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This Thai stir fried noodles recipe combines elements of a couple classic Thai street food noodle dishes for an incredible blend and balance of flavors and textures. It’s the next best thing aside from a trip to Thailand, and it’s ready in just 30 minutes!

thai stir fried noodles

I can never pass up a good noodle dish, especially if Thai flavors are involved. After a trip to Thailand a few years ago, I had my first noodle dish that really opened up my eyes. I fell in love and never looked back! The Thai method of harmonizing flavors is an absolute art form.

This stir fried noodles recipe was inspired by a few different Thai noodle recipes: Pad See Ew, Drunken Noodles, and even Pad Thai.

close up top view of stir fry noodles in wok

The best noodles of my life were from a street food vendor in Phuket. I didn’t order off the menu. Instead, I put complete trust in her, and she came up with an absolutely incredible plate of noodles. She told me she added a little of this and a little of that, so the dish didn’t really have a name – and most likely couldn’t be exactly replicated!

I told her I liked her style.

Since then I’ve let my cooking style flow a lot more. Mixing and match. Pairing what sounds like it what be good together. Doing what feels right.

This stir fried noodles recipe is a great example of that.

close up overhead view of pad see ew noodles on dark plate

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • You’re only 30 minutes away from an absolutely irresistible Thai style noodle dish that’s better than take-out!
  • True to Thai cuisine, this stir fried noodles recipe is a delicately beautiful balance of sweet, salty, sour, spicy, and savory umami flavors. The secret is in the sauce!
  • This dish is easy to customize with whatever protein and vegetables you like. If chicken isn’t your thing, use beef or shrimp instead. And for the vegetables, you can basically use anything you have on hand; cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, green beans, etc.

What is Pad See Ew?

Pad See Ew is a Thai stir fried noodle dish. In Thailand, it’s popular as street food, and around the world it’s commonly found available in Thai restaurants.

Pad See Ew typically contains:

  • Protein – such as tofu, shrimp, chicken, pork, or beef
  • Wide, flat rice noodles (also referred to as “broad” rice noodles) – fresh are best, but dried also work
  • Chinese broccoli – called gai lan or kai lan
  • Garlic – for aroma and flavor
  • Egg – to add flavor and protein
  • Pad See Ew Sauce – at its base, this is a combination of light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar

What’s in Pad See Ew Sauce?

Pad See Ew sauce is mainly seasoned and flavored with light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, and sugar. Some recipes include oyster sauce and maybe fish sauce as well.

In Thailand, dark soy sauce is a type of black soy sauce that’s similar to molasses. It’s less salty than light soy sauce, and is sweet, thick, rich, and almost black in color. It’s typically added to Pad See Ew towards the end of the cooking process because it caramelizes and chars as it coats the noodles, giving them a unique, almost smoky sweetness.

Thai black soy sauce can be hard to find, so dark soy sauce is frequently used as a substitute.

front view of a dish of thai stir fried noodles

What is Thai Drunken Noodles?

Thai Drunken Noodles (aka Pad Kee Mao) is another Thai noodle dish commonly available from street food vendors. Pad Kee Mao is similar to Pad See Ew, but with more spicy heat from the addition of Thai chilli peppers. Additionally, holy basil is a common ingredient.

The interesting name has many anecdotal origin stories. Some say Thai Drunken noodles are best paired with a cold alcoholic beverage, others say this dish is a great cure for a hangover. You can read even more possible explanations for the name of this recipe on Wikipedia.

Easy Thai Stir Fried Noodles Recipe

This Thai stir fried noodles recipe is a wink and a nod to both Pad See Ew and Pad Kee Mao, as well as Pad Thai, borrowing components of each and also taking them a step further. To date, it’s the closest I’ve come to replicating the street noodle dish I had in Thailand that was the absolute best noodles of my life!

vegetables for thai stir fried noodles

Thai Stir Fried Noodles Sauce Ingredients

  • Dark brown sugar – light brown sugar will also work, or you can use coconut sugar
  • Light soy sauce – adds salty and umami flavor
  • Dark soy sauce – this is sweeter, thicker, and more molasses-y than light soy sauce
  • Oyster sauce – this thick, syrupy sauce is made mainly from oyster extracts, sugar, salt, and cornstarch to thicken; if you have a shellfish allergy or don’t eat oysters for any reason, you can omit it, or use vegan oyster sauce instead
  • Toasted sesame oil – this is optional, but I love the subtle toasted nutty flavor and very slight bitterness that it provides
  • Rice wine vinegar – adds a touch of sour tartness to balance the sweet components in this sauce
  • Fish sauce – this fermented anchovy-based sauce adds an underlying umami flavor
  • Garlic and ginger – use fresh for the best flavor; these add delicious aroma and depth of flavor
  • Red Thai chilli peppers – adds spicy heat to create a balanced flavor profile; feel free to add more or less depending on how spicy you like it
  • White pepper – this spice adds a touch of pungency with an interesting earthy flavor that compliments the flavor of soy sauce well

Thai Stir Fry Noodles Ingredients

  • Wide rice noodles – look for these at your local Asian grocery store, or buy wide rice noodles on Amazon
  • Boiling water – to soak the rice noodles to soften them
  • Coconut oil – for stir frying; you can use any oil with a high smoke point that you have on hand
  • Boneless skinless chicken thighs – you can swap this out for any protein you like, such as boneless skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced beef steak, or shrimp
  • Salt – to enhance the other flavors in this dish
  • Red onion – any color onion is fine
  • Carrot – for color and texture
  • Red bell pepper – or any color bell pepper you like
  • Chinese broccoli – also called gai lan, this leafy green vegetable has thick stems and florets like broccoli

How to Make Thai Stir Fried Noodles

Step 1: Make the Sauce:

top view of pad see ew sauce in glass jar

Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl or jar and set aside.

Step 2: Cook the Noodles:

rice noodles

Add the noodles to a large bowl and add enough boiling water to cover by about 4 inches. Let the noodles soak until softened but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside.

If the noodles stick together you can rinse them under cool water to remove some of the starch so you can separate them easier.

Step 3: Stir Fry:

how to make thai stir fried noodles
  1. Add the oil to a wok over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle on the salt. Stir fry until the chicken is about halfway cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and sliced Chinese broccoli stems and stir fry for 1 minute, tossing the vegetables so they cook evenly.
  3. Add the noodles, chopped Chinese broccoli leaves, and the sauce. Toss everything together and stir fry for 3 minutes.

Step 4: Garnish and Serve:

overhead view of thai noodles in wok

Serve with any garnishes you like.

Storage

Store these noodles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Pro Tip: Best Way to Reheat Stir Fry Noodles

an edible mosaic stamp logo 1200 square

The best way to reheat stir fried noodles is in the microwave. Put the noodles in a microwave-safe bowl, place a damp paper towel on top (it shouldn’t be wringing wet, but it needs to be more than just slightly damp). Microwave in 45-second intervals until warm, stirring between each interval.

Thai Stir Fried Noodles Recipe FAQs

Where Can I Find Chinese Broccoli?

Chinese broccoli is also called gai lan or kai lan. You can usually find it at Asian grocery stores in the fresh produce area.

chinese broccoli gai lan
Chinese broccoli, aka gai lan or kai lan

What Can You Substitute for Chinese Broccoli?

If you can’t find Chinese broccoli, you can substitute with bok choy, broccoli rabe (aka rapini), or collard greens.

Do You Boil the Noodles Before Stir Frying?

That depends on the recipe and the type of noodles you’re using.

For this stir fried noodle recipe, we use wide rice noodles. We don’t boil the noodles; instead, we bring water to a boil, pour it over the noodles, and let them soak until tender (about 5 minutes). After that we drain the noodles and later add them to the wok to stir fry.

drunken noodles on dark dishes

More Thai Recipes to Try

thai stir fry noodles with pad see ew sauce

Let’s Connect

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Thai Stir Fried Noodles Recipe

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Yields: 4 servings
This Thai stir fried noodles recipe combines elements of a couple classic Thai street food noodle dishes for an incredible blend and balance of flavors and textures. It’s the next best thing aside from a trip to Thailand, and it’s ready in just 30 minutes!

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Equipment

Ingredients
 

Sauce:

Noodles:

Stir Fry:

  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil or peanut oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper thinly sliced
  • 4 cups chopped Chinese broccoli with the stems thinly sliced and separated from the chopped leaves (see Notes)

Optional Garnishes:

  • Lime wedges
  • Sliced scallion
  • Thai basil
  • Cilantro
  • Peanuts chopped

Instructions
 

For the Sauce:

  • Whisk together all ingredients in a bowl or jar and set aside.

For the Noodles:

  • Add the noodles to a large bowl and add enough boiling water to cover by about 4 inches. Let the noodles soak until softened but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Drain and set aside. (If the noodles stick together you can rinse them under cool water to remove some of the starch so you can separate them easier.)

For the Stir Fry:

  • Add the oil to a wok over high heat. Once hot, add the chicken in a single layer. Sprinkle on the salt. Stir fry until the chicken is about halfway cooked, about 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, and sliced Chinese broccoli stems and stir fry for 1 minute, tossing the vegetables so they cook evenly.
  • Add the noodles, chopped Chinese broccoli leaves, and the sauce. Toss everything together and stir fry for 3 minutes.
  • Serve with any garnishes you like.

Notes

  • Nutrition Information: The nutritional information for this recipe was calculated without the optional garnishes.
  • Oyster Sauce: If you have a shellfish allergy or don’t eat oysters for any reason, you can substitute vegan oyster sauce instead of regular oyster sauce.
  • Chinese Broccoli: This is called gai lan or kai lan. You can usually find it at Asian grocery stores in the fresh produce area. If you can’t find Chinese broccoli, you can substitute with bok choy, broccoli rabe (aka rapini), or collard greens.
  • Storage and Reheating: Store these noodles in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. The best way to reheat stir fried noodles is in the microwave. Put the noodles in a microwave-safe bowl, place a damp paper towel on top (it shouldn’t be wringing wet, but it needs to be more than just slightly damp). Microwave in 45-second intervals until warm, stirring between each interval.

Nutrition

Calories: 421kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 27g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 2151mg | Potassium: 607mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 4583IU | Vitamin C: 56mg | Calcium: 94mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutritional information is automatically calculated and should be used as an approximate.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Thai
Keyword: Stir Fried Noodles, Stir Fried Noodles Recipe, Stir Fry Noodles, Thai Stir Fried Noodles

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Faith, author of An Edible Mosaic.
About Faith

I’m the writer, recipe developer, photographer, and food stylist behind this blog. I love finding the human connection through something we all do every day: eat! Food is a common ground that we can all relate to, and our tables tell a story. It’s my goal to inspire you to get in the kitchen, try something new, and find a favorite you didn’t know you had.

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