I know a lot of my friends are going “Bingo!” with this post, and maybe it’s the same for you. I’ve gotten several requests for my “Pad See Ew” recipe, but I didn’t feel like this was something so special that it needed its own post. It’s so SIMPLE. It’s beyond simple. To me it’s like posting a recipe for a hotdog!
Okay, what is Pad See Ew, you might ask. It’s a big fat rice noodle stir fried in sweet soy sauce with meat, egg and vegetables. (I’m starting to feel ashamed…already. Am I really doing this?) Pad = stir fried (You better know this word by NOW.), See Ew = Soy sauce. There are so many See-Ew, I know, but this is the sweet, dark, sticky one.
There are several spelling of Pad See Ew, Pad Si Io (Wikipedia uses this one), Pad Si Ew or even Pad See You (I know that’s kinda weird!). They are all pronounced close to the real Thai name so we understand what you’re talking about but the English name is not quite the full name of the dish. It only means “stir-fry with soy sauce”. The dish you know so well here actually has an official (full) name “Guay Tiew Sen Yai Pad See Ew” in Thai.
Because just the words Pad See Ew alone can be “Khao Pad See Ew”, or rice stir-fried with soy sauce, “Sen Mhee Pad See Ew”, which is rice vermicelli stir-fried with soy sauce, or this “Guay Tiew Pad See Ew” or “Sen Yai Pad See Ew” (both short names are fully understandable the same as the long full name), the big fat rice noodle stir-fried with soy sauce that you already know and love. If you simply order “Pad See Ew” in Thailand, the wait staff might ask you what would you want to stir-fry. So, now you’ll know what to say to get the dish you want.
Traditionally Guay Tiew Pad See Ew would be made with pork and Gai Lan–Chinese broccoli–only. There were no other options, but nowadays it is served with choices of chicken, beef, pork and shrimp or tofu for vegetarian. I haven’t seen the choice for other vegetables yet. It remains only Chinese broccoli, but here in the US some Thai restaurants substitute regular broccoli for the Chinese broccoli.
The noodle is the big fat rice noodle, as I mentioned before. You can find this at any Asian market. You might have to buy the whole bag which will be good for four servings. The noodles also might come uncut. In that case you just have to slice them out to the width you like. Then you have to separate the noodles from the bulk into single strands. It’s not that difficult. Just lay the chunk of cut noodles onto its side, letting the flat side stand diagonally from the board and you can just “unravel” or “unwrap” them.
Since you’re already making a trip to the Asian market, you might as well look for Gai Lan, or Chinese broccoli, too. (Unless you want to use regular broccoli.) Also get the “Dark Sweet Soy Sauce”, it you don’t already have it in your cupboard. Fish sauce is going to give this dish the familiar flavor that I’m used too, but if you don’t like the fishy smell, light soy sauce will be fine. Vegetarians, you should already know that you are NOT going to use fish sauce. Asian fish sauce isn’t just “fish-flavoring sauce”; it’s made from real fish.
Ingredients (for one serving. You will be making it one portion at a time like the PadThai. An attempt to make more than 1.5 portion, would yield quite ugly result. Remember we need the SPACE in the wok to “stir fry” or else it wouldn’t be “stir” fry but it would be “stuck” fry.)
Big fat rice noodles 1/4 of a whole package; separate each strand
Chinese Broccoli: skin the leaves from the stems and then cut the stem portion diagonally in thin slices, and then chop the leaves in half and keep them separate 1 cup (packed)
Meat of your choice or tofu for vegan or vegetarian, sliced about 1/4” thick 1/3-1/2 cup (I used chicken this time. I told you I don’t normally eat this. I made it for my husband and friends who requested chicken.)
Chopped garlic 1 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon (I normally use only 2 teaspoons)
Vegetable oil or lard 3-4 tablespoons (depends on your type of the wok)
Dark sweet soy sauce 3-6 tablespoons
Fish sauce or light soy sauce 2-4 tablespoons
White pepper 1 teaspoon
1) Before you cut up the vegetables or separate the noodles, slice the meat and marinate it in the soy sauce mixed with fish sauce. You can put all of the two sauces together. Don’t worry, we will use ALL of it in the cooking later, and if you don’t have enough left, there are more in the bottles.
Marinate the meat 10-15 minutes, just about the time you would need to cut up the broccoli, separate the noodles and chop the garlic.
2) Separate the noodles.
3) Cut the vegetables and chop the garlic
4) Heat the wok over HIGH heat, the highest your stove can do, and add 1 tablespoon of oil and all the garlic. Stir fry until the garlic is near golden.
5) Add the meat to the wok but reserve the leftover sauce. Stir fry until the meat is fully cooked.
6) Add the noodles to the wok
and pour all the leftover sauce onto the noodles.
Stir fry, make sure that the noodles are completely coated with the sauce. You can easily see this by the color. If you need more sauce, go ahead and pour it right out of the bottle.
If it all gets too dry, you can add more oil. In this step you will be stir frying for a while over high heat.
7) Push the noodles to one side and add 1-2 tablespoons of oil to the middle of the wok and crack the egg into it. Smear it really quickly just to break the yolk and mix it with the egg white.
Flip the noodles back on top of the egg.
Let it sit for 10 seconds. (Remember, I keep telling you either in Pad Thai or Pad Kee Mao recipes that you need to count out the seconds–one thousand one, one thousand two, etc.–up to 10, so the egg has time to set and doesn’t turn into a fishy mess.) Then start moving the whole thing around again.
Remember the whole time that we are at the peak of the heat from the stove. Keep things moving to prevent them from burning unless I said to let it sit.
Let the noodles sit still for 10 seconds and then flip them around again to get the noodles to brown a little bit at the bottom of the pan. This adds flavor to the noodles. These “white” noodles aren’t going to match up to the flavor the street vendors in Thailand achieve, but will be very close. You will know when it’s ready when most of the noodles get small burn spots.
8) Now add the stems of the broccoli to the wok first,
keeping everything moving around the wok. Fry until the stems are cooked,
then add the leaves to the pan.
Toss them with the noodles. You are almost done here, and can taste the noodles if you haven’t done it all along, to see if you like the flavor or want to add more of either sauce. Turn off the heat when you see the Chinese broccoli leaves start to wilt.
9) Add the white pepper to the noodles. You can toss them again or not—it’s up to you. You might want to put dried chili flakes, granulated sugar, sliced chilis in vinegar and fish sauce in little cups, so you can adjust the taste later as you eat.
Alright guys…here you go: Pad See Ew is officially on my blog! Enjoy.