This vegan Pad See Ew is a quick and delicious stir-fries made from a few simple ingredients.
What is your favorite Thai noodle dish? Personally, I can’t get enough when it comes to Thai food. Beyond stir-fries such as Pad Kee Mao, Pad Woon Sen, and Rad Na, there’s a long list of noodle soups that are all mouth-watering, but that will be a story for some other time.
Similar to rad na and pad kee mao, pad see ew also uses flat rice noodles, known as sen yai in Thai which is similar to hor fun (Cantonese) or he fen (Mandarin). Pad see ew literally translates to “stir fry soy sauce” so, as the name implies, Thai soy sauce is key here (I used Golden Mountain brand).
Similar to other Thai noodle dishes, a wok is highly recommended here, but a nonstick skillet will work if you don’t have one. To go with the pad see ew, I love making a simple two-ingredient condiment, inspired by Marion’s Kitchen. Simply chop 2 to 3 Thai chiles, cover in rice or distilled vinegar, and let it steep while you make this dish. It’s definitely a keeper for noodle dishes.
Pad See Ew Key Ingredients
1. Noodles – As mentioned above, these are flat rice noodles that are generally gluten-free. I used my regular homemade recipe but store-bought fresh or dried noodles work great here. I like to get the fresh uncut version so I cut by hand into 1-inch-wide ribbons to get the signature look of pad see ew.
2. Protein and vegetables – I used tofu and gai lan (Chinese broccoli). I really love gai lan’s fresh taste and crunchy texture in this dish; however, if you can’t find any near you, the closest sub is broccolini. As for protein, you can use soy chips and prepare them similar to the beefless chow fun recipe.
3. Sauces – It’s a mixture of soy sauce, dark soy sauce for color, and a touch of sweetness from sugar and vegan fish sauce.
How to Make Vegan Pad See Ew
Step 1: Prepare the noodles
Check out my spicy sour noodles or rice noodles for a homemade version. I find that store-bought fresh noodles tend to clump more unless they arrive at the store fresh the same day you get it. To avoid this, I like to transfer the noodles to a plate, cover it with a damp paper towel and microwave it for 1-2 minutes or steam over high heat to soften the noodles. This way it’s easier for you to separate the strands.
For homemade noodles, be sure to brush a thin layer of oil on the top after steaming. Once it’s cooled down, pull up the noodles from the pan and cut into 1-inch wide ribbons.
Step 2: Make the sauce
Simply combine all the sauces and sugar in a bowl and stir to combine. I prepare my sauce this way especially when videoing but IRL, I just add them in as I cook.
Step 3: Stir fry the noodles
I always have some seasoned pan-fried tofu ready for my stir-fries. To put this dish together, sauté the garlic until fragrant, then, add the veggies. Toss to combine.
Now, when you add the noodles, try to spread them out a little before adding the sauce. Using a tong or chopsticks, toss the noodles so they are coated with sauce (I used a wok spatula). Then, spread the noodles so they touch the bottom of the pan. Pan-fry to char the noodles before tossing again. Taste and season accordingly.
Right before serving, don’t forget to add a dash of ground pepper and serve it with a side of pickled chile. How easy is that, right?
Check out other Thai noodle dishes:
- Pad Kee Mao (Drunken noodles) with homemade noodles
- Rad Na (homemade noodles with brown gravy)
- 30-min Pad Woon Sen – made with mung bean noodles
- Green curry with tempeh
- Pad Thai with homemade pad Thai sauce
This vegan Pad See Ew is
- ready in less than 30 minutes with store-bought fresh noodles
- Savory easy meal
- gluten-free (used gluten-free label Golden Mountain sauce)
- skip the garlic for allium-free
- Delicious and Flavorful
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Vegan Pad See Ew (Thai soy sauce stir-fried noodles)
- 1 lb fresh flat rice noodles used homemade (see notes for store-bought)
- 4 oz firm tofu sliced, pan-fried, and salted
- 3 garlic cloves finely minced
- 1 to 2 cups roughly chopped gai lan Chinese broccoli
- neutral oil for cooking
- dash ground white pepper
- Pickled chiles or red pepper flakes see notes
- 2½ tablespoons soy sauce (used Golden Mountain brand) plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon vegan fish sauce (see notes) plus more to taste
- 2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon thick caramel sauce* or ½ teaspoon dark soy sauce
- First, prepare the sauce by combining the soy sauce, vegan fish sauce, sugar, and thick caramel sauce (or dark soy sauce) in a bowl. Whisk until the sugar has dissolved.
- Cut the homemade flat rice noodles into 1-inch-wide ribbons. See notes on how to handle store-bought fresh noodles.
- Heat a large wok or nonstick skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add the gai lan, tofu, and toss to combine.
- Add the noodles and sauce. Toss the noodles until all of them are coated. (You may use a spatula or chopsticks to help if needed.)
- Spread out the noodles and let cook, untouched, to char the noodles a little, 1 to 2 minutes. This step is to give the noodles the wok aroma and flavor.
- Taste and season with more soy sauce or vegan fish sauce if needed. Add the ground pepper, then serve with pickled chiles and their vinegar or red pepper flakes.
- Please note the total cooking time does not include the homemade rice noodles prep time.
- Store-bought flat rice noodles (precut) – Using your fingers, separate noodles—this is crucial to ensure all strands get coated with sauce. (If your rice noodles are stiff, place them in a microwaveable bowl, cover with a damp paper towel, and microwave for about 1 minute to soften.)
- Store-bought flat rice noodles (uncut) – this is recommended as you can cut them into 1-inch-wide ribbons. Cut them first, then repeat the step above to loosen the strand.
- Pickled chile: Place 4-5 chopped Thai chiles in a saucer or bowl, then add enough distilled or rice vinegar to cover. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes. I prepped this before I make the dish so it’s ready when the noodles are ready!
- *Thick caramel sauce is a version of dark soy sauce that is similar to kicap manis.
- I’m using homemade vegan fish sauce (Nước mắm Chay) that has a sweeter side.
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