I have lately been obsessed with Pad See Ew, which might sound alien to many out there, but it’s a rice noodle dish that is simply heavenly. Squishy (yes, I’m sticking with this adjective. Anyone who has enjoyed a good, fat rice noodle knows what I’m talkin’ bout), saucy, filled with crisp veggies and completely delish.
Surprisingly, it’s also insanely easy to make.
This comes together very quickly (cooking time is approx 7 minutes, prep time 1 hour), but you must be absolutely, 1000% prepared with everything you need before you turn on the heat. If you need to run to the fridge, whisk up a bit of sauce, or chop a veggie, God help you. Work quickly, confidently, and work with very high heat (don’t be afraid, it can smell your fear).
I made it vegetarian, but you can easily add meat to this. I would suggest (from the recipes I’ve read, I haven’t actually made it with meat) par-boiling whatever meat you choose for a minute or two before adding it to the pan. This will make sure you cook it enough, but avoid overcooking the noodles and egg.
This dish is best fresh, so I wouldn’t make extra to have leftovers. It just isn’t as tasty as when it’s hot out of the pan!
Pad See Ew
- 1/2 bag dry wide rice noodles
- 2-3 T vegetable or safflower oil
- 1-2 c vegetable of choice, washed and cut to desired size. I would suggest small, since cooking time is short. (I’ve made this with broccoli and Brussel sprouts, both of which were more outrageous than Kim Kardashian’s maternity garb)
- 2 eggs, cracked open and ready in a bowl
- 3 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp. regular soy sauce
- 3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. white pepper
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1 T white vinegar
- 1/4 c thinly sliced scallions (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- stock on hand, to deglaze the pan if it gets too brown
In a large bowl, submerge the rice noodles in warm water and let sit for about an hour. They will soften slightly. Meanwhile, heat a medium pot with water, chop your veggies, and mix your sauce ingredients together. At the risk of sounding redundant, have everything next to the stove. Seriously. Right there. Ready. Waiting. Eager.
When the noodles are ready and the water is simmering, put a large sauce pan over high heat. While this is heating up (you will need it to be smoking), par boil your veggies for 1-3 minutes. They should be mostly done, but still fairly crisp. As they are getting to the desired point of doneness, add the oil to the pan and let it heat until smoking. Add the eggs and scramble quickly. They will sputter and splatter, so be careful. Remove the veggies from the water (I used a slotted spoon) and add to the pan with the egg. DO NOT STIR. Let them hang out for a bit. My friend Leslie, after a trip to Thailand that was complete with a cooking class, informed me that one of the keys to delicious Thai cooking is to not touch the food when it’s in the pan. So back off!
Add the noodles to the simmering par-boil water and let them hang out there for 30 seconds, but no more. Rice noodles get soggy very, very quickly, so remove them as soon as they are ready. I found it best to have a sieve ready in the sink and just strain quickly, then pop them in the hot pan with the veggies and egg. When you’ve got them in the pan, add the sauce evenly over everything and let it all just sit. You will be tempted to touch it, but don’t. Let the heat do the work for you and you can take this opportunity to do the inhale/exhale thing. After a few minutes or when your smoke alarm is starting to call the fire department, give it a good shake and shuffle to loosen things up a bit. If things are sticking to the bottom, add a little stock to the pan and shake some more. It will only take a few minutes for everything to come together, so keep a close eye on it.
Toss it with the scallions and serve it up real pretty.
See why I said to be prepared? Bam! Bam! Bam!
So, so good. The ingredients are inexpensive and while oyster sauce and dark soy sauce are not staples of everyone’s home, they are essential if you plan on doing much asian cooking.