Pad see ew (officially Romanized phat si-io) is one of the most loved one-plate dishes in Thailand, especially Bangkok where it’s a staple at shophouse eateries specializing in Chinese-influenced stir-fried noodles. It may not look like there’s anything to this dish—the ingredient list is short and the cooking method straightforward—but a good plate of pad see ew takes some skills to create. As I explain in my book, Simple Thai Food: Classic Recipes from the Thai Home Kitchen, from which this recipe is adapted, the key is using good-quality fresh rice noodles or rehydrated dried rice noodles with plenty of chew left in them so they don’t turn mushy when cooked quickly in a hot wok, which can involve constantly controlling the heat. The goal is to get the delicate noodles to absorb the seasoning before they get soggy and for the dish to take on the charred aroma associated with wok cooking.
2 ServingsPICKLED CHILES
3long Thai chiles or 6 red Thai chiles, sliced crosswise ¼” thick
2cups distilled white vinegarCHILE POWDER
2cups dried bird chilesNOODLES AND ASSEMBLY
1lb. fresh wide rice noodles or 8 oz. dried wide rice noodles
12oz. Chinese broccoli or broccoli
2Tbsp. vegetable oil
2large garlic cloves, finely chopped
8oz. skinless, boneless chicken thighs or breasts, cut into 1″ pieces
3Tbsp. dark sweet soy sauce (preferably Healthy Boy)
2Tbsp. thin soy sauce (preferably Healthy Boy)
2tsp. distilled white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
2tsp. salted soybean paste (preferably Healthy Boy; optional)
½tsp. granulated sugar, plus more for servingFreshly ground white pepperFish sauce (for serving)SPECIAL EQUIPMENTA glass jar with a lidA spice mill or mortar and pestle
Combine chiles and vinegar in a glass jar, cover tightly, and chill at least 2 day before using.
Do ahead: Chiles can be pickled 2 months ahead. Keep chilled.
Toast chiles in a dry small skillet over low heat until brittle and slightly darker in color but not browned and blistered, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool. Grind in spice mill or with mortar and pestle to the consistency of coarse cornmeal.
Do ahead: Chiles can be ground 6 months ahead. Store airtight in a cool, dry place.
NOODLES AND ASSEMBLY
If using dried rice noodles, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles and stir to separate and prevent sticking, then remove pot from heat. Let noodles sit until cooked through and no hard center remains, 8–10 minutes. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold running water until cool. Drain well again; set aside.
Trim about 1″ off bottom of each broccoli stem. Remove stalks from tops and slice on a diagonal ¼” thick; set aside. If using chinese broccoli, cut tops into 2″ pieces. If using broccoli, cut into 2″ florets. Set aside, keeping separate from stalks.
Heat oil in a wok or a large nonstick skillet over high until shimmering. Crack eggs into pan; add garlic and cook, stirring, until eggs are almost set. Add broccoli stalks and chicken and cook, tossing often, until chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes.
Add dark sweet soy sauce, thin soy sauce, vinegar, soy bean paste, ½ tsp. sugar, reserved noodles, and reserved broccoli florets, if using regular broccoli, and cook, stirring, until noodles absorb some of the sauce and are softened, about 1 minute. Continue to cook, undisturbed, until underside starts to brown and more sauce has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Turn noodles over and cook, undisturbed, until underside is browned, about 2 minutes. Add Chinese broccoli, if using, and cook, tossing, until bright green, about 2 minutes.
Divide noodles among plates and season with white pepper. Serve with fish sauce, pickled chiles, chile powder, and more sugar alongside for topping as desired.