seemed like a good place to start. I’m a little startled of the fire aspect still, though. If I mix the oil and sauce ingredients will there definitely be fire, even if my stove won’t be nearly as hot as the one in the video? If so, I think I’ll stick to restaurants for this meal (at least until I get a little braver) but if not, I’d love to try it. Thanks.

  83. Admin March 27, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    Kira – Yes, you can. As I said in the post, if your gas range can’t produce this high heat, simply use the highest setting and let things brown up a little on the bottom of the pan instead of stirring constantly. You want caramelization.

  84. Vegan April 11, 2012 at 1:50 am #

    Thank you so much for posting this! In general, when I’ve tried stir-frying fresh rice noodles at home, they just don’t come out right. I now know that the wok needs to be hotter and I need *much* more oil, LOL! And I have to say, as a vegan, I’m horrified that the meat and noodles are cooked in the same water. I’m sure there’s all kinds of “cross-contamination” in a restaurant, but it’s still off-putting to see it.

  85. Admin April 11, 2012 at 1:55 am #

    Vegan – :( I hear ya.

  86. Polecat April 30, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    Maybe this is a dumb question, but couldn’t I use a gas grill to achieve the high BTU’s?

  87. Admin April 30, 2012 at 12:30 am #

    Polecat – It could work. But you may have to place the pan on the grate, and I figure the distance between the flame and the grate might lessen the level of heat the grill produces. Worth a try, though.

  88. ironveins May 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

    I just picked up a couple of Healthy Boys and some Lee Kum Kee–made this delightful dish for dinner and I couldn’t be more pleased. This is my all-time favourite Thai dish from back home in PDX, and not something that shows up often in Thai restaurants in Scotland, where I live now.
    Thanks a million for posting this!!

  89. A. Rizzi May 15, 2012 at 2:25 am #

    Great video. Love me some “putt” see-uuu Glad I discovered your site. Lovely snaps.

  90. Stefi J June 28, 2012 at 12:05 am #

    I’m laughing to myself as I read the comments because NO ONE seems to have the problems I do when making PSE. We’re fortunate enough to live near Seattle, where Asian groceries abound. I can get many Thai options for all the ingredients. I can even score relatively fresh noodles. However, I ALWAYS end up with a brick of noodles that break into little chunks as I try to separate them! (I’ve lost track of # of times.) PLEASE tell me how to get them to separate into lovely wide sheets! (You will earn my hub’s undying gratitude!!)

  91. Admin June 28, 2012 at 12:10 am #

    Stefi J – Lawd, do I know what you mean. That’s the one problem I’ve been having and it’s big enough, serious enough for me to hold off on all recipes involving wide rice noodles on my blog. This is because their quality is so low.

    What has helped me somewhat is to cut the whole brick into strips (about 1 inch in width). Then don’t try to separate them. Instead, wrap the amount you need in two layers of paper towel or a clean kitchen towel and microwave them on medium until they’re pliable enough.

  92. spikygreengobbermonster June 29, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    Dear Leela i know i might this sounds a bit like a childs letter to santa but i could you please do a post on making homemade rice noodles ,Khanom jeen noodles,and some nice picture tutorials for pandandus and banana leaf folding.Many thanks!

  93. Diva Stefi July 2, 2012 at 11:44 pm #

    Dear “spiky,” I was thinking the same thing! I just know that whenever I mention making something myself (cheese, soap, tofu, etc.) people look at me like I’ve got orange horns and purple wings. But, since you’ve broken the ice…

    Dearest Leela. Dear, dear, Leela! Might the food geeks impose just the littlest bit and beg some wisdom on noodle making? Pretty-please??

  94. Admin July 2, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Spiky and Stefi – Oh, you with orange horns and purple wings … Sure. The queue is pretty long, though. But I’ll get to it. One thing right up front, it’s impossible to make khanom jiin the way they do it in Thailand, and even if one’s satisfied with the non-fermented version, it’s still impossible to do it without a pasta extruder (which I don’t have). The best sub is somen noodles. The wide rice noodles, on the other hand, can be made at home. It just takes some practice and lots and lots of patience.

  95. Eric July 12, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    Leela,

    Weird question but what about making this recipe as a fried rice dish instead of a noodle dish? Especially since the wide rice noodles can be a pain to find or work with?

    Obviously it won’t have the same amazing texture of pad see ew, but flavor-wise or technique-wise, any thoughts on a pad see ew flavored fried rice??

    Eric

  96. Katy Delavan August 15, 2012 at 8:48 pm #

    So would I be better off using a cast iron pan over a stainless steel wok?

  97. Admin August 15, 2012 at 8:54 pm #

    Katy – I think so. If you were comparing cast iron and carbon steel wok, I’d probably say the different is not so big. But I’m not a fan of stainless steel wok when it comes to stir-frying delicate noodles that need to be charred. My experience with it has been negative, but it could be just me.

  98. Katy Delavan August 16, 2012 at 1:15 am #

    Okay, that’s what I figured. Thank you!

  99. Anonymous August 17, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    Just found this site, amazing! I really enjoyed the fish sauce review!

    I love Pad See Ew! Ever since trying thai food it’s become one of my favorite foods of all time, and it’s so simple! I’ve always wanted to try making it and now I guess I can give it a shot. Whenever I order it I always ask for duck, it’s a little more pricey, but the fatty delicious duck goes so well with the sweet soy sauce imo. So now on to find what I’m assuming is a thai version of peking duck? Thanks!

  100. DanielH September 13, 2012 at 2:12 am #

    I made pad see ew!!!! I made pad see ew!!! It tastes AWESOME!!!! And I usually suck at cooking!!!! OMG!!!!

  101. Newbia September 16, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    Oh man. I made this for my boyfriend, and I think he wanted to propose to me after he ate it. It was SO delicious! This is the perfect recipe — I also looked at the comments, so I knew not to overcrowd the pan, and made it in two batches in my tiny wok. I also added chopped oyster mushrooms in lieu of meat, which added a nice chewiness. Also, that sweet soy sauce is delicious — it really is the secret to a perfect caramelly Pad See Ew. We put it on everything now.
    By the way: thanks for the earlier recommendation to check out Golden Palace in Chicago. I love that place! They have EVERYTHING.

  102. Sarah Broadbent September 29, 2012 at 9:36 am #

    Leela,

    This is an amazing recipe, I have made it for friends and family at least 10-15 times… I know it seems simple but honestly you have absolutely nailed the flavours and the cooking of this awesome dish! All I need now is an even more powerful gas burner!

    X Sahz

  103. Mav October 16, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Thanks for the recipe, will be trying it out soon. Reading the comments above most people interested in achieving the wok smell. There is a trick i’d like to share which seems to work for me. Its as follows:

    Heat the empty wok on the maximum heat till very hot. Now add a little oil and spread it all over the wok. Wait till oil gets extremely hot then add a generous dash of soy sauce right into the oil. The soy sauce will start to bubble and and start to dry out eventually it will start to burn and give off a very smoky smell. I then stir fry my noodles in this and it gives a very restaurant like taste to them. Hope this helps and keep up the good work!!

  104. is3000 December 11, 2012 at 9:08 pm #

    Do you have any suggested alterations for using tofu and broccoli? It seems to me that the tofu might be more delicate than meat and thus not require baking soda or even necessarily a blanching. What do you think? And because broccoli seems a lot thicker than gailan, it might require more cooking time; would you add the broccoli at an earlier point in the process? I’m guessing it wouldn’t be a bad idea to halve or quarter the individual florets for more surface area.

    Just want to get all of my ducks in a row before I attempt the recipe (especially with a Thai-food-loving girlfriend sampling the results)! I opened my first ever bottle of sweet dark soy sauce today and I have to say I’m pretty excited based on the taste of it by itself. Yum.

    • Leela December 11, 2012 at 9:16 pm #

      No, tofu would not require the baking soda treatment (because it acts as a meat tenderizer) or blanching; what I would do instead is use the firmest tofu I can find, cut it into bite-sized pieces, and sear them in a (flat and wide) lightly-oiled pan over medium-high heat to firm and brown up the surface before using them in the recipe. For the broccoli, I would cut it up into 2-inch florets and blanch them in simmering water very quickly, for about 30 seconds. Then I will add the pre-seared tofu to the pan the same time as the sauce (so it has a chance to absorb some flavor) and blanched broccoli at the last minute.

  105. is3000 December 13, 2012 at 7:51 pm #

    Thank you for the tips, Leela. The Pad See-Ew turned out very well! We really enjoyed it and it was a great dish to break in my first wok. I am still new to cooking and there were a few surprises along the way that I thought I might share in the hope that you or other cooks might set me straight:

    1. When I dropped the egg into my first batch, the oil splattered majorly and I got hit. Ouch! Lesson learned, and for the second batch I used slightly lower heat and carefully let the egg drip down the side of the wok to avoid splashing. It still splattered, but it was a lot easier to control when I knew what to expect. Wearing an oven mitt helped, too.

    2. I tried to let the noodles char slightly just after pouring in the sauce and some of them carbonized and stuck to the bottom of the wok in the process. I’m using a 14″ flat-bottomed carbon steel wok on an electric stove on high heat, but judging by the size of the wok the chef uses in the video, maybe the 1/2 lb. batches of noodles + tofu + and broccoli were too much for my wok to handle. I also used about 2 tbsp. less oil the second time around after the egg episode and I have a feeling that decision may have contributed to the sticking and carbonization.

    3. I spent some time thinking about the sauce. In the video the chef adds sauces and liquids at different times throughout the process. Is he adding water for steaming purposes, more oil, and/or more sauce? My ~6 tbsp. of sauce seemed to be spread thin before the dish was completely done.

    It very well could be that #2 and #3 were caused by the fact that I went by the dry weight of the noodles (16 oz. total for two batches). Maybe if I had weighed them after blanching I would have used less noodles per batch. Wish I had thought of that yesterday! Caveats and mistakes aside, it was delicious.

    • Leela December 13, 2012 at 9:38 pm #

      This is very helpful. I love hearing how things work out in my readers’ kitchens. So thank you very much for the report!

      1. Sorry. You may find it easier if you crack an egg into a small bowl first (instead of right into the hot oil), then hold the bowl as close to the oil as possible, let the egg gently slide in, and stand back.

      2. You’re working with a new wok, so the problem of food sticking to it (not to mention burning instead of being charred) is to be expected. Try seasoning your wok a few times so it develop nonstick patina. And as you continue to use it, things will get better over time. Also, referring to the last paragraph, here’s another thing that was a big factor in this: you were using dried noodles and way too much of them for each batch.

      2.a The cook in this video does what most, if not all, cooks both at street noodle stalls in Thailand and Thai restaurants overseas always do which is to use fresh flat, wide rice noodles to make PSE. In Thailand these noodles are fresh, bought just enough to use for the day, high-quality with just the right amount of softness and elasticity, and never require parboiling before being fried. The cook in this video parboils his fresh noodles, because fresh wide rice noodles in the US market are invariably inferior (a post could be written about that — I’ll address this at a later time) and become stiff and non-elastic very shortly. If they don’t come that way from the market, they become that way once you’ve bought and refrigerated them. So parboiling is a way of bringing them back to life, so to speak.

      2.b But it seems you’re using dried rice noodles which I assume are the extra large flat rice sticks (aka pad thai noodles) which would be too wide for pad thai but serve as an acceptable substitute for fresh flat wide rice noodles used in the video. In this case, you need to soak them first until they’re soft enough (see the post linked to above for how to tell when dried noodles are soft enough), then cook them pasta-style in copious amounts of water until they resemble fresh noodles in texture. Then you have to rinse off all the excess starch before adding the cooked noodles to the pan.

      2.c The recipe calls for 1/2 pound of fresh rice noodles which means you’ll have to work out the amount of dried noodles you start with. I haven’t had a chance to figure out the weight of extra-large dried noodles that results in an 8-ounce yield once cooked. Using my pad thai recipe as a guide, my guess is that 8 ounces of extra-large dried noodles should be enough for a 2-serving batch made in a 14-inch skillet. Anything more than this would create problems.

      3. The liquid you see in the video is a mixture of vinegar and very light syrup which has been pre-made for the sake of convenience in the restaurant setting (this mixture is a stand-alone component because it is used in dishes other than pad see ew). In converting the restaurant’s recipe into a recipe suitable for home cooks, I’ve included all the flavoring ingredients into one mixture. The reason the sauce seems to be too small in quantity could be because you’re dealing with too large amount of noodles which aren’t fresh and soft, but reconstituted dried noodles which require longer cooking time. In this case, the sauce will evaporate over high heat long before it has a chance to soften and flavor the noodles and you may need to add plain water to help soften the noodles some more (adding more sauce will result in over-seasoning).

      But I’m glad to know you and your girlfriend liked the result which means you must have done something right. For someone who does this for the first time, you’re much more skillful than you think.

  106. is3000 December 14, 2012 at 11:08 pm #

    Thank you again, Leela. I’m embarrassed to admit that I did not even think about the volume difference between dry and cooked noodles until I started typing my results!

    The seasoning on my wok is not very good yet, it’s true. I tried following the directions in the pamphlet that came with my wok which were: heat the wok until smoking, then stir-fry Chinese chives and other aromatics like ginger in oil until they are charred. Then I rinsed it briefly with hot water, coated it lightly with oil and put it away. Maybe the oven seasoning method would be a more thorough approach.

    I will definitely keep your notes about noodles in mind. As you guessed, I started with dry pad thai noodles. I had planned to use some very wide fresh rice noodles that I had spotted shrink-wrapped in cellophane in the refrigerated section at a nearby Asian market, but they were sold out on the day that I wanted to make Pad See-Ew (and from your comments it sounds like I may want to avoid these noodles in the future anyway). The package we purchased instead was Rama brand pad thai and strangely enough it said “fresh rice stick noodles” at the top. While they were more flexible than dry rice sticks I have used in the past, they were still mostly dry. After soaking the noodles for about 20 minutes as the directions indicated, I sampled them and immediately thought, “This isn’t going to work.” They were still firm, crumbly, and starchy, so I went ahead and boiled them until al dente, which was what I had done with lo mein noodles for other stir-fry dishes. Then I drained them out and dried them off. Next time, I will be sure to rinse them to remove more starch.

    For a while there I was picturing the application of sauces to be like applying layers of paint. Prime it with this, then paint it with that, then put on another coat. But it makes sense that he combines sauce mixtures as needed for different dishes on-the-fly rather than pre-making complete sauces for everything.

    Thinking back to the rest of my Pad See-Ew Experience #1, for the most part everything turned out well. The only part that was not completely done at serving time was the broccoli. It did not seem to be getting any love at the bottom of my wok, but by the time it was added I imagine the lack of sauce and the overcrowding played big roles. The tofu also did not have much sauce or oil to grab onto, but it had already been marinated in light soy sauce and cooked separately as you suggested, so that was okay. Now I’m excited to try Pad-See Ew again with the proper amount of noodles. I have a kitchen scale, so I will be sure to measure out 8 oz. of cooked noodles per batch next time. We had a lot of food left over, but I was surprised by how well the leftovers reheated. Yum.

    Thank you for the compliment! I spent some time around your site reading up on the general feeling of Thai cooking long before I thought about attempting a dish, so I have your shared experience to thank for my growing ability to make corrections. In that regard I really appreciate what you are doing and have done with this site, and I wish there were more resources like it for other cultures of cooking. Knowing “why” things are done is so much more useful than just following directions.

    • Leela December 15, 2012 at 12:29 am #

      Actually — and, sorry, looking back over my last comment, I wasn’t clear about this — if you can find fresh flat rice noodles (the kind that comes shrink-wrapped), you would want to use those instead of dried rice noodles. That is the type of noodles normally used for PSE (unless you can’t find them in which case dried noodles would be the next best thing). I was just ranting about the lack of quality fresh flat rice noodles in the US which has led to a step which nobody in Thailand (who has access to quality fresh flat noodles) takes, i.e. blanching/partially cooking. When you take these noodles home, unwrap them and cut the whole stack lengthwise into 3/4- to 1-inch strips. Then separate those stacked strips gently into individual layers before blanching them.

      Back to dried noodles, no need to buy scale just for this reason (although, in general, I encourage everyone to invest in a reliable digital scale). If you notice, the noodles are arranged in two bunches of roughly equal size. So, one bunch out of a 1-lb bag = 8 ounces.

      Thanks again for the kind words!

  107. Leela March 6, 2013 at 12:02 pm #

    Thanks, Alex. Very helpful.

  108. Ben April 23, 2013 at 5:48 am #

    I have made this several times and is fantastic. This is the first thai dish that I have made that tastes right, it is even better than a few of the thai restaurants I go to! Thanks Leela!

  109. Cheri May 30, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    This recipe is perfect! I’ve tried many other Pad See Yew recipes, but none even came close to this – tasted just like it does in restaurants, and used ingredients & equipment I already have at home. I’m printing it out and saving it forever! The video was really helpful too, much better than trying to describe the technique.

  110. Shandi June 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    If using tofu for this dish is it necessary to marinate with the baking soda? I’m so stoked to make this recipe, Pad See-Ew is my favorite Thai noodle dish!!

    • Leela June 18, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

      Shandi – With tofu, there’s no need to marinate it. There’s no need to blanch it in simmering water either. What you may want to do is to use extra-firm tofu, press out all the water, cut it into bite-sized pieces and sear all sides before using in the recipe.

  111. wendy July 23, 2013 at 2:09 pm #

    I live in southern Virginia which (unfortunately) doesn’t have much a selection when it comes to food with flavor. While living in DC for a few years where there’s a plethora of of diversity in restaurants, pad se ew quickly became my favorite dish! Has anyone been able to find flat and wide ride noodles in Kroger, Food Lion, or Walmart? Those are the only choices around here although a new Whole Foods will open shortly. Please help :)

  112. Jasen August 2, 2013 at 1:17 pm #

    Thanks so much for getting and sharing this recipe! I’ve already made it twice this week. There is nothing more empowering than conquering a dish that you have struggled with for a long time and you have finally given me the tools. It’s like learning the magician’s secrets!

    Your recipe really lives up to the title “How to make it like they do in Thai Restaurants”.

    Thanks again!

    PS a cheap wok on an induction cooktop, comes pretty close to getting the right “wok smell”.

  113. Jennifer August 20, 2013 at 10:45 pm #

    Dear Leela,

    THANK YOU FOR THIS POST! Thank you for hijacking your way into the kitchen after hours so I didn’t have to (trust me, I’ve been mulling over that idea for a long time now). Visual learning works the best for me, and that inclusion was powerful. I’ve been told that I can’t replicate what I want at home because of the differences in range power, but until your post, I did not really understand what I could do about it. All of the details you included really broke down the process into information that *I* could process. Technique is what I get, and when I have different equipment to work with at home, I have to understand how to counter that disadvantage. Thank you, thank you, thank you for finally helping me succeed at making Pad See-Ew, which has been a struggle to overcome without the facts. You took all my feelings of failure and chucked it out the window because you explained that it wasn’t my fault and could never be my fault, except for cooking batches too large – that WAS my fault. Unfortunately, more and more kitchens are being outfitted with electric coil/glass stovetops and that is what I’ve been fighting. Tonight, however, I even got a great wok-char on the noodles. <3 <3 <3

  114. Audrey August 30, 2013 at 5:24 pm #

    I am TRYING SO HARD to make the wide rice noodles….from scratch. I live in a very remote mid-western town so can’t buy many of the things I love…we don’t even have Chinese take out or delivery.

    I have rice flour, I have tapioca flour, I have what I need for steam…I need help with the ratios. Can anyone help?

    SOS!!!!

    • Jennifer September 21, 2013 at 12:15 am #

      I commend you for trying to make your own noodles! My mom just waives the issue like it’s impossible to bother making at home and it’s so cheap to buy in a Chinatown. I’m glad you didn’t resort to just giving up on the food. I Google searched “how to make wide rice noodles from scratch,” which gave many links, but only one YouTube video came up on the first page of results. I’m not sure if the link will show in this comment, but you’ll be able to search using the same criteria and find it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4osTuN8lzw. I listened and the video lists: 1 cup tapioca flour, 2 cups rice flour, 2.5 cups water (makes several pounds of noodles). You can compare with the other links, but I preferred the video because that is infinitely more helpful to me when I can see a process with narration. They mention using oil, so remember that. We know how these noodles can stick…

    • Jennifer September 23, 2013 at 3:08 am #

      I found another video with a very different recipe: http://eatnowcrylater.blogspot.com/2011/08/how-to-make-fresh-rice-noodleho-fun.html

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